Communication Studies, University of Minnesota

The UMN Dept. of Communication Studies continues a rich heritage of research, teaching, & service.

In Fall 2022 (8/29-12/22), the Department of Communication Studies office is open Monday to Friday 8 AM-4:30 PM. (On Friday, staff members work remotely and can be reached through emails).

Operating as usual

Explaining the political rhetoric of abortion ‘bans’ 05/20/2024

Rhetoric is not just words or talks. It shapes our world and structures our understanding of reality. As we fight for social justice, it is important to recognize how the language we use creates possibilities and limitations in everyday life.

Dr. Emily Winderman is featured at PolitiFact to examine the meanings and impacts of abortion bans.

"Emily Winderman, a University of Minnesota professor specializing in the rhetorical study of health and medicine, said that over time abortion "bans" have manifested as "incremental" restrictions throughout gestational development to the complete prohibitions seen in multiple states today.

For instance, she said, "heartbeat bills," which typically refer to laws that make abortion illegal as early as six weeks of pregnancy, were controversial when they emerged around 2010, but have become more prevalent since the Trump administration and Roe’s overturning.

Winderman also said bans can appear via code and ordinance restrictions, such as banning the type of use for a particular piece of real estate — making abortion clinics impossible to place.

"It's important to understand bans as a complex strategy that includes gestational limits as well as limitations on who can provide care and where," she said. "

Explaining the political rhetoric of abortion ‘bans’ Ban: Merriam-Webster defines it as "a legal or formal prohibition." But in the 2024 election cycle — the first general e


As you contemplate how our language shapes our world and worldview, consider taking COMM 8611: Survey of Rhetorical Theory in Fall 2024.

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 04/26/2024

As Spring 2024 comes to an end, we held our end-of-semester get-together today to remember what we have accomplished together. What an amazing year!

Thank you!

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 04/24/2024

Dear 2024 graduating seniors: Congratulations on completing your work at the University of Minnesota! We in the Communication Studies Department are very happy for you. 🥳

As a Communication Studies major you may want a memento of your time here; if so, we've got you covered! Each of you can pick up your congratulatory Communication Studies mug in the main office of Ford Hall, Room 225. Stop by between 8:30AM-4PM!

We are proud of you and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 04/19/2024

We are excited to host the Inaugural Speaker, Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, for the Karlyn Kohrs Campbell Speaker Series.

Dr. Jamieson argues that conspiracy theories are bound together as a genre not only by a constellation of forms that recur in each but also by distinctive ways in which their adherents invest the theory with confirmatory evidence, protect it from falsification, and deploy it as a means of tribal identification.

Drawing on the rhetoric of Donald Trump and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Jamieson explores the ways in which the conspiratorial genre shifts presumption and weaves post hoc ergo propter hoc inferences into evocative, unfalsifiable narratives that add purpose to the lives of those who embrace it.

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 04/16/2024

In 2023, the Department of Communication Studies received a competitive DEI grant to build infrastructures that are supportive, inclusive, and compassionate. One of the projects, spearheaded by our graduate students (i.e., Emily Scroggins, Jack Lassiter, Noelle Craveiro, Shelby Limbach, and Saumya Malhotra) and supported by Dr. Emily Winderman and Dr. Kate Lockwood Harris, is to hold a DEI symposium that focuses on DEI pedagogical training and practices.

The symposium came to fruition on April 12, 2024. This is a result of collaborative efforts and reflects our collective vision of community building. We could not be more proud to see the lively discussions and determined compassion that believe we can always do better.


Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson (University of Pennsylvania) will present the inaugural lecture for the Karlyn Kohrs Campbell Speaker Series, hosted by the Communication Studies, University of Minnesota, on Friday, April 19.

Drawing on the rhetoric of Donald Trump and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Jamieson will explore the ways in which the conspiratorial genre shifts presumption and weaves post hoc ergo propter hoc inferences into evocative, unfalsifiable narratives that add purpose to the lives of those who embrace it.



Next Wednesday the School of Communications is hosting the Robert Mayberry Lecture! Dr. Atilla Hallsby will be talking about secrecy and its many effects on society. The event is free so come enjoy an amazing discussion!

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 04/05/2024

In today's FNR, Dr. Paul Elliot Johnson from the University of Pittsburgh shared his recent book, "I The People" (University of Alabama Press, 2022).

Dr. Johnson explored key inflection points in the development of populist conservatism, including its manifestation in the racially charged presidential election of 1964, its consolidation at the height of Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign in 1984, and its character in successive moments that saw its fortunes wax and wane, including 1994, the Obama era, and the rise of Donald J. Trump. Theorizing conservative populism as a rhetorical form, Dr. Johnson advances scholarship about populism away from a binary ideological framework while offering a useful lens for contextualizing scholarship on American conservatism. I The People emphasizes that the populist roots of conservative hegemony exercise a powerful constraining force on conservative intellectuals, whose power to shape and control the movement to which they belong is circumscribed by the form of its public-facing appeals.


