Research interests of the faculty and graduate students in the department include:
- Rhetorical analysis and criticism of discourse in historical, political, and cultural contexts;
- The role of communication in organizations, professions, and groups, including organizational communication systems, organizational representation, crisis communication, superior-subordinate-coworker communication, health communication systems, conflict management, interpersonal and professional relationships, and small group communication and decision-making;
- Performance studies, storytelling, performance art, literary and performance theory and criticism, intertextuality, and literary and rhetorical applications of narrative theory;
- Interpersonal communication, relational communication, communication and aging, gender and communication, health communication, computer mediated communication, interpersonal conflict, and interpersonal influence;
- Critical studies of gender, sexuality, and race;
- Feminist theory and criticism, queer studies, race and public culture, and Latina/o studies;
- Communication pedagogy; and
- Critical and cultural studies of communication; cultural values, ideologies, and politics.
The department supports the following spaces to facilitate faculty and graduate student research:
Black Box Theatre/Performance Space--General Academic Building 321
The black box theatre is utilized by the department's performance studies faculty for performance studies research, teaching, individual and group performances by faculty and students, and meetings of the Performance Interest Group. The theatre has recently been equipped with lighting and sound equipment to facilitate production work.
Communication and Social Influence Research Office--General Academic Building 327
Faculty, graduate students, and research assistants utilize this department research office for various activities related to research projects, including the collection and analysis of data. Research supplies available for use in this space include transcription machines, video recorders, digital voice recorders (with phone recording capabilities), TV, VCR DVD player and a computer (primarily for data collection). This office also houses a large, comfortable work space that can be configured in a variety of ways for data collection.
Communication Studies Library--General Academic Building 301
The Communication Studies library houses an extensive collection of journals, books and theses. There are also computers available for online research, as well as a copier to be used for copying out of library materials only. It is utilized by undergraduate and graduate Communication Studies students for various research projects and assignments. The library is staffed part-time with Communication Studies student employees who are available to assist students with finding and using research materials.
Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) Lab--General Academic Building 318
Computer Mediated Communication is among the fastest growing research areas in the communication studies discipline. The CMC lab is the department's newest research space. The department acquired the lab to facilitate the research of Dr. Zuoming Wang, who specializes in computer mediated communication. The lab may also be used by other faculty members and graduate students who wish to gather CMC research data.