Political Communication

In political communication, we are broadly interested in the relationship between politics and citizens and the communication modes that connect these groups to each other. We examine how these forces interact with each other and affect one another. Scholars in this area use many different methods, from quantitative to rhetorical approaches.

Courses | Publications by faculty members | Dissertations | Faculty and courses in other departments


CMS 390N Campaign Communication

CMS 390R Media & Public Opinion

CMS 390N Media, Politics, and Society

CMS 390N Media, Politics, and the Individual

CMS 390P Rhetoric and the Public Sphere

CMS 390P Rhetoric and Social Style

CMS 390R Rhetoric of Social Movements

Publications by faculty members

Brummett, Barry. A Rhetoric of Style.  Carbondale, IL:   Southern Illinois University Press, 2008.

Brummett, Barry. Contemporary Apocalyptic Rhetoric. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1991.

Brummett, Barry. Sporting Rhetoric: Performance, Games, and Politics.  New York:  Peter Lang, in press, expected winter 2009-10.

Brummett, Barry. Uncovering Hidden Rhetorics:  Social Issues in Disguise.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage, 2007.

Brummett, Barry. "Rhetorical Homologies in Walter Benjamin, The Ring, and Capital." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 36 (2006):  449-469.

Brummett, Barry. "Communities, Identities, and Politics:  What Rhetoric is Becoming in the Twenty-First Century."  New Approaches to Rhetoric.  Ed. Patricia A. Sullivan and Steven R. Goldzwig.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage, 2004:  293-308.

Brummett, Barry. "A Counter-Statement to Depoliticization:  Mediation and Simulational Politics." Nordicom 26 (2004):  111-120.

Cherwitz, Richard and Zagacki, Kenneth. "Consummatory Versus Justificatory Crisis Rhetoric." Western Journal of Speech Communication, 50 (1986), 307-24.

Cherwitz, Richard. "Charles Morris' Conception of Semiotic: Implications for Rhetorical Criticism." Communication Quarterly, 29 (1981), 218-227.

Cherwitz, Richard. "The Contributory Effect of Rhetorical Discourse: A Study of Language in Use." Quarterly Journal of Speech, 66 (1980), 33-50.

Cherwitz, Richard. "Masking Inconsistency: The Gulf of Tonkin Crisis." Communication Quarterly, 28 (1980), 27-38.

Cherwitz, Richard. "Lyndon Johnson and the ‘Crisis' of Tonkin Gulf: A President's Justification of War," Western Journal of Speech Communication, 42 (1979), 93-05.

Bass, Jefferson and Richard Cherwitz. "Imperial Mission and Manifest Destiny: A Case Study of Political Myth in Rhetorical Discourse." Southern Speech Communication Journal, 43 (1978), 213-232.

Hart, Roderick P. & John Lester Pauley, The Political Pulpit Revisited, (Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2005).

Hart, Roderick P., Sharon Jarvis, William P. Jennings, & Debora Smith-Howell, Political Keywords: Using Language that Uses Us, (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Hart, Roderick P. & Bartholomew H. Sparrow, (Eds.), Politics, Discourse, and American Society: New Agendas, (Boulder: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001).

Hart, Roderick P. & Daron R. Shaw, (Eds.), Communication in U.S. Elections: New Agendas, (Boulder: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001).

Hart, Roderick P. Campaign Talk: Why Elections Are Good for Us (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

Hart, Roderick P. Seducing America: How Television Charms the Modern Voter (New York: Oxford University Press; Sage Publications, 1994, 1999).

Jarvis, Sharon E., Natalie J. Stroud, & Austin A. Gilliland. (2009). College students, news use and trust. Communication Research Reports, 26(1), 30-39.

Jarvis, Sharon E., & Soo-Hye Han. (2008). Political communication. In. W. Eadie (Ed.). 21st Century Communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Jarvis, Sharon E. (2005). The talk of the party: Political labels, symbolic capital & American life. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Jarvis, Sharon E., & Stacey Connaughton, S. L. (2005). Audiences implicadas e ignoradas in English and Spanish language questions in the 2002 Texas gubernatorial debates. Howard Journal of Communications, 16 (2), 1-18.

Jarvis, Sharon E. (2004). Partisan patterns in presidential campaign speeches, 1948-2000. Communication Quarterly, 52 (4), 403-419.

Connaughton, Stacey L., & Sharon E. Jarvis. (2004). Invitations for partisan identification: Attempts to court Latino voters through televised Latino-oriented political advertisements, 1984-2000. Journal of Communication, 54(1), 38-55.

