About the Communication History Division

History is among the most well-established themes in the study of communication. Recent years have witnessed an intensification of this interest in history. Those doing historical work in communication now have a designated home in the International Communication Assocation: the Communication History Division. The notion of ‘communication history,’ in this division, pulls together no fewer than three major areas of research.


I. The History of Communication, including Media History

This branch of communication history involves research that concerns itself with issues in the history of communication praxis. What is commonly called media history will be a major component of this area of communication history. Much of the historical work in the field of communication addresses this set of issues.

II. The History of the Field of Communication

This subfield in communication history provides a home to those who ask questions about how the study of communication has developed. Much as other social sciences (including psychology, sociology, anthropology, and economics) feature subfields that address their own histories, the history of the field of communication allows us to engage in a reflexive dialogue concerning the strengths and weaknesses of the institution of communication studies.

III. The History of the Idea of Communication

Scholars who address this issue take on one of the fundamental task of understanding how communication has been conceptualized, as well as how and why these conceptualizations have changed over time.




The purpose of the Division is to promote theory, research, and professional education in the history of communication. The Division brings together scholars who face similar intellectual and methodological challenges.

The Division’s bylaws can be downloaded here [pdf]. The group’s Officers are listed here. You may contact CHD here. Join the group here. The official ICA CHD page is here.