Communication Studies

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

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.