Interpersonal Communication and Relationships

  • Campo

    Shelly Campo

    Associate Professor

    Shelly’s areas of expertise include health campaigns, risk communication, and persuasion. She has worked on a range of health topics focusing on how to adopt new, or reinforce existing health attitudes and behaviors using innovative, theory- and data-driven communication research. She has developed and/or evaluated numerous health campaigns for different audiences (e.g., college students, young adults, rural populations, and minority populations) on a range of topics, such as binge drinking prevention, unintended pregnancy prevention, occasional smoking prevention, colorectal cancer screening, smoking cessation, and hazing. She teaches graduate courses in health communication, health campaigns, and persuasion and health.

    She is an associate professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health as well as the Department of Communication Studies. She is also the director of the Center for Health Communication and Social Marketing.

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    Steve Duck

    Daniel and Amy Starch Distinguished Research Chair; Department Chair, Rhetoric

    Steve Duck's work centers on communication in relationship development and disintegration, and focuses particularly on everyday communication in the context of personal relationships, especially variation in experience and communication during the day. He has edited or written 50 books and was founder and first editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. His work generally seeks to relate the rhetoric of everyday talk to interpersonal relationship processes. He won the University of Iowa's first Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award in 2001. In 2004 he won the Robert J. Kibler Memorial Award from NCA, which "recognizes NCA members who have demonstrated dedication to excellence, commitment to the profession, concern for others, vision of what could be, acceptance of diversity, and forthrightness." In 2010 he was awarded the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Helen Nelson Kechriotis Lifetime Teaching Excellence Award and was also appointed National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar.

    His most recent books are written with David T McMahan: Communication in Everyday Life, Third Edition, SAG 2017:  and Communication in Everyday Life: The Basic Course Edition With Public Speaking, Second Edition, SAG 2017:

    He is a former CLAS Dean's Administrative Fellow and is now serving as Chair of the Department of Rhetoric.


  • Andrew High

    Andrew High

    Assistant Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies

    Dr. Andrew High earned a Ph.D. at The Pennsylvania State University and joined the faculty at The University of Iowa in August 2012. His research interests include interpersonal communication and computer-mediated communication. Specifically, he is developing two complementary lines of scholarship focusing on social support and mediated interpersonal interaction. His research on social support centers on understanding the qualities that influence people’s perceptions of providing and receiving different styles of supportive messages. These projects seek to clarify the interplay of personal, contextual, and relational qualities on people's experiences in comforting interactions. Dr. High's program of study related to computer-mediated communication focuses on how online channels improve, worsen, or otherwise alter the processes of interpersonal communication. He has conducted research on both problematic Internet use and the ways in which mediated channels provide communicators with interpersonal benefits.

    These two lines of study are unified by his interests in investigating people’s experiences of providing or receiving different styles of supportive messages in either face-to-face or online interactions. The goal of this research is to understand when and how people benefit by seeking and receiving socially supportive messages online. He employs several research methodologies, including survey studies, experimental projects, structural equation modeling, and meta-analysis, to address his research questions. Dr. High also teaches classes on research methods and computer-mediated communication.

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    Rachel McLaren

    Associate Professor

    Dr. Rachel McLaren studies interpersonal communication, social cognition, and hurtful messages. Her research seeks to clarify the interplay of communication, cognition, and emotion in response to significant experiences, such as hurtful interactions, within personal relationships. She also examines how relationship and situational characteristics influence people’s ability to process relational messages. Her recent work focuses on how relational turbulence influences a couple’s ability to coordinate relational inferences about past hurtful events. Her other interests include examining how interactions within close relationships affect people’s global conceptions of the relationship and, in turn, how those conceptions influence their experiences of particular communication events. Dr. McLaren teaches courses on the dark side of communication and relationships as well as communication and conflict.

  • Sylvia Mikucki-Enyart

    Sylvia Mikucki-Enyart

    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Sylvia L. Mikucki-Enyart studies interpersonal and family communication. Broadly, her work examines how relational partners and families communicate during times of transition—both normative (e.g., transition to in-law bonds) and non-normative (e.g., late-life parental divorce and stepfamily formation). More specifically, Dr. Mikucki-Enyart’s work examines how experiences of relational uncertainty influence interaction goals (one’s own and perceptions of others), which in turn shape message production and message processing as well as relational perceptions. Her current research examines (a) uncertainty/information management, including message features that are associated with successful uncertainty management and positive relational outcomes, and (b) the “bright” side of family bonds during periods of upheaval.

