Tuesday, September 20, 2016






Dr. Diana Carlin Pierron was the keynote speaker Monday evening, September 19 on the subject: The 2016 Presidential Race: Voter Anger, History Making, the Debates, and What it All Means--Well, Maybe." Diana is a national expert in Presidential debates and founder of DebateWatch. She spoke to a crowd of 400 and helped them prepare for the upcoming 2016 presidential debates. Diana is a 1985 doctoral graduate from our department.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Job Announcement


                                                                                                                                                 
        Department of Communication Studies, 432 Oldfather Hall, Lincoln NE 68588-0329, (402) 472-2069,  comm.unl.edu

Job Announcement 2016-2017
Department of Communication Studies
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Assistant Professor, Rhetoric of Identity and Difference

Duties and Responsibilities:
The Department of Communication Studies seeks a tenure-track assistant professor beginning August 14, 2017, focused in Rhetoric of Identity and Difference. We seek a humanities scholar, strongly grounded in the public address tradition of rhetorical studies, focused on the relationship between civic discourse, identity, and historically marginalized groups in civic life. Scholarly expertise may include, but is not limited to, rhetorics of identity, power, and difference in public argument, discourses of gender, sexuality, race, and class in contemporary political discourse, or the role of rhetoric in enabling and constraining the development of citizens’ voice. Candidates will be expected to contribute to the department’s interdisciplinary ties and connect with strategic research initiatives/priorities on campus, depending on research foci, e.g., Women’s and Gender Studies, Institute for Ethnic Studies, Digital Humanities, and Nebraska Public Policy Center.

Minimum Qualifications:
A Ph.D. in Communication Studies is required by the time the appointment begins. Applicants must demonstrate ability to conduct an active program of research in rhetoric and civic engagement, teach undergraduate and graduate courses, advise graduate students, and provide professional service.

Applicants’ research should complement the department’s scholarly initiatives aimed at understanding and explaining the role of communication in Civic Engagement (facilitating civic engagement, mediating public controversies, and organizing for social change), Health and Well-being  (constituting individual and family health, promoting healthy behaviors, and helping persons navigate relational challenges), and Identity and Difference (creating, maintaining, and challenging personal, social, and community identity in a complex and diverse world), and share the department’s strong commitment to the synergistic integration of humanities and social science scholarship. Candidates will be expected to contribute to the department’s interdisciplinary ties and connect with strategic research initiatives/priorities on campus, depending on research foci, e.g., Women’s and Gender Studies, Institute for Ethnic Studies, Digital Humanities, and Nebraska Public Policy Center.

The Department:
The Department of Communication Studies, housed in the College of Arts & Sciences, has a long tradition of excellence in research, teaching, and service. The successful candidate will join a faculty offering graduate emphases in Interpersonal, Family, and Intergroup Communication and Rhetoric and Public Culture, with a strong commitment to the synergistic integration of humanities and social science scholarship. The department enrolls over 2,700 students per semester in graduate and undergraduate courses, including 200 majors earning the B.A./B.S. degree. The department offers a Ph.D. and M.A. in Communication Studies, funding 21-23 graduate students per year.

The University and Community:
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with 26,000 students, is located in the state capital.  Lincoln and the surrounding community has a population of approximately 315,000 and enjoys many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community. The city has a flourishing economy with large employment sectors in education, government, health care, banking, insurance, and technology. Lincoln has first-rate schools, a wonderful park and trail system, museums, and affordable housing. Recent development includes a new entertainment district next to campus and downtown. The Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area (pop. 895,000) is 45 minutes away offering additional recreational and entertainment opportunities and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Application:
In order to ensure consideration, applications must be received by September 25, 2016. To apply, (1) log on to this site: http://employment.unl.edu requisition # F_160188 and complete the Faculty/Administrative Information form, submit an online letter of application addressing the candidate’s match with the required qualifications, a Curriculum Vitae (including a list of courses taught), and the names, addresses, and email addresses of at least three references to this site; (2) send as attachments electronically to commstudiessearch@unl.edu samples of recent scholarly work, evidence of teaching effectiveness and, (3) have sent to commstudiessearch@unl.edu a minimum of three letters of reference sent directly from the letter writers.


