Communication Studies

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

December 2019

  • Southwestern University’s Communication Studies Department was well represented at this year’s National Communication Association convention in Baltimore, MD. In addition to Part-Time Instructor of Communication Studies Katie Bradford’s presentation (from last week’s Notables), Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala (LB) and Visiting Instructor of Communication Studies Kristyn Goldberg presented on a panel titled “Academic Precarities” addressing unsustainable academic structures and developing strategies for countering precarity. LB chaired the panel. The hope was that this panel would not be unique this NCA and that many such panels would take place. The hope was realized.





November 2019

  • Part-Time Instructor of Communication Studies Katie Bradford presented a paper, ”Smartphones as an Index of Authority in Family Dinner Interactions,” at the National Communication Association Convention, in Baltimore, MD, on November 17, 2019. 





October 2019

  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar published “Evil Is Part of the Territory: Inventing the Stepmother in Self-Help Books” with coauthor Kirsti Cole in the most recent issue of Women’s Studies in Communication. In the article, Renegar and Cole examine best-selling self-help books aimed at stepmothers to determine how stepmothers are being defined and how their expectations are shaped and managed by the rhetoric of such books.





  • Associate Professor in Communication Studies Valerie Renegar published “Evil is Part of the Territory: Inventing the Stepmother in Self Help Books”  with coauthor Kirsti Cole in the most recent issue of Women’s Studies in Communication. The article looks at best selling self-help books aimed at stepmothers to determine how stepmothers are being defined and how their expectations are shaped and managed by the rhetoric of the books. 





September 2019

  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar presented her research on the discourse surrounding stepmothers at the Rhetoric Society of Europe’s Rhetoric in Society 7 conference in Ghent, Belgium in September. Her paper, “Old Stereotypes, Worn Metaphors, Outdated Fairy Tales: Stepmother Self-Help Books as (Useless) Equipment for (Barely) Living,” was coauthored with Kirsti Cole from Minnesota State University–Mankato. This is the pair’s third professional achievement in the area of mothering rhetoric.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala published an article titled “Blind Submission” in the journal Communication, Culture & Critique. Bahrainwala noticed that Muslim men were posting YouTube videos of themselves blindfolded, standing on street corners, and asking for hugs from passersby to prove that they are “not terrorists.” What fresh nonsense is this? Bahrainwala wondered, and wrote about the intersections of terrorism and disability.





July 2019

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala published an article titled “Nike Unveils Muslim Women Athletes” in the journal Feminist Media Studies, which she coauthored with Erin O’Connor from the University of Texas at Austin. This paper grew from their reaction to Nike’s ad for its Pro Hijab, which you can watch here.





April 2019

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala was an invited speaker on a panel hosted by the Communication Studies Graduate Council at the University of Texas at Austin. She addressed anxieties about academic precarity, the job market, and transitioning to faculty status.





March 2019

  • Southwestern University had a strong showing at the 2019 Western States Communication Association Conference in Seattle, WA, at the end of February. Sarah Beard ’19 presented “The Rhetorical Strategies of Humor in John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight,” her signature work from Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar’s fall capstone class.  Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala presented a paper titled “Shitholes: Infrastructure and Anatomy” as part of the environmental communication division, and Renegar responded to a panel titled “Gender and Health in the Workplace” on behalf of the Organization for Women and Communication.





February 2019

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala earned a national grant to support the Muslims in Academia Symposium at Southwestern University. The symposium will take place 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2018.