Communication Studies

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

April 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Rico Self was invited to deliver the prestigious LSU Geaux Rhetoric Speaker Series keynote, which commands a national audience, on March 10. Self followed in the illustrious footsteps of renowned communication studies scholars Ersula Ore, Steven Salaita, and Jo Hsu. His keynote discussed black womanist and feminist rhetoric of the J-Settes, a collegiate women’s dance line.





  • Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar was one of the central people interviewed for The Taking, a feature-length documentary film by Alexandre O. Phillipe about Monument Valley.  The film explores how Monument Valley, located on the border of Arizona and Utah but also within the Navajo Nation, has repeatedly been made into a symbol of the white settler myth of the American West by filmmakers and other media producers while denying Navajo sovereignty and subjectivity. The Taking has appeared at multiple film festivals in the last several months, including the BFI London Film Festival, Fantastic Fest in Austin, and the New Zealand International Film Festival.





  • Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar  traveled to Greenville, South Carolina, to represent Southwestern University at the Southern States Communication Association Annual Convention in April. She presented a paper titled “Jill Biden, Resistance, and Stepmothering: Resilience in the Neoliberal Landscape” and was an invited guest on a panel focused on student accessibility and increasing diversity in online teaching.





  • Demi Tomasides ’22 presented her paper “Othered: The Black and White Portrayal of Neurodiversity in Grey’s Anatomy” at the 2022 Alpha Chi National Convention, held March 24–26 in Austin, Texas. Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala supervised her project.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala  recently delivered two guest lectures: “Potty Politics” was delivered to honors undergraduate students at the University of Texas at Austin, and “Feminist Collaboration” was delivered to a feminist organizing graduate seminar at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.





March 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala steered several student projects that were accepted, presented, and recognized at a highly selective regional conference. The following Southwestern students traveled to Portland, Oregon, to present their research at the 2022 Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference hosted by the Western States Communication Association:

    • Maddie Brent  22 presented her paper “An Investigation into the Netflix Original Show ‘Love Is Blind’ and the Subversive Racism and Homophobia Perpetuated through the Production of Carlton Morton’s public ‘Coming Out’ Storyline.”
    • Emily Funk  23 presented her paper “Women and the Stars: Antifeminism in Critiques of Pop Astrology.”
    • Amanda Smith  23 presented her paper “The Invisible Labor of Fake Happy.”
    • Demi Tomasides  22 presented her paper “Othered: The Black and White Portrayal of Neurodiversity in ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’”
    • Caden Cox  23 won the Top Paper Award for his paper “Call Me by Your Name: Lil Nas X and Queerness in Rap and Pop.” 

    Southwestern students Nina Mitrofanova 23, Alli Ziehm 23, and Bri McCalla 22 also were invited to present. Congratulations to these outstanding students!





Feburary 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala steered several student projects that were accepted, presented, and recognized at a highly selective regional conference. The following Southwestern students traveled to Portland, Oregon, to present their research at the 2022 Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference hosted by the Western States Communication Association:

    • Maddie Brent  22 presented her paper “An Investigation into the Netflix Original Show ‘Love Is Blind’ and the Subversive Racism and Homophobia Perpetuated through the Production of Carlton Morton’s public ‘Coming Out’ Storyline.”
    • Emily Funk  23 presented her paper “Women and the Stars: Antifeminism in Critiques of Pop Astrology.”
    • Amanda Smith  23 presented her paper “The Invisible Labor of Fake Happy.”
    • Demi Tomasides  22 presented her paper “Othered: The Black and White Portrayal of Neurodiversity in ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’”
    • Caden Cox  23 won the Top Paper Award for his paper “Call Me by Your Name: Lil Nas X and Queerness in Rap and Pop.” 

    Southwestern students Nina Mitrofanova 23, Alli Ziehm 23, and Bri McCalla 22 also were invited to present. Congratulations to these outstanding students!