Stroud, Natalie J. (2008). Media use and political predispositions: Revisiting the concept of selective exposure. Political Behavior, 30(3). 341-366.

Stroud, Natalie J. (2007). Media effects, selective exposure, & Fahrenheit 9/11. Political Communication, 24(4). 415-432.

Stroud, Natalie J., & Kate Kenski. (2007). From agenda setting to refusal setting: Survey nonresponse as a function of media coverage across the 2004 election cycle. Public Opinion Quarterly, 71(4). 539-559.

Price, Vincent, & Natalie J. Stroud. (2006). Public attitudes toward polls: Evidence from the 2000 US Presidential election. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 18(4). 393-421.

Kenski, Kate, & Natalie J. Stroud. (2006). Connections between Internet use and political efficacy, knowledge, and participation. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 50(2). 173-192.


Amanda J. Davis (Ph.D., 2008), assistant professor, University of Texas at Tyler, "Unveiling the Rhetoric of Torture: Abu Ghraib and American National Identity."

Soo-Hye Han (Ph.D., 2008), "The Untold Story: Portrayals of Electoral Participation in Print News Coverage of American Presidential Campaigns, 1948-2004."

Johanna Hartelius, (Ph.D., 2008), "Expertise as Rhetorical Strategy."

Jennifer J. Asenas (Ph.D., 2007), assistant professor, California State University, Long Beach, "Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize: Recalling the Black Freedom Struggle in Hurricane Katrina¹s Wake."

Jonah Feldman (Ph.D., 2007), "The Story of the Israeli/Palestinian Peace Talks: Applying Conflict Narrative Analysis to Political Dilemmas."

Erika Allen (Ph.D., 2006) "Crisis Communication: Training Intervention Effects on Attorney-Spokespeople"

Jay Childers (Ph.D., 2006) "Cowboy Citizenship: The Rhetoric of Civic Identity among Young Americans, 1965-2005"

Carlnita Peterson Greene (Ph.D., 2006), "Beyond the Binaries to Self-Fashioning: Identity as the Rhetoric of Social Style."

Lisa Renee Foster (Ph.D., 2006), assistant professor, University of Oklahoma, "Music, Publics, Protest, and the Cultivation of Democratic Nationalism After 9/11."

Dan Mangis, JD (Ph.D., 2005), "Distinguishing Between the Law and the Legal: A Rhetorical Analysis of Judicial Argument and Media Coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court's Deliberations in the University of Michigan Affirmative Action Cases."

J. Kanan Sawyer (Ph.D., 2005) "The Emotional Vote: The Role of Feelings in Political Mobilization Messages"

Tim Steffensmeier (Ph.D., 2005), "Rhetorical Invention and the Project of Becoming Local in Rural Community Rejuvenation."

William Jennings (Ph.D., 2003) "Models of Citizenship: Rhetoric, Americans, and their Civic Institutions."

Stefanie Sanford (Ph.D., 2003), "Changing Notions of Citizenship in Cyber Democracy."

Stacey Connaughton (Ph.D. 2002), "Invitations for Identification: An Organizational Communication Analysis of the Democratic and Republican Parties' Attempts to Court Latino Voters."

Courtney Dillard (Ph.D., 2002), formerly assistant professor, Willamette University (now working in Oregon politics and social movements). "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."

Mary Dixson (Ph.D., 2002), "Consent vs. Controversy: Communication, Conflict, and the Teaching of Citizenship."

John Bosma (Ph.D., 2000), "The Rhetorical Uses of Political Consultancy."

Hannah Gourgey (Ph.D., 2000), "Symbolic Matters: Rhetoric, Marginality, and Identity."

Juandalynn Taylor (Ph.D., 2000), formerly assistant professor, University of North Texas (currently pursuing legal career). "Beyond Door Number One, Two, or Three: A Rhetorical Analysis of Cuban and Haitian Citizenship Status."

Faculty and courses in other departments

Affiliated Faculty

Jennifer Brundidge, Radio-TV-Film

Renita Coleman, Journalism

Homero Gil De Zuniga, Journalism

Nick Lasorsa, Journalism

Maxwell McCombs, Journalism

Tasha Philpot, Government

Steve Reese, Journalism

Daron Shaw, Government

Paul Stekler, Radio-TV-Film & LBJ


J 382 Agenda Setting

J 395 Framing Public Issues

J 395 Internet & Democracy

J 395 Political Communication

J 363 Theories of Mass Communication

RTF 393P Internet and Politics

RTF 384C Modern American Political Campaigns