Conference VisCom28

Where will we host VisCom 28? Rhode Island, anyone?

In preparation for the Town Hall meeting on the Sunday of the conference, I’m posting this question for comments.

VisCom is not your run-of-the-mill conference. It is a plenary conference where all participate in every session — we don’t present and go. We present and stay and learn and critique, probing the big questions about our discipline in a way, I would argue, is rarely seen in any of the other conferences where visual communication is merely a division or interest group.

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 3.35.49 PMThe criteria for this conference have long been:

  • Reasonable price
  • Scope to hang out together for meals and conversation
  • Visually engaging location
  • Isolated enough for us to concentrate on the conference and near enough to activities so that we can do fun things on the Friday afternoon/evening off.

For years, that meant some place in the mountains… Anywhere from Banff to Taos. Last year folks asked about doing the conference in the Rhode Island area — preferably close to Newport (of course anywhere in Rhode Island is close to Newport by West coast standards… East coast standards are a little more eccentric. In addition, despite the fact that I work on Mount Hope Bay in Bristol, there are no mountains here… strictly sea level. (Mount Hope comes from Montaup in the Pokanoket language.)

I spent some time researching what would fit the criteria and connected with an old viscomer, Renee Hobbes who is now at URI. So here is the scoop on what I found:

Unlike mountain ski resorts where June is off-season, June is graduation and wedding month around here and the season usually starts Memorial Day Weekend. Anything by the sea is mostly booked weekends or is prohibitively expensive.

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 3.35.25 PMBut I did find the retreat center at URI, Whispering Pines… it is the perfect location and size. I think the money will work. BUT… They do not have any June weekends available.

They do have Sunday June 22 through Thursday June 27, 2014 available. I don’t think we’ve ever done a weekday conference, but if folks are willing, this would be a great opportunity. It might even work better for those folks who routinely have commencement duties on the Saturdays in June.

I am also looking into our campus as we have a gorgeous new dorm building with apartments and suites…




Professor of Communication - Visual Communication and Digital Media
Department of Communication & Graphic Design
Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI, U.S.
Research interests include web, usability, visual rhetoric, cultural aesthetics, material culture and other modalities and media that deal with the cultural impact of images and music.

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