Rhetoric and Discourse

  • E Cram

    E. Cram

    Assistant Professor


    E. Cram earned a PhD in Communication and Culture at Indiana University in 2015. Trained as a rhetoric, communication, cultural studies and queer studies scholar, Cram’s academic interests include rhetorical criticism, queer and transgender studies; corporeality; affect and public emotion; space/place/landscape; visual and material culture; violence; and fat studies.

    Their current book project, Violent Inheritance and Queer Generation: Landscape Memory and Movement in the Rocky Mountain West examines the intersection of environmental memory and the history of sexuality within the region. The book traces how vernacular actors assemble through spaces of “violent inheritance,” repurposing infrastructures of sexuality and violence central to the monopolization of mobility in the making of the west. Cram underscores how tropes of inheritance manage communication dynamics between residual and emergent cultural formations, shaping structures of feeling and action concerning matters of justice, resilience, and regional belonging. Their research appears in The Quarterly Journal of SpeechCommunication and Critical/Cultural StudiesPhilosophy and RhetoricEnculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture; Women’s Studies in Communication; and the edited collection Queering the Countryside: New Directions in Rural Queer Studies (New York University Press). Their next project, Queer Senses and the Aesthetics of Violence, contextualizes Cassils, a trans artist whose performances engage the body as social sculpture, exploring the murky space between rhetoric, violence, and vitality. Cram serves on the editorial boards of The Quarterly Journal of Speech and QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking

    In the department, Cram teaches courses in: gender, sexuality & space; outlaw bodies and political style; rhetoric & the body; queer geographies.

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    Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz

    Assistant Professor


    Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz joined the faculty after completing her Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012, with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Duke University.

    Natalie’s current book project, Homeland Maternity, examines contemporary struggles over reproductive health and motherhood in the context of homeland security culture. Taking a range of cultural sites and practices into account, her work queries the rhetorical dimensions of reproductive injustice and considers possibilities for transformation and redress. She has published articles on rhetoric and reproductive politics, the commercial surrogacy industry, and third-wave feminism, as well as book chapters on the public debates surrounding birth control and communication activism pedagogy. Her research appears in journals and edited volumes, including Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies.

    Natalie teaches courses in rhetorical theory and criticism, gender and sexuality studies, social movements and feminisms. She encourages connections between theory and practice, the community and the classroom, through service-learning and experiential education, and is involved in various reproductive health and justice initiatives.

  • David Hingstman

    David Hingstman

    Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

    David's scholarly interests include argumentation, rhetorical criticism and freedom of expression as applied to the study of legal and political discourse. His current research program involves the study of social controversies and oppositional argument and the revision of argumentation theory and practice to account for recent criticism and defense of practical reasoning.

    David is also Director of the A. Craig Baird Debate Forum and the A. Craig Baird Center for Public Advocacy and Debate.

  • Jiyeon Kang

    Jiyeon Kang

    Associate Professor

    Jiyeon Kang’s academic interests include online activism, youth culture, vernacular rhetoric, and globalization.

    Her research focuses on conceptualizing the democratic potential of the Internet, with a specific interest in the communicative dynamics and cultural norms that have emerged in the contexts of youth-driven social movements and online communities. Her forthcoming book Igniting the Internet: Youth and Activism in Postauthoritarian South Korea examines a decade of Internet activism in South Korea by combining rhetorical analysis of online communities with ethnographic interviews. The book attends to the political significance of the Internet as not only an extension of existing politics but also a new social space in which the circulation of multisensory texts invites users to act upon their previously unarticulated yet shared desires and grievances. It also draws attention to long-term changes in political sensibilities even after the period of activism has passed. She has additionally published articles on vernacular discourse on the web, collective agency, unintended political effects, and memories of Internet-born activism.