Today, our FNR speaker Miquel Tahmoressi, doctoral candidate at Communication Studies, joins us from the Netherlands to discuss his research on environmental communication, focusing on issues related to transportation. In his dissertation, he explores how the bicycle as a communication tool creates opportunities for community-building.

Miquel started his position as a guest researcher at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands in Fall 2023. He will continue his work there till the end of 2024. He is a member of the Civil Engineering Department's Smart Public Transport Lab. According to , “an independent metric-based ranking of 14,131 universities from 183 countries,” TU Delft Civil Engineering Department is rated second in the world.

This is what Miquel explained about his experience:
I am honored to be able to represent the UMN Communication Studies Department in an international collaboration with Technical University Delft Smart Public Transport Lab and Vervo Reggio Amsterdam, the transportation authority for the Amsterdam region. I have been working on the following project, Advancing Socially Inclusive Mobility in the Amsterdam Transport Region. I work with Professor Niels Van Ort Associate Professor and Smart Public Transport Lab Co-Director, along with Matthew Bruno PhD. I conduct interdisciplinary research into the transportation experiences of nonwestern migrants and children of migrants. My research extends beyond the bicycle as a transportation mode in and of itself. Instead, I analyze how the bicycle as a communication tool grants people an understanding of the transportation system as a whole, including the ability to connect with public transportation. I will be partnering with organizations that teach cycling lessons to newly migrated people like Mama Agatha’s Motivation and Integration Foundation.My work in this project connects the UMN Communication Studies Department with a European partner. This international collaboration will produce outputs which include a coauthored journal article and research presentations at both Technical University Delft and University of Minnesota transportation engineering departments.


Have you thought about joining the speech and debate programs at the University of Minnesota? Check out the report at MN Daily:

The Minnesota Forensics Team, a co-curricular program sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Communication Studies, was born after the University of Minnesota consolidated its speech and debate programs.

Team members represent the University at nationwide speech and debate events, have classroom and campus-wide discussions on current issues and can also earn course credit.

David Cram Helwich, director of the forensics team, said once students are on the team, they usually pursue either speech or debate. “We get a mix of students,” Cram Helwich said. “There are a ton of students at the U that have speech and debate experience in high school, and Minnesota has one of the strongest speech and debate circuits in the country, if not the strongest.”

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 03/22/2024

Congratulations to today's FNR speaker, Sylvia Vue (doctoral candidate, Communication Studies, University of Minnesota), who recently accepted a tenure-track position at the St. Lawrence University.

Today, Sylvia shared her work on Critical Race Theory and how minority students navigate predominately White Institutions (PWIs) in their educational journeys. Her work will provide meaningful interventions and enriching solutions to build an inclusive, supportive, and compassionate community for all.

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 03/18/2024

We were excited to have Dr. Allison M. Prasch (Associate Professor, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison) visit her alma mater and present her latest work, The World is Our Stage: The Global Rhetorical Presidency and the Cold War (University of Chicago Press, 2023). (

In this co-sponsored hybrid event with the Institute of Advanced Studies, Dr. Allison M. Prasch (University of Wisconsin, Madison) considers how presidential appearances overseas broadcast American superiority during the Cold War. Drawing on extensive archival research, she theorizes the “global rhetorical presidency,” and reveals how the president’s physical presence defined the boundaries of the “Free World” and elevated the United States in Cold War geopolitics.

Dr. Prasch received her PhD in 2016 and her MA in 2011 from the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2016.


As the pandemic transforms our world, do you have the skills necessary to build an effective workplace and connect teams online?

Take our 2024 summer class: COMM 3110 - 001 Office Optional: Building a Connected Virtual Team (online & asynchronous). June 3-July 26
Nan Gesche, teaching faculty at Communication Studies, will share her 20+ years of organizational experience as a business and organizational consultant.

It is undeniable that we have entered a new era of remote work. Companies today know that hybrid and remote work is the key to employee satisfaction and productivity. Recent studies show that more than a third of employees feel so strongly about hybrid/remote work that they would quit on the spot if the ability to work remotely was taken away. To make sure that both remote workers and their employers benefit from remote/hybrid work situations, it is important for both groups to understand the concept of remote teams and best practices for collaborating remotely. We will explore concepts such as building team trust, using the right collaboration tools, ensuring effective communication, setting clear expectations, giving effective feedback, and making sure virtual teams feel supported.


Why not start your own series of "Only Murders in the Building" this summer?
Come take COMM 3202 Audio Production and Podcast Storytelling.

Learn all the skills to tell your stories and give voice to the voiceless.
See you at 09:00 AM‑12:00 PM TTh Folwell Hall 28 (03-JUN-24 to 26-JUL-24)

It's going to be so much fun!!

of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication


Congratulations to Dr. Emily Winderman as the recipient of the Human Rights Initiative Research Grant!! She received $47K for her interdisciplinary human rights research project, "Healthcare Under Crisis: Reproductive Justice, Community Storytelling, and Minnesota’s “Safe Haven” Status." Dr. Winderman will work with History of Medicine doctoral candidates Lauren Ruhrold and Adam Negri, who piloted this project and were pivotal in the grant-writing process. Dr. Winderman was excited about this interdisciplinary collaboration, noting that Lauren and Adam are essential members of the research team.

Dr. Winderman explained, "With abortion and gender-affirming healthcare under sustained attack across the United States, Minnesota has been publicly framed as a site of refuge for these human rights. Through interdisciplinary collaboration and community-focused outcomes, this project brings critical reflexivity to public discourses that exhort Minnesota as a “safe haven” or “sanctuary.” Expanding upon the piloted Minnesota Reproductive Health Oral History Project, this project prioritizes community-based collaboration by platforming the experiences and perspectives of Minnesota healthcare providers and community members working to increase access to essential health services like abortion and gender-affirming care. This two-pronged project has both scholarly and public outcomes: first, the team will gather provider and community member experiences through oral history interviews; second, we will ensure that these experiences are available to participants and the public by producing a zine, edited anthology, and interactive website. Taken together, this project serves the human rights grounded tenets of reproductive justice as outlined by Sistersong–”the right to not have children, the right to have children, and the right to parent children in safe, sustainable communities.”

The Human Rights Initiative is a joint effort of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota to support interdisciplinary engaged research and teaching in the field of human rights with a goal of strengthening practice and the profession overall. The initiative arises out of years of collaborative and engaged research by faculty who work and teach on topics related to human rights.


This is how we envision diversity, equity, and inclusion through free deliberation of ideas in a democratic society! Come and join us! You can register at this link:

This is for all of us from one generation to the next!

The Minnesota Debate Team and Minnesota Urban Debate League are hosting an event on the UMN campus on Thursday, March 7, 6:00pm to 7:30pm in Blegen Hall (269 19th Avenue S Minneapolis, MN 55455). These events are sponsored by the MNUDL’s Advocates for Debate (AFD), and are designed as opportunities for speech and debate alumni and supporters in the Cities to both catch up with old friends and colleagues and meet other forensics folks-- think "mixer" not "fundraiser".

The event is occurring alongside one of the MNUDL’s largest middle school debate tournaments (the U hosts three such tournaments during its spring break), and we are also hoping you would consider volunteering to judge one or two debates before our event. No prior debate experience is required (being an attentive adult who is willing to listen and provide thoughtful feedback are the only qualifications).

Dr. Catherine Squires: Stress Among Black Women in Academia 02/19/2024

Dr. Catherine Squires, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies, discussed "Stress Among Black Women in Academia" at Minnesota Women's Press. Diversity needs more than inclusion to achieve equity. We need to provide the support needed for all to succeed.

As you consider how to support Black women leaders, reflect on these questions:

Are Black women leaders you are connected with held to reasonable standards and expectations, or are folks expecting “Black girl magic” miracles?

What types of problems are Black women being asked to solve in your community?

How long have those problems existed? How complex or severe are they?

What resources are necessary to effectively address these problems?

Have Black women been given the resources and/or the authority to use them?

What is a reasonable timeline for solving problems and creating change?

Has the organization acknowledged that change is difficult and there will likely be resistance to change?

Is there a strategy for managing anticipated resistance that involves the full organization?

How do you show support for Black woman leaders when resistance from those who push back against their leadership gets uncomfortable?

Dr. Catherine Squires: Stress Among Black Women in Academia Tell them you appreciate their work and be ready — start practicing now — to show that support in the bright light of day, in the glare of media spotlights, and under the florescent bulbs of the conference room.


First love. Would you do it all over again?

On this Valentine's Day, we want to share with you a short film produced by undergraduate students at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Minnesota. This 5 minute, mini-documentary (2023) about break-ups and love is produced by Lucky Nguyen, John Martinez, Emilee Pratt, Logan Willhite-Xiong.

"Beyond Goodbye" gives us four different stories of break-up, from signs that things were going downhill to the moment they realised it was over. Most of us can relate and have felt a similar heartbreak and then, just like these people, we must ask ourselves if we could ever, possibly, do it all over again?


Congratulations to Dr. Elaine Hsieh, the latest recipient of the Masonic Cross-Departmental Grant from the Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota.

The 2024-2026 project is titled "Reimagining Language Equity: Defining Best Practices in Partnering with Informal Interpreters of Somali Families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit." Dr. Jennifer Needle (PI; Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine; Associate Professor, Bioethics) and Dr. Elaine Hsieh (PI; Professor, Communication Studies) will work with community-based health professionals and partners (i.e., SoLaHmo Partnership for Health and Wellness) and a team of scholars to examine naturalistic interpreter-mediated interactions in the neonatal intensive care unit and explore the critical roles and impacts of informal interpreters in healthcare delivery.

We hope that the project will provide better care to Somali patients and generate applicable guidelines for healthcare providers when working with different types of interpreters in clinical settings.

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 02/12/2024

Dr. Atilla Hallsby, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota, will be the keynote speaker for the 14th annual Midwest Winter Workshop hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2/17/2024)! The workshop provides great opportunities for rhetoric scholars to share research, provide mentorship, and build communities.

Dr. Hallsby's research focuses on how rhetoric shapes public perceptions about secrecy, surveillance, transparency, and opacity in American public culture. He is currently working on an upcoming book, This Page Intentionally Left Blank, which describes how rhetoric and secrets are entangled in racist dog-whistles, the public and criminal trials of whistleblowers, the intensification of different kinds of cyber-war, and the growing American obsession with fraudsters and fraud.


With the warmest winter in the Minnesota history, ☘️🌿🍀 are budding.

In this Spring 🌱 semester, what's budding on your mind?

Share it with us!

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 01/26/2024

In today's Friday Noon Seminar, A Adams, a second-year doctoral student, presented his paper, "All could be one: A dialogic narrative analysis of eugenicism in Magic: the Gathering’s New Phyrexia." This paper received the Top Student/Debut Paper Awards from the Activism, Communication Ethics & Social Justice Division at the 2024 Convention of the Central States Communication Association.

A explained, "This paper attempts to uncover and complicate the modes by which activist scholars lay claim to care and anti-ableist/anti-eugenic engagement. Using the rhetoric of openly eugenic fictional world-building, I attempt to make clear the ways in which eugenic logics can (and do) capture/repurpose even the criticisms we make of eugenicism in the purpose of reifying and expanding a eugenic world’s reach. Our artifact is Magic: the Gathering’s New Phyrexia motif, selected for its unabashed support of eugenics and cartoonish love for the same eugenic logics we resist outside of narrative. Ultimately, I argue that we are ill-equipped to confront the ease with which even our most tightly-held beliefs and convictions regarding care and the body can be assimilated by the inner workings of a logic that would happily absorb our academic critique and use it to justify our deaths."


Spring is the time for writing.
New ideas, new papers.
We are ready to fuel your creative energy.
Let's do this TOGETHER 💪😁🌱🌼🆕💡⛽

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 01/19/2024

We are kicking off the first Friday Noon Seminar of Spring 2024 with Dr. Gil Rodman's "The Goose, the Monkey, and the Lion: Copyright and Other Forms of Ineffectual Property."

This talk comes out of a book project, Creating While Black: A Racial History of Copyright in the US, that I've been working on for several years now. The project's core argument is that copyright as we know it is built on a foundation of problematic Eurocentric assumptions about authorship, creativity, and property. As a result, copyright typically does a good job of protecting and rewarding creative and intellectual work that is firmly rooted in Eurocentric traditions, but struggles to do the same for creative and intellectual work grounded in non-western traditions. This talk moves through a series of case studies that highlight some of the major flaws with copyright as we know it, and poses a series of speculative questions to help us start to imagine what a better system of caring for cultural property might look like.

Photos from UMN Psychology Undergraduates's post 01/12/2024

Communication Minor is a great way to enrich and supplement any Majors. How can we communicate effectively and appropriately in a pluralistic world? How can we create messages that are persuasive and compassionate to people who are different from us?

We offer a wide range of courses in interpersonal communication, organizational communication, group communication, rhetoric, and meda study. Pick your favorite and start from there. 🥰

Photos from Communication Studies, University of Minnesota's post 12/14/2023

The Fall 2023 end-of-the-semester get-together is in the bag. It was wonderful to have some fun time with family and friends.

This is a good warm-up for the holiday season to come. 💞🍻😊

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225 Ford Hall, 224 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 8am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 8am - 4:30pm
Thursday 8am - 4:30pm
Friday 8am - 4:30pm
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