Inquiries about the position or search process should be made to Dr. Ronald Lee (rlee1@unl.edu), Search Committee Chair. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is committed to a pluralistic campus community through affirmative action, equal opportunity, work-life balance, and dual careers. See http://www.unl.edu/equity/notice-nondiscrimination.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Job Announcement

                                                                                                                                                                  
        Department of Communication Studies, 432 Oldfather Hall, Lincoln NE 68588-0329, (402) 472-2069,  comm.unl.edu

Job Announcement 2016-2017
Department of Communication Studies
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Assistant or Associate Professor, Rhetoric and Civic Engagement

Duties and Responsibilities:
The Department of Communication Studies seeks a tenure-track assistant or associate professor beginning August 14, 2017, focused in Rhetoric and Civic Engagement. We seek a humanities scholar, strongly grounded in the rhetorical tradition and critical methods, who studies the role of rhetoric, media, and civic life. We are especially interested in scholars who explore the role of digital communication and/or new media in public discourse. Scholarly expertise may include, but is not limited to, the relationship between public discourse and civic culture, including topics such as public deliberation or engaging stakeholders in community consensus-building, and/or on the use of new media to spark citizenship practices and engagement across social divides.

Minimum Qualifications:
A Ph.D. in Communication Studies is required by the time the appointment begins. Applicants must demonstrate ability to conduct an active program of research in rhetoric and civic engagement, teach undergraduate and graduate courses, advise graduate students, and provide professional service.

Applicants’ research should complement the department’s scholarly initiatives aimed at understanding and explaining the role of communication in Civic Engagement (facilitating civic engagement, mediating public controversies, and organizing for social change), Health and Well-being  (constituting individual and family health, promoting healthy behaviors, and helping persons navigate relational challenges), and Identity and Difference (creating, maintaining, and challenging personal, social, and community identity in a complex and diverse world), and share the department’s strong commitment to the synergistic integration of humanities and social science scholarship. For a senior hire, a demonstrated ability to pursue external funding is desired. Candidates will be expected to contribute to the department’s interdisciplinary ties and connect with strategic research initiatives/priorities on campus, depending on research foci, e.g., Center for Civic Engagement, Digital Humanities, Nebraska Public Policy Center, Institute for Ethnic Studies, Environmental Studies.

The Department:
The Department of Communication Studies, housed in the College of Arts & Sciences, has a long tradition of excellence in research, teaching, and service. The successful candidate will join a faculty offering graduate emphases in Interpersonal, Family, and Intergroup Communication and Rhetoric and Public Culture, with a strong commitment to the synergistic integration of humanities and social science scholarship. The department enrolls over 2,700 students per semester in graduate and undergraduate courses, including 200 majors earning the B.A./B.S. degree. The department offers a Ph.D. and M.A. in Communication Studies, funding 21-23 graduate students per year.

The University and Community:
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with 26,000 students, is located in the state capital.  Lincoln and the surrounding community has a population of approximately 315,000 and enjoys many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community. The city has a flourishing economy with large employment sectors in education, government, health care, banking, insurance, and technology. Lincoln has first-rate schools, a wonderful park and trail system, museums, and affordable housing. Recent development includes a new entertainment district next to campus and downtown. The Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area (pop. 895,000) is 45 minutes away offering additional recreational and entertainment opportunities and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Application:
In order to ensure consideration, applications must be received by September 25, 2016. To apply, (1) log on to this site: http://employment.unl.edu requisition # F_160187 and complete the Faculty/Administrative Information form, submit an online letter of application addressing the candidate’s match with the required qualifications, a Curriculum Vitae (including a li   st of courses taught), and the names, addresses, and email addresses of at least three references to this site; (2) send as attachments electronically to commstudiessearch@unl.edu samples of recent scholarly work, evidence of teaching effectiveness and, (3) have sent to commstudiessearch@unl.edu a minimum of three letters of reference sent directly from the letter writers.