    Kang’s upcoming projects explore “new civilities” on the Internet, referring not simply to politeness but to the transforming social and ethical norms of coexistence. Her article-length project examines how a marginalized group maintains its distinct style in the digital environment, resisting attempts to dismiss it as emotional, rude, or disrespectful. She is concurrently working on a collaborative book-length project with Nancy Abelmann and Xia Zhang on the novel and varied civilities at play in the online communities of international undergraduate students in the U.S., China, and South Korea.

  • Kristine Munoz

    Kristine L. Muñoz


    Kristine's research and theory are centered in the ethnography of speaking based on fieldwork in Colombia, England, Spain, Finland, and Texas. Her current work centers around intercultural communication and persuasion and personal relationships in cultural context, particularly at the intersections of public discourse and interpersonal social interaction.

    In spring 2015, she was the 17th Josephine B. Jones lecturer at CU-Boulder. Her talk, "Friendship and Romance: Silence, Stories and Secrets in Four Cultures," presented her ongoing work on the relationship between cultural/communal codes and relational codes and is now available online:

  • Darrel Wanzer-Serrano

    Darrel Wanzer-Serrano

    Associate Professor

    My academic interests are focused on the relationships between race, political possibilities, and rhetoric in the United States. I am deeply interested in the way that theories of race and problematics of difference can and do inform our conceptualizations of public culture. I have particular interests and expertise in Latina/o/x studies and the coloniality of knowledge/power/being. My scholarship complicates (modern/Western) rhetorical theory by putting it into conversation with critical race and decolonial theory in a manner that makes local knowledges and communication practices intelligible, and advances more inclusive theorizing in the discipline. My work has appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication Theory, Environmental Communication, Communication, Culture, & Critique, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, and my pioneering book The Young Lords: A Reader (New York University Press, 2010).

    My most recent book, The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation (Temple University Press, 2015), has received numerous accolades, including the 2017 Book of the Year Award from the National Communication Association's Critical/Cultural Studies Division. The Young Lords were a revolutionary, multi-ethnic, grassroots political organization comprised of young men and women throughout New York City and included branches across the country and Puerto Rico. In the book, I treat the Young Lords as a critical and representative example of decolonial or anti-systemic social movement struggling against modern/coloniality. What makes the Young Lords particularly interesting is the way in which they advanced their agenda through a political style that operated functionally at the intersections of competing socio-rhetorical traditions and through various discourses including speech, poetry, images, and embodied performance. Their critical geo-/body politics targeted the intersectionality of oppression along gendered-raced-classed axes from the late 1960s until the mid 1970s. Beyond an analysis of the Young Lords, I also make the case for rethinking rhetorical criticism as decolonial practice.

    Most recently I have begun work on my next book project, which I am tentatively calling Possession: Crafting Americanity in Congressional Debates over Puerto Rico’s Status. Where my Young Lords project was focused on the ways in which people challenge coloniality, this new project is concerned with the ways in which coloniality (a) manifests itself in political discourse about Puerto Rico and (b) is in some ways central to the US American national imaginary. While other scholars have done exemplary work examining the implications of key pieces of Congressional legislation, Supreme Court decisions, and Executive branch decision-making for the island of Puerto Rico, little work has flipped the lens around to engage in detailed analysis of the legislative (rhetorical) history that undergirds one of the few remaining colonial relationships in our contemporary world. Instead of asking (as many existing studies do) What does this legislation mean for Puerto Rico? I ask, What do the debates over this legislation mean for the United States? Drawing connections between the logics of possession, master morality, and the rhetoric of modernity, I also hope to build upon Aníbal Quijano and Emmanuel Wallerstein’s “Concept of Americanity” to develop a sense for how the rhetoric of Americanity is structured in the United States post-1898.

    More about my research, teaching, and topics I find important can be found on my personal website at:


Media Studies

  • Tim Havens

    Tim Havens

    Professor and Department Chair

    Tim’s research and teaching interests include television studies; media globalization; race, ethnicity, and media; and critical analysis of media industries. He is the author of Black Television Travels: African American Media Around the Globe (NYU Press, 2013) and Global Television Marketplace (BFI Publishing, 2006); the co-author with Amanda D. Lotz of Understanding Media Industries (Oxford University Press, 2011, 2016); and co-editor with Aniko Imre and Katalin Lustyik of Popular Television in Eastern Europe Before and Since Socialism (Routledge, 2012). He is a former Fulbright Scholar to Hungary.

