Communication Studies

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

December 2018

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala facilitated a panel titled “Talking about Race with your Child” through the Parent Advisory Committee at Child’s Day Child Development Center on Dec. 5, 2017. The panel featured experts from education, social work, and policy to provide specific strategies for parents to talk about race and racism with preschool-aged children.





  • Eleven Southwestern University faculty members have won Sam Taylor Fellowship grants to support their research, with award amounts ranging from $1,000 to $1,600. Sam Taylor Fellowships are selected through a competitive application process and are provided by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. This year’s recipients are

    • Professor of Physics Steven Alexander, “Generating Energy from Hot Sidewalks” (awarded $1,200)
    • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala, “The Politics of Stealth Halal: Re-Presenting the Islamic Origins of U.S. Meat Products” (awarded $1,600)
    • Associate Professor of German Erika Berroth , “Nature Education in the German Classroom: Possibilities for Integration and Inclusion?” (awarded $1,400)
    • Professor of Biology Romi Burks, “Unravelling the Mystery: Genetic Differentiation of Chinese and Japanese Mysterysnails Using 16S” (awarded $1,400)
    • Assistant Professor of History Jethro Hernandez Berrones, “With Indigenist Spirit: Doctors on Spiritual Practices in Post-Revolutionary Mexico” (awarded $1,500)
    • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson, “Human–Jaguar Becomings and Racial Capitalism in Belize” (awarded $1,000)
    • Associate Professor of French Francis Mathieu, “Research on Claire de Duras’s Avant-Garde Novella, Ourika” (awarded $1,400)
    • Associate Professor of French Aaron Prevots, “Gestures toward the Sacred: Guillevic, Vargaftig, Tellermann, Michel” (awarded $1,400)
    • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar, “Contemporary Modes of Parenting: Disrupting the Representation of Stepmothers in Popular Culture” (awarded $1,500)
    • Associate Professor of Spanish Maria De Los Angeles Rodriguez Cadena, “Cultural Memory and Historical Fiction: Women of the Past on Television and Film by Four Contemporary Mexican Women Directors” (awarded $1,400)
    • Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Sydnor, “Researching Attachments to American Political Institutions” (awarded $1,600)




November 2018

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala facilitated a panel titled “How to Talk to Your Kids about Race”  on Nov. 28, 2018, at Russell Lee Elementary School in Austin. The panel brought together experts in child development and education, including licensed clinical social worker Katie Malinski, University of Texas Associate Professor Richard Reddick, and Head of Headwaters Middle School Roberto Germán. The panel was well attended by parents, and Bahrainwala envisions turning this into a workshop series for the future. View the transcript from the panel here.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala attended the 2018 National Communication Association in Salt Lake City, UT. She presented three papers that examined veiled discourses about halal meat, menstruation, and the Nike Pro Hijab.





  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar presented a paper titled “Broken Things: The Material Temporalities of Objects Placed at Roadside Crash Shrines” at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, in San Jose, CA, on Nov. 18, 2018.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala published the paper “Bad Archives, Bad Workers” in Flow Journal: A Critical Forum on Media and Culture. The theme of the issue was Media(ted) Archives: The Politics of Saving and Making Media Histories.





October 2018

  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar presented a paper titled “Colliding Authorities: The Cultural Politics of Roadside Memorialization in the Contemporary American Southwest” at the Western History Association’s annual national conference in San Antonio, Oct. 20, 2018.





September 2018

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala gave a talk on precarity, preservation, and praxis in academia at the Flow Conference at The University of Texas at Austin on Sept. 27, 2018. Her talk was titled “Media(ted) Archives: The Politics of Saving and Making Media Histories.”





August 2018

  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar published a book chapter titled “Feminist Transgressions: Vulnerability, Bravery, and the Need for a More Imperfect Feminism” in Transgressing Feminist Theory and Discourse: Advancing Conversations Across Disciplines.The chapter is coauthored by Stacey K. Sowards.





June 2018

  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar and Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala attended the 50th anniversary of the Rhetoric Society of America Conference in Minneapolis, Minn., May 31–June 3. They each presented peer reviewed papers. Renegar’s “‘Evil is Part of the Territory’: Inventing the Stepmother in Self-Help Texts” drew from research funded by a 2016–2017 Sam Taylor grant. Bahrainwala presented a paper titled “‘Free Muslim Hugs’ and Offering Vulnerable Bodies for State Security.” They each also participated in well-attended round table talks on issues related to their teaching, research, and activism.





May 2018

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala facilitated a panel titled “Talking about Race with your Child” at Russell Lee Elementary School in Austin on May 8, 2018. The panel featured experts in education, education policy, social work, and critical race theory, and provided specific strategies for talking about race with elementary school-aged children.





  • Madison Vardeman, class of 2018, will present her communication studies capstone research “U2 and Nostalgia: Running to Stand Still or the Start of a Beautiful Day?” at The U2 Conference on June 15, 2018. Vardeman’s research analyzes U2’s Joshua Tree Tour 2017concert in Dallas, Texas, to prove that a nostalgic framework can be used in a way that does not solely glorify the past. She argues that this can be accomplished by applying the principles of Affect Theory and Aristotle’s emotional appeals to place focus on the emotional reactions that nostalgia elicits rather than focusing on the memories of the past events that are associated with the original JoshuaTreealbum and tour.





  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar presented a keynote address titled “Melancholy Remains: Encountering Images, Objects, and Spaces of Trauma” at the 26th Annual Symposium About Language and Society, Austin (SALSA), “Language in Society: Culture, Space & Identity” at the University of Texas at Austin, on April 20, 2018.