[Air-L] Happy birthday, AoIR!

Jones, Steve sjones at uic.edu
Mon Nov 6 04:52:26 PST 2023

25 years ago, on November 6, 1998, toward the end of a conference at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, the idea for AoIR was born. That conference, the WorldWideWeb and Contemporary Theory, organized by Andrew Herman and Thom Swiss, brought together a number of people who have continued to be part of the AoIR community, including Andrew of course, Greg Elmer, Stefan Wray and Terri Senft. 

Less than a year later, in 1999, AoIR was (in)formally launched in San Francisco at the International Communication Association meeting. And, a year after that, Nancy Baym hosted the first AoIR conference, IR 1.0, at the University of Kansas, and AoIR as we know it came to life. 

As we reach these milestones I am continually amazed and endlessly grateful to all who have put in the effort to shape and maintain AoIR as an open and special scholarly community. All who have served over the years on the executive committee deserve special acknowledgment, but everyone who has participated in some way, whether via air-l, attending conferences, hosting conferences, however you have chosen to be involved, to you I want to say: Thank you. When AoIR was first discussed in 1998 one of the goals was for it to be unlike the existing disciplinary associations to which most of us belong, to be an inclusive, welcoming and supportive community. I shall hope we can keep it that way for the next 25 years; we have plenty of long-running traditional disciplinary conferences, let’s make AoIR better. 

I thank you all for being part of the AoIR community during the past 25 years. I’m looking forward to the next 25. Happy birthday, AoIR!

Steve Jones

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