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Faculty in Scholarship and Leadership roles at WSCA 2018 Conference

Faculty in the Department of Communication Studies will travel to Santa Clara on February 16-19, 2018 to participate in the annual Western States Communication Association conference.  Act this conference, faculty are both active in presenting scholarship and in leadership roles in the association.

Assistant Professor, Dr. Robert Gutierrez-Perez, will be participating in a roundtable discussion for the Intercultural Communication interest group related to the conference them of Mindfulness for Change.  He will also present a paper titled, Advocating for the Four Seasons: The Disruptive Ambiguities of Disidentification at “Latina Drag Night.”  Additionally, he will participate in an ensemble performance titled, Mindful Heretics in the Audience and on the Stage: Awakening to the Value of Conscious Disagreement, Critique, and Critical Inquiry.  He will also chair and respond to other panels including responding to the Spotlight Performance Panel: The Stories We Tell Each Other.

Associate Professor, Dr. Amy Pason, is presenting a paper related to her research on advocacy titled, The Absurdist Activism of John Oliver: Bringing Long Form News to HBO.  She will also be presenting the findings of a survey she constructed as part of the Members Services Committee on issues related to the association’s brand and diversity/inclusion efforts.  Finally, she will attend meetings as an elected member of the Legislative Assembly.

Assistant Professor, Dr. Jenna Hanchey, will be contributing to the conference by chairing a panel on Rhetoric and Politics, and serving in her elected role as secretary of the Rhetoric and Public Address interest group.

Faculty and Graduate Students Presenting at the National Communication Association Convention

In November 2017, faculty and graduate students will be presenting their research and current projects at the National Communication Association convention in Dallas, TX.

Dr. Sarah Blithe is presenting a co-authored project:  “Thinking Through the Legacy of Sex Work: Life Stories of Former Legal Prostitutes” for the Ethnography division with graduate student, Breanna Calvin.  Calvin is also presenting: “My Relevance, My Voice: Autoethnography of a Legal Sex Worker” for the Feminist and Women’s Studies division and participating in an “Ask and Activist” discussion session for the Activism and Social Justice Division.

Dr. Amy Pason will also be participating in the “Ask and Activist” discussion session forthe Activism and Social Justice Division by presenting on her recent advocacy in lobbying for women’s health at the Nevada Legislature as well as speaking with local political groups about having civil political discussions and ethical advocacy.

Dr. Jenna Hanchey will be presenting 3 papers based on her participatory ethnographic research.  She will be presenting:  “The Process of Staging a Coup: Engaging with Participatory Extremities.” Part of the panel “The Emerging Legacy and Relevance of Participatory Critical Rhetoric.” Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division.

“On Transcription and Time-Travel: Reflecting as the Researcher-who-Writes on the Past Misdeeds of the Researcher-who-Participates.” Part of the panel “Transparency, Reflexivity, and Identity: Examining the Researcher in Ethnographic Communication Research.” Ethnography Division.

“All of us Phantasmic Saviors.” Critical and Cultural Studies Division.

Dr. Robert Gutierrez-Perez is participating in a variety of sessions.  He will be participating in the following:

  • Queer of Color Communication Studies: Our Legacy, Our Relevance, Our Future Part One (Chair/Paper Panelist/Respondent)
  • The Depths of the Coatlicue State: Mitos, Religious Poetics, and the Politics of Soul Murder in Queer of Color Critique
  • Creating a Legacy of Social Justice: A Roundtable Discussion on Cultivating More Inclusive Campuses (Presenter)
  • Remapping the Circumference of Critical Intercultural Communication: Our Legacy and Vision for the Future (Presenter)
  • Meet-and-Greet Latinx Mentorship Initiative (Presenter/