Inquiries about the position or search process should be made to Dr. Ronald Lee (rlee1@unl.edu), Search Committee Chair. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is committed to a pluralistic campus community through affirmative action, equal opportunity, work-life balance, and dual careers. See http://www.unl.edu/equity/notice-nondiscrimination.






Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kaitlin Phillips Receives Presidential Graduate Fellowship

UNL’s Department of Communication Studies is delighted to congratulate Doctoral Candidate Kaitlin Phillips on receiving one of the select University of Nebraska system-wide Presidential Graduate Fellowships for 2016-17. Dr. Dawn O. Braithwaite, Communication Studies Department Chair observed, “Kaitlin is incredibly deserving of this honor and we are delighted that her work has been recognized with this award. The fellowship will allow Kaitlin to pursue her dissertation work full-time this academic year.”  http://comm.unl.edu/phillips-receives-graduate-fellowship

Friday, June 17, 2016

Aleah Peters: Miss Nebraska

UNL Department of Communication Studies congratulates our recent graduate, Aleah Peters who has been named Miss Nebraska. As part of her duties, Aleah will travel across the state to share her platform entitled, “Cyberbullying Prevention: Make Kindness Viral.”  She will speak at many schools throughout the state.  As Aleah expressed to us, “I really enjoyed majoring in Communication Studies and learning how to communicate, advocate, negotiate, and educate. Public speaking is a major component of my job and I look forward to using all of the skills I've learned at UNL!” Congratulations Aleah!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Communication Studies students selected to Phi Beta Kappa

The Department of Communication Studies congratulates Reagan Jones and Geoffrey Ledbetter, who were initiated into the select Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Phi Beta Kappa chapters appear in only about 10% is universities and selection is very competitive. PBK includes 17 U.S. Presidents, 37 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and 136 Nobel Laureates.  Congrats to Regan and Geoff!


Change the Talk

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Communication Studies is proud of the research in action by Dr. Amanda Holman, Assistant Professor of Communication at Creighton University. She is creating public service announcements entitled, “Change the Talk” with local high school students on having "the talk" with their parents. The project is based on her doctoral dissertation earned in 2014.



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Make Yourself Meme

Richard Dawkins (2006) created the term “meme” as a way of describing how culture is transmitted. Memes are key to this transmission through sharing and longevity. The concept of meme grew in an online presence (Shifman, 2009).

When the word meme began gaining popularity, I (embarrassingly) thought it was “Me – Me” because the memes were all about me. There were “25 Things about Me” and “Four Questions about Me” notes in Facebook (remember those?). Then there was “Gratuitous Picture of Yourself Wednesday” (Thanks, Tumblr!).  Famous bloggers posted their first memes. A coloring book was made. 

Recently, Colin McGinn discusses the role of memes in his New York Times article, Memes, Dreams & Themes. McGinn argues that memes spread like a virus through each other’s minds. When we have a commercial jingle or pop song stuck in our head, it’s a meme. Memes are not always silly – they are closely related to culture. Memes spread culture and ideas. They can spread art, ideologies, and unwritten rules.

McGinn asks us to consider the difference between memes (those that are “mentally manipulated”) and those that are themes (those that are “genuinely good,” like, say, the oxford comma). Intermixed within the question, is another question to consider: if a meme spreads, who is to say it’s not good?  Perhaps Gratuitous Picture of Yourself Wednesday (GPOYW) isn’t actually gratuitous, but these photos may be empowering or expressive. Is determining the value of a meme similar to determining the value of art?

I think the bigger question to the value of a meme lies at an exterior level: How are memes spreading? What makes a meme circulate? Memetic and cultural circulation seem closely linked to engagement, emotion, and creativity of the audience.

Likewise, literature about memorable messages tell us the ideas that stick are closely related to individual emotion and relatability (or recognition) in addition to an audience and value. These characteristics are linked to storytelling as a way of generating meaning. When your idea or product sits within a narrative or you can place it in your own narrative, ideas and memes can stick and spread.


And this is important, because marketing your selfie means people have to notice it.

--Janell Walther 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Final Project for COMM 354

Students in Dr. Angela Palmer-Wackerly's COMM 354, Health Communication, course produced this video as part of a final project that asked them to produce a health campaign.



Look familiar?