December 2021

  • The Department of Communication Studies took the National Communication Association (NCA) 107th Annual Convention by storm the weekend before Thanksgiving in Seattle. Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Rico Self, and Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar all presented research and participated in roundtable discussions on a variety of topics, including queer motherhood (Self), surveillance during transformative moments (Bahrainwala), comedy and social change (Renegar), and Cardi B (Moreira). In total, they participated in 12 different research presentations or discussions. 

     

    The faculty members also formed the cheering section when Moreira won the 2021 Bonnie Ritter Outstanding Feminist Book Award from NCA’s Feminist and Gender Studies Division and Self won the 2021 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. Because NCA is the largest professional organization for communication scholars, these presentations and awards designate an especially high level of achievement.

     





November 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira engaged in a number of activities at the 2021 National Communication Association Annual Convention in Seattle. She presented the following papers:

    • “‘Didn’t She Used to Sell that WAP?’: Cardi B, Clashing Femininities, and Political Discourse on Twitter” in a paper session sponsored by the Feminist and Gender Studies Division
    • “Leaving the Precarious Liberal Arts” in a paper session sponsored by the Economics, Communication, and Society Division

    Additionally, Moreira participated as a panelist in the following:

    • “Pandemic Parenthood: On Academia, Latina Motherhood, Exhaustion, and the Future,” a panel she cowrote with Raisa Alvarado that was cosponsored by the La Raza and Women’s caucuses
    • “Renewing a Commitment to Mentorship in La Raza Caucus,” an annual mentorship panel dedicated to Latina/o/x scholars in all stages of their careers

    Finally, Moreira completed her third and final year as the parliamentarian of the joint business meeting of the Latino/a Communication Studies Division and La Raza Caucus.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala’s article titled “Shithole Rhetorics” was the lead article in the August 2021 issue of the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication.





  • Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar  presented a paper titled “Figuring the Cost of Automobility: Roadside Car Crash Shrines as the Materialization of Collective Trauma” at the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic, and Mobility (T2M) 19th Annual Conference. The conference was hosted in Lisbon, Portugal, but conducted virtually from November 3–5. 





October 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala gave a guest talk at a graduate-level seminar in communication theory at the University of Nevada, Reno. Bahrainwala talked about the role of disability in anti-Muslim sentiment and anti-Blackness. Students read and responded to her “Blind Submission” article, which looks at bizarre videos of blindfolded Muslim men offering hugs to passersby.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira  has won the 2021 Bonnie Ritter Outstanding Feminist Book Award from the National Communication Association’s (NCA’s) Feminist and Gender Studies Division for her book Bitches Unleashed: Performance and Embodied Politics in Favela Funk  (Peter Lang, 2021). The annual award honors a recently published scholarly book in the field of communication that interrogates questions related to feminism, women studies, and gender. Moreira will be presented with the award in November at the NCA 107th Annual Convention in Seattle.





August 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira has won the 2021 Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender’s Anita Taylor Outstanding Award for her article “De-Whitening Intersectionality through Transfeminismo.”





  • Assistant Professor Rico Self has earned the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender’s Cheris Kramarae Outstanding Dissertation Award for his work “Ties that Bind: Black Familyness and the Politics of Contingent Coalitions.” This brings Self’s awards for his dissertation up to four, and that’s not including the 2021 RSA Dissertation Award Honorable Mention he just received.





July 2021

  • Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar presented a paper titled “Communicating with the Dead: Roadside Car Crash Shrines as Platforms for Bridging Time, Distance, and Mortality” at the Distant Communications Virtual Conference, hosted by Midlands4Cities and the Royal Historical Society, on July 21, 2021. This interdisciplinary conference based in the U.K. brought together international scholars interested in contextualizing the remote communication practices necessitated by the pandemic through historical antecedents and material-culture analogues for communicating across spatial, temporal, and cultural distance.





June 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Rico Self had a new essay published in the most recent version of Women’s Studies in Communication. “‘If You Cared about the People, You Would Have Cared about Me’: Constructing Black Trans Allyship in Chasing: Atlanta” draws on Self’s ongoing commitment to coalition building and trans communities.