The Past as Prologue
Is the past a framework for the future or is the past, as poet Carl Sandburg declared, “a bucket of ashes”? As we reconsider and rebuild our lives post-pandemic, we are reminded, yet again, of the tragedies, disruptions, tangents, and persistent questions that accompany the steady march of time.
The 2021 RMCA Conference theme, The Past as Prologue, is intended to be interpreted broadly. We invite both new and veteran teachers, students and scholars to discuss and analyze the central role that communication plays in making sense of our interconnected pasts, presents, and futures. We ask you to proffer your most insightful analyses, to elevate stories and use your voices to foster understanding, combat bias and hate, explore innovative solutions, and illuminate the resources that highlight our diverse backgrounds. In our discipline, we have long argued that our work matters in how we perceive and shape the world. This year’s conference aims not only to cultivate and showcase our endeavors, but also to create thought provoking discussions and narratives which may become the catalysts for positive change.
This year marks an important transition for our organization as we aim to intensify our focus on the Rocky Mountain region and explore the changes which are already here and anticipate those which may be forthcoming. We know there is much to explore in the region’s rich history of disability activism, environmentalism, and labor rights. We know there is more work to be done to address a turbulent past of Japanese internment camps, anti-Semitism, BIPOC oppression, and other injustices. Because the Rocky Mountain region is a microcosm of the world, RMCA wants to embrace the future by building an interdisciplinary voice on the histories that have impacted and will continue to impact this region.