  • Joy Hayes

    Joy Elizabeth Hayes

    Associate Professor

    Joy’s research and teaching interests include radio studies; media history; Latin American media; media theory; race, ethnicity and media; and Latin American Studies.  She is co-author/editor of War of the Worlds to Social Media: Mediated Communication in Times of Crisis (2013, Peter Lang); author of Radio Nation: Communication, Popular Culture and Nationalism in Mexico, 1920-1950 (2000, University of Arizona Press); and a former Fulbright Scholar to Mexico.  Her scholarship has also appeared in The Radio Journal, The Journal of Radio and Audio Media, Diálogos de la comunicación, and Cinema Journal.  Her current US research examines the legacies of New Deal government broadcasting and explores the construction of “radio bodies” in broadcasting from the 1930s-2000s.  Her research on Mexico investigates community broadcasting and translocalism.

  • Kembrew McLeod

    Kembrew McLeod


    Kembrew McLeod is a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa and an independent documentary producer. A prolific author and filmmaker, he has written and produced several books and documentaries that focus on popular music, independent media and copyright law. He co-produced the documentary Copyright Criminals, which premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival and aired in 2010 on PBS’s Emmy Award-winning documentary series, Independent Lens. His first documentary, Money For Nothing, was programmed at the 2002 South by Southwest Film Festival and the 2002 New England Film and Video Festival, where it received the Rosa Luxemburg Award for Social Consciousness. McLeod’s second documentary, Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property, was distributed by the Media Education Foundation—where he also worked as an educational documentary producer. Freedom of Expression® serves as a companion to his book of the same name, which won the American Library Association’s Oboler book award for “best scholarship in the area of intellectual freedom” in 2006. Most recently, McLeod co-authored the book Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling and the anthology Cutting Across Media: Appropriation Art, Interventionist Collage and Copyright Law, both published by Duke University Press in 2011. His fifth book, Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World, will be published by New York University Press on April 1, 2013. McLeod’s music and cultural criticism have appeared in Rolling Stone, SPIN, MOJO, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, and The New Rolling Stone Album Guide.

  • Jenna Supp-Montgomerie

    Jenna Supp-Montgomerie

    Assistant Professor

    Jenna Supp-Montgomerie earned a Ph.D. in religious studies with a certificate in cultural studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a joint appointment in Religious Studies and Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. Her research examines the relationships of religion, media, and technology.

    Jenna’s work focuses on the appearance of religious thinking and practices in everyday life, particularly as we adopt and negotiate technological change. She has published essays and book chapters on this theme, including “Planetary Subjects after the Death of Geography” in Planetary Loves: Gayatri Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology and “‘If Only You Could See What I’ve Seen Through Your Eyes’: Destabilized Spectatorship and Creation’s Chaos in Blade Runner” in CrossCurrents. She is currently working on a book about the vital influence of American Christianity on globalization. This study begins in 1858, when the Atlantic telegraph cable was first successfully strung across the ocean. At that moment, Americans declared the advent of a world unified by communication and marked by the ends of distance and war. This persistent rhetoric animated what it meant to be modern and American and today echoes in claims that the Internet creates a global village.

    Jenna teaches courses on critical theory, media history and theory, religion and cultural life, digital media, and American religious history.

  • Rita Zajacz

    Rita Zajacz

    Assistant Professor

    Rita studies the relationship between communications policy and international relations from a historical and comparative perspective with a goal to understand the challenges and opportunities available to states as they seek control over the global communications infrastructure. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, International Communication Gazette, Media, Culture and Society and The Information Society. Her book project The struggle for network control, analyzing the transition from British to American world leadership in wireless telegraphy, is under contract at MIT Press. On the undergraduate level, she teaches Media and Society, Global Media Studies and Communication, Technology and National Security. Courses on the graduate level include Communication Policy and Communication and American Empire.

    Recent articles:  WikiLeaks and the problem of anonymity: a network control perspective. Media, Culture and Society (2013) 35(4): 487-503.

    Silk Road: the market beyond the reach of the state. Information Society (2017) 33(1): 23-34.​