Communication Studies

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

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.





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.