Communication Studies

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

March 2024

  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala and SU students R’Yani Vaughn ’24 and Sydney Wahl ’24 attended the 2024 Western States Communication Association (WSCA) Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference in Reno, NV. Lamiyah supervised R’Yani and Sydney’s senior projects, which were anonymously reviewed and competitively selected for presentation: “Exploring Depictions of Black Motherhood in the Music Industry,” R’Yani Sydnee-LeChe’ Vaugn, and “From Samoan Warrior to American Traitor: The Media Framing Creations plus Exceptionalism, Nationalism, and Masculine Perfectionism Reactions that hanger the Course of Football Star Manti Te’o’s Life,” Sydney Lee Wahl. Senior scholars as well as the WSCA President themself spoke with these students and attempted to recruit them to their graduate programs. Congratulations to these impressive students!





February 2024

  • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Katharine Hodgdon has been appointed as a contributor for The Wall Street Journal’s Critical Thinking Resources publication. This resource summarizes articles appearing in the Journal and provides thought-provoking, free-response questions to be used for class discussions. Katharine’s contributions will focus on informative and persuasive communication techniques utilized by reporters and journalists to explain current events.





  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala gave an invited lecture at Arizona State University on January 16, 2023. The virtual talk discussed the role of the critic and public scholarship to graduate students in a Research Methods seminar.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira published the article, “Rhetorics of authentic hybridity and the racially mobile mestiça in ‘Girl from Rio,’” in the Quarterly Journal of Speech. The essay challenges common readings of Latinidad’s racial hybridity as a transgressive in-betweenness against the Black/white racial binary, focusing instead on how this rhetorical construction produces racial mobility, specifically toward whiteness. The Quarterly Journal of Speech is the field’s most prestigious journal, a peer-reviewed publication of the National Communication Association.





December 2023

  • Associate Professor and Chair of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala (LB) attended the 2023 National Communication Association conference, the discipline’s flagship conference, in National Harbor, MD:

    1. LB presented on three panels: a roundtable discussion on extractivism and energy justice, a roundtable discussion on the “bamboo ceiling” about challenges undercutting Asian scholars, and a co-authored-paper presentation on de-whitening consent amidst COVID-19 rhetoric.
    2. LB received a Top Paper Award for her co-authored paper from the Critical/Cultural Studies Division.
    3. LB assumed responsibility as elected Vice Chair of the Feminist and Gender Studies Division and will plan the division’s NCA Program for 2024.
    4. LB chaired a panel on misogyny in international media.




    • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira participated in the following activities at the National Communication Association Annual Conference in National Harbor, MD, on November 15–19:
    1. Presented on the necessity to decolonize childhood in the panel, “Intimate Freedoms: Building Decolonial Relations across Communicative Contexts.”
    2. Presented on rethinking and rebuilding gendered and racialized structures in the panel, “Comadrisma Collective: Envisioning and Co-creating Communities of Care.”
    3. Participated as an invited scholar in NCA’s Scholars’ Office Hours.
    4. Participated as a mentor in La Raza’s Mentorship Gathering.
    5. Chaired the NCA Mentorship and Leadership Council business meeting.
    6. Responded to four papers in the session, “Narratives on Race, Nation, Masculinity, Anti-Blackness, and Fat-Phobia.”
    7. Participated in both the NCA Executive Community and the Legislative Assembly meetings as a voting member.




October 2023

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira has published the chapter, “Dragging White Femininity: Race and Gender Inauthenticity on Instagram,” in The Routledge Handbook of Ethnicity and Race in Communication, published in October 2023. The link to the full table of contents can be found here.





September 2023

  • Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar has published an article titled “Roadside Media: Roadside Crash Shrines as Platforms for Communicating Across Time, Space, and Mortality in the Early 2000s United States” in Cultural and Social History, The Journal of the Social History Society. The article traces the recent history of roadside shrines to show that they are not only entangled with other contemporary media forms but have also developed into miniaturized and materialized social media platforms. The article officially comes out in print later this winter and is now available here.





  • Chair and Associate Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala (LB) published a new article titled “De-whitening consent amidst COVID-19 rhetoric” with her co-author Dr. Kate Lockwood Harris (UMN). This article appears in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, the #1 ranked journal in rhetoric. It discusses how existing consent rhetorics are constituted against the specter of Black Muslim women and calls for a de-whitening of consent norms by building on lessons learned from COVID-19. You can read more here.





  • Associate Professor and Chair of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala (LB) published an invited chapter titled “Critical surveillance studies: Living ethically in a surveillant world.” It appears in the textbook “Introduction to Communication Studies: Translating Communication Scholarship into Meaningful Practice” published by Kendall Hunt. Read more here





August 2023

  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala has been selected to present on a “Top Paper Panel” at the 2023 National Communication Association conference. Her paper, co-authored with Dr. Kate Lockwood Harris, is titled “De-Whitening Consent Amidst COVID-19 Rhetoric” and examines how the r/ejection of Black Muslim women foundationalizes discourse on bodily autonomy and social distancing.





  • Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar visited Queens University, a liberal arts school in Charlotte, North Carolina, to conduct an academic program review of the undergraduate programs in the Knight School of Communication.





July 2023

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira published the essay, “‘Didn’t She Used to Sell That WAP?’: Cardi B, Clashing Femininities, and Citizenship,” in Women’s Studies in Communication. The article argues that conservative reactions to Cardi B’s performances of racialized and classed femininity on Twitter, especially from right-wing cisgender women, aimed to put the rapper “in her place,” which is outside of politics and in opposition to (white) American values. Even though Cardi B’s working-class Black femininity places her outside of discourses of normative U.S. citizenship and meritocracy, the rapper “makes herself at home” by engaging in civic practices regardless of the classist misogynoir directed at her. The article is available here.





May 2023

  • Teddy Hoffman ’24 presented a paper at the Communicating Diversity Conference at Texas A&M University on May 6, 2023. Her paper, “Resisting Geographies of Fear and Enacting a Safer World: Solo Female Travel Influencers and their Rhetorical Constructions,” was supervised by Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar. The paper received one of only two Top Undergraduate Paper prizes awarded at the conference.





  • Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar presented work related to her ongoing research program on step-mothering rhetoric in a paper about Kamala Harris at the 6th Days of Ivo Škarić in Postira, Croatia, last week. This conference drew notable rhetorical scholars from eight countries together for four days of presentations. The conference also included field trips to cultural sites on the island.





April 2023

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira received the Innovator Award for Most Outstanding Book from the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Caucus at the Central States Communication Association Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO, for her monograph, Bitches Unleashed: Performance and Embodied Politics in Favela Funk. At the conference, Moreira also presented the paper “The Right Girl from Rio: Anita’s Crossover and Latinidad’s Whiteness” and participated in the panel discussion “Effective Inclusive Pedagogical Practices by and for Silenced Voices.”





  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala gave an invited virtual talk on March 22 at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities on the topic of feminist collaboration. Bahrainwala spoke with graduate students in the seminar “Feminist Organizing” about possibilities for coalition building and the settler contours of “breaking ground” ideology in the academy.





March 2023

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala steered several student projects that were presented and recognized at a highly selective regional conference. Five Southwestern students traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, to present their research at the 2023 Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference hosted by the Western States Communication Association. This marks the third conference Bahrainwala has mentored her students through. Faculty reviewers and the conference Chair commended the students afterward and attempted to recruit them to their graduate programs. These outstanding students also swept the awards, winning three out of the four Top Paper Awards presented at this conference. Katie Love ’23 won a Top Paper Award for her paper “It’s About Damn Time: Lizzo’s Impact on Fat Identity, Fat Celebrity, and Societal Perceptions of Fatness.” Preston Willis ’23 won a Top Paper Award for his paper “Queer Icons & Queering Iconography: Lady Gaga’s Liberal Use of Religion in Born This Way.” Jenna Baird ’23 presented her paper “The Animalization of Blackness within Disney’s Animated Films: New Imagined Ways of Being Racist.” Jordan Preston ’23 won a Top Paper Award for her paper “Miley Cyrus: White Feminism and Queernormativity in Contemporary Pop Culture.” Caden Cox ’23 presented his paper “Shaping Your Type: How Dating Apps Effect and Influence Queer Relationships For Men.” This is the second time Cox was invited to present at this conference and received a Top Paper Award from this conference last year. Southwestern students Nina Mitrofanova ’23 and Alli Ziehm ’23 were also invited to present. Congratulations to these outstanding students!





Feburary 2023

  • Professor of Communications Studies Valerie Renegar and Kristi Cole co-edited the book Refiguring Motherhood Beyond Biology, which was published this month. The book features essays that challenge the biological expectations of motherhood and features work by communication, rhetoric, and motherhood scholars across the country, including Southwestern’s Renegar, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala, Professor of Spanish Katy Ross, and her student Bailey Barlow ’23.





December 2022

  • Associate Professor of Feminist Studies Brenda Sendejo and Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala attended the El Mundo Zurdo conference for the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa at the University of Texas at San Antonio from November 4-5. The roundtable that Bahrainwala and Sendejo co-organized was titled “Reflections on Radical Love, Care, and Consent: How Anzaldúa Informs Our Liberatory Praxis.” Bahrainwala presented “Pandemic lessons: Consent as anti-Racism,” and Sendejo presented “Movidas of Healing: The Spirit Work of Movement Era Chicanas.” The roundtable was well attended by lead scholars in the field of Anzaldúan Thought.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala was an invited virtual speaker at the University of Nevada, Reno in an undergraduate seminar on New Media. The talk focused on feminist surveillance studies and surveillance ecosystems in public spaces built for children.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala attended the National Communication Association Convention in New Orleans from November 16-19, during which time she received a Distinguished Scholarship Award for Top Article from the International and Intercultural Communication Division. Bahrainwala organized, chaired, and presented on a panel titled Queer Desi Kinship, exploring how queering the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan offers non-Western lessons towards queer scholarship, and fulfilled her commitments as Second Vice-Chair of the Feminist and Women Studies Division.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala was an invited virtual speaker at Arizona State University in the graduate seminar Rhetorical Methods. Students read two of Bahrainwala’s publications on equity work in the academy, and her talk focused on the role of critic in rhetorical criticism and maintaining energy while doing the difficult labor of critiquing inequitable structures.





November 2022

    • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira engaged in a number of activities at the 2022 National Communication Association (NCA) Annual Convention in New Orleans. Moreira received the International and Intercultural Communication Division’s Best Book Award for Bitches Unleashed: Performance and Embodied Politics in Favela Funk. Additionally, she presented the following papers:

     

    1. “Mestiçagem and Racial spatiality in Anitta’s ‘Girl from Rio,’” co-planned paper session with Texas AM’s Dr. Bryce Henderson and sponsored by the Critical and Cultural Studies Division.
    2. “Dragging White Femininity: Pabllo Vittar’s Performances of Gender and Race on Instagram,” paper session sponsored by the GLBTQ Communication Studies Division.
    3. “Communication Needs Transfeminismo: How a Brazilian Political and Epistemological Movement Can Help Decolonize Our Discipline,” presented in Portuguese for a multilingual panel about structural violence sponsored by NCA’s First Vice President.

     

    Finally, Moreira participated as a panelist in the following:

     

    1. “Spotlight on Scholarship: New Books in Latina/o/x Communication Studies,” sponsored by NCA’s First Vice President.
    2. “Publishing Race Scholarship in Communication Studies: Challenges Faced by Scholars of Color and/or International Scholars in the Field,” sponsored by NCA’s First Vice President.
    3. “Latinx Faculty: Finding our PLACE in Predominantly White Institutions,” sponsored by the La Raza Caucus.
    4. “The Future of the La Raza Caucus: An Open Forum,” a session co-chaired with Dr. Michelle Holling and sponsored by the La Raza Caucus.
    5. “Shared Governance as a Place for Advocacy: Examining How the Neoliberal University is Dismantling Community Deliberation,” sponsored by the Association for Communication Administration.







  • Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar published an article titled “Trauma Remains: The Material Afterlives of the 1989 Alton School Bus Crash,” in the October 2022 issue of the Journal of Material Culture. The article analyzes the ways a large roadside shrine in South Texas where 21 middle and high school students were killed in a crash in 1989 continues to quietly but forcefully reverberate as a site of collective trauma more than thirty years later.





August 2022

  • Associate Professor of Education Alicia Moore and Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala were invited to speak on a parent-education panel for Child’s Day, a child development center in Austin, on the topic of talking to children about race. The well-attended panel, which featured K–12 educators and organizers, continued Moore’s and Bahrainwala’s public-education efforts on inclusion work.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala received the 2022 Fellows’ Early Career Award from the Rhetoric Society of America. This award is presented each year to a scholar who has contributed significant, innovative, boundary-expanding research to the discipline. The nomination pool included tenured and associate professors and typically goes to scholars at research-leading institutions.





June 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Raquel Moreira was interviewed and quoted as an expert source for an Los Angeles Timesprofile featuring Brazilian pop star Anitta, who is set to perform at LA Pride 2022. 





May 2022

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala supervised four student projects presented at the Communicating Diversity Student Conference 2022 hosted by Texas A&M University. Congratulations to the following scholars:

    • Mary Smith  ’23: “Hegemonic Masculinity and Duke Cannon Supply Co.”
    • Preston Willis  ’23: “‘Taylor Swift Doesn’t Write Her Own Music’: Discourse On Women’s Ownership, Androcentrism in the Music Industry, and the Emergence of Swiftian Feminism”
    • Katie Love  ’23: “Play it Again: The Story Behind Taylor Swift’s Re-recordings and Professional Heartbreak”
    • Jessica Bettis  ’23: “Tragedy at Astroworld: How Unintentional Loss Makes an Impact”




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.





May 2021

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Rico Self won the Louisiana State University Department of Women and Gender Studies Outstanding Dissertation Award for 2020–2021. His dissertation, “Ties That Bind: Black Familyness and the Politics of Contingent Coalitions,” explores a range of Black coalitions from rhetorical, queer, and gender dimensions. 





  • Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the following awards:

    • 2021 Teaching Awards
      • Tenured: Associate Professor of Education Alicia Moore
      • Tenure-track: Assistant Professor of Business Gabriela Flores
      • Visiting, part-time, and staff with faculty rank: Director of General Chemistry Labs Willis Weigand
    • 2021 Jesse E. Purdy Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Works Award
      • Tenured: Associate Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar
      • Tenure-track: Assistant Professor of History Joseph Hower
    • 2021 Excellence in Advising Award
      • Professor of Spanish Laura Senio Blair




January 2021

  • The Communication Studies Department was well represented at this year’s (virtual) National Communication Association Conference. Assistant Professor Rico Self gave several talks about Black femininity and anti-Black stereotyping in addition to chairing two panels and receiving a Top Paper Award in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Communication Studies Division (woot!) for his coauthored paper “BbyMutha’s Readings as Black Queer Feminine Refusal.” Assistant Professor Lamiyah Bahrainwala (LB) gave two talks about rock-star fascism and menstrual surveillance in nonwhite contexts. Associate Professor Valerie Renegar gave a talk on coauthoring and collaborative scholarship in rhetorical studies. Overall, much knowledge was dropped.





September 2020

  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala (LB) published the article “Shithole Rhetorics” in the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication. LB has been preoccupied with potties, and it turns out that toileting discourse suffuses anti-immigrant, antidisability, antiqueer and anti-Muslim rhetorics. She apologizes for the profanity in the title, but it is a direct quote.





August 2020

  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar  has had his book Road Scars: Place, Automobility, and Road Trauma  published by Rowman & Littlefield in their Place, Memory, Affect  series. The book, which argues that roadside car crash shrines visually, materially, and spatially demonstrate an unresolved cultural trauma embedded within American car culture, is based on nearly two decades of fieldwork in the Southwestern U.S. and features 172 original color photographs.





July 2020

  • Cargill Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Education Alicia Moore and Margarett Root Brown Chair in Fine Arts and Professor of Music Michael Cooper collaborated with pianist Lara Downes to produce a crowdsourced recitation of the Civil Rights “Credo” of W. E. B. Du Bois for the podcast We Need Gentle Truths for Now, hosted by Alexandra Juhasz. Seven SU faculty and staff (Part-Time Instructor of Applied Music Adrienne Inglis, Associate Professor of Music Jason Hoogerhyde, Professor of Music Kiyoshi Tamagawa, Professor of Music Lois Ferrari, Sarofim School of Fine Arts Coordinator Olivia Wise, Assistant Dean for Student Multicultural Affairs Terri Johnson, and Associate Professor of Communication Studies Valerie Renegar), three current students (Alexis Lemus ’22, Grace Sexton ’22, and Shelby Avants ’21), and six alumnae (Erin McHugh ’09, Isabel Tweraser ’19, Julia Fowler ’15, Katiebeth Brandt ’19, Kinley Johnson ’17, and Sara Watson ’13) participated in the recitation, along with 25 other participants Black and white, ages 5 to 81, from the Americas and Europe, representing four native languages. The podcast is available here. The recitation is also available as a YouTube video titled “Testimony: A #BlackLivesMatter Manifesto after the Credo of W.E.B. Du Bois,” here.





June 2020

  • Part-Time Instructor of Communication Studies Katie Bradford has completed a Ph.D. in Communication Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation, “Moving between the Conversation ‘at Hand’ and the ‘Handheld’ Conversation: Participation in Family Dinners with Smartphones,” investigates how people incorporate technology into their face-to-face interactions. Her research responds to contemporary concerns about smartphones and their impact on communication—and is novel because it is based on an analysis of video-recorded natural conversational data, not just surveys or observations.





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala (LB)  published the article “Precarity, Citizenship, and the ‘Traditional’ Student” in the journal Communication Education  some time this spring, when she had already stopped using a calendar. She is grateful to the Southwestern students who educated her about what their precarities look like. If you feel at all inclined to read it, LB suggests waiting until you are in a good place emotionally.





January 2020

  • Associate Professor of Communication Studies Bob Bednar presented a paper titled “Trauma Remains: The Material Temporalities of Objects Placed at Roadside Crash Shrines” at the Material Temporalities Workshop at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, in Göttingen, Germany, on January 23–24, 2020. 





  • Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Lamiyah Bahrainwala (LB) published a chapter titled “Visible Allies and Muslim Inclusion” in the book Academic Labor beyond the College Classroom: Working for Our Values(edited by Holly Hassel and Kirsti Cole). The chapter discusses the Muslims in Academia Symposium that took place at Southwestern in spring 2019.