Dr. Barry Brummett (Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1978) is the Chair of the department and Charles Sapp Centennial Professor in Communication. He taught at Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before coming to the University of Texas-Austin. Brummett's research interests turned early to the theories of Kenneth Burke and to epistemology and rhetoric. In those studies Brummett laid the foundation for a research program that investigates the functions and manifestations of new rhetoric. One line of research took him into the study of apocalyptic rhetoric. Brummett's most recent, ongoing interests are in the rhetoric of popular culture. He has developed a general theoretical basis for understanding this rhetoric based largely on symbolic forms. Brummett has published a textbook, and a fourth edition of his popular textbook, . Brummett is the author of the scholarly book monographs , , , , , and . He has edited , and , and In his copious free time he pecks away at a scholarly project exploring homologies between troubled physical structures as represented in popular culture and troubled social structures. Brummett is the author or coauthor of numerous scholarly essays and chapters.