Bob Bednar

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.

—November 2022

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.

—April 2022

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. 

—November 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.

—July 2021

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
—May 2021