Graduate Program

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Agency and Identity

Agency concerns basic capacities to bring about outcomes in the world. Agency signals the presence, autonomy, and impacts of persons but can apply as well to other creatures and forces. The autonomy of individual persons and other entities is also invoked when we speak of "identity."  A major organizing concept of the modern world, identity is at once inescapable and elusive. As interrelated yet distinct concepts, agency and identity apply to every level of analysis in communication and the structure of society.

Courses | Publications by faculty members | Dissertations


CMS 386P Metaphor in Communication

CMS 386P Perspective-Taking in Communication

CMS 390R Rhetoric and the Public Sphere

CMS 390R The Subject

CMS 390S Narratives in Organizations

Publications by faculty members

Browning, L. D. & Sørnes, J. O. (2008). The Challenge of Doing Corporatized Research: An Ethnography of ICT Use. Qualitative Inquiry, 14, 1223-1244.

Browning, L. D. (1991). Organizational narratives and organizational structure, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 4, 59-67.

Gunn, Joshua, "Agency," and "Ideology," entries for the Encyclopedia of Communication Theory, edited by Stephen Littlejohn and Karen Foss (2010): forthcoming.

Gunn, Joshua, "Answering Machines and the Voice Abject." Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 3 (March 2007):

Gunn, Joshua, "Zombie Trouble: A Propaeductic on Ideology and the Unconscious," co-authored with Shaun Treat. Quarterly Journal of Speech 91 (May 2005; printed October 2006): 144-174.

Gunn, Joshua, "Refitting Fantasy: Psychoanalysis, Subjectivity, and Talking to the Dead." Quarterly Journal of Speech  90 (February 2004): 1-23.  

Gunn, Joshua, "'Ouija Board, Are There Any Communications?' Agency, Ontotheology, and the Death of the Humanist Subject," co-authored with Christian Lundberg. Rhetoric Society Quarterly  35 (Fall 2005): 83-105.

Gunn, Joshua, "Dead Subjects: A Rejoinder to Lundberg on (a) Psychoanalytic Rhetoric." Forum essay. Quarterly Journal of Speech 90 (November 2004): 501-513.

McGlone, M.S., & Pfiester, R.A. (2009).  Does time fly when you're having fun, or do you?  Affect, agency, and embodiment in temporal communication.  Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 28, 3-31. 

McGlone, M.S., & Aronson, J. (2007). Forewarning and forearming stereotype-threatened students.  Communication Education, 56, 119-133.

McGlone, M.S., Harding, J.L., & Glucksberg, S. (1999). Time marches on: Understanding time-as-movement expressions. In P. Amsili, M. Borillo, & L. Vieu (Eds.), Time, space, and movement: Meaning and knowledge in the sensible world (p. 11-28). Toulouse, France:Groupe LRC.

Stephens, K. K., & Dailey, S. (2012). Situated organizational identification in newcomers: Impacts of preentry organizational exposure. Management Communication Quarterly, 26, 402-422.

Scott, C. R., & Stephens, K. K. (2009). It depends on who you’re talking to… : Predictors and outcomes of situated measures of organizational identification. Western Journal of Communication, 73, 370-394.

Ph. D. dissertations and M.A. theses

Angela Aguayo (Ph.D., 2005), assistant professor, Southern Illinois University. Dissertation: "Documentary Film/Video and Social Change: A Rhetorical Investigation of Dissent."

Lana Marlow (Ph.D., 2004), assistant professor, San Angelo State University. Dissertation: "Mothers in Prison, Women’s Autobiography, and Activism."

Courtney Dillard (Ph.D., 2002), formerly assistant professor, Willamette University (now working in Oregon politics and social movements). Dissertation: "The Rhetorical Dimensions of Radical Flank Effects: Investigations Into the Influence of Emerging Radical Voices on the Rhetoric of Long-standing Moderate Organizations in Two Social Movements."