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Area Faculty

Patricia Davis

Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of California at San Diego, 2009). Patricia Davis researches in the area of cultural studies, with a particular interest in the mechanics of public memory. Her dissertation examined how participants in Civil War reenactments accounted for their own public performances. Her work is more widely concerned with memory and heritage studies, race and representation, visual culture, critical gender studies, and popular culture.

Selected Courses Taught: Human Communication


Nathan Atkinson

Nathan Atkinson (Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, 2009) specializes in rhetorical studies, with particular attention to the manner in which visual images exert suasory influence in constituting public culture. His dissertation examined newsreel coverage of the first public test of the atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll, and he is currently revising the manuscript for book publication.

Selected Courses Taught: Atkinson coordinates the department's core curriculum media literacy course (SPCH 2050)



Michael Lane Bruner (a.k.a. M. Lane Bruner)

Dr. Bruner studies identity construction and political power, combining rhetorical theory, cultural theory, performance theory, and critical political philosophy.

Selected Courses Taught: Regularly teaches Argumentation & Persuasion at the undergraduate level, Issues and Perspectives in Communication Theory, and seminars on rhetorical and discourse theory at the graduate level.


David Cheshier

Chair of the Department of Communication

Selected Courses Taught:


James Darsey

Dr. Darsey is Professor of Communication, and a scholar of rhetorical theory, GLBT studies, and social movements.

Core Graduate Seminars Regularly Taught: Texts and Contexts; Research Methods in Communication; Rhetorical Criticism.



Mary E. Stuckey

Dr.Stuckey is focused on presidential communication and rhetoric, national identity, and strategic failures. 

Selected Courses Taught: Communication & Political Science


Tomasz Tabako

Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Northwestern University). Tomasz Tabako's research centers on the general theme of rhetoric and social change, with emphasis on various forms of state-sponsored distorted communication and, especially, numerous modes of resistance, including social movements.

Selected Courses Taught: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory and Criticism; Seminar on Metaphor; Argumentation; Persuasion in Society; Political Communication; and The Rhetoric of Protest


Carol Winkler

Dr. Winkler is a scholar of presidential foreign policy rhetoric, argumentation and debate, and visual communication.


Selected Courses Taught: Rhetoric & Politics, and Human Communication & Social Influence