ABSTRACT

Communication research is, and has been, unwieldy and balkanized. The same is true of historical accounts of the fi eld’s development. In this sense at least, the historiography of communication research resembles its object of study. Consider a few of the fi eld’s notable axes of difference: national traditions, methodological loyalties, long-running skills-or-scholarship disputes, mixed disciplinary roots, subfi eld chauvinisms, and North-South disparities. Each of these points of tension-or mutual indifference-is echoed by the published literature on the history of communication research. One irony is that the historiographical literature, as a result, fails to register the fi eld’s cacophonic disorder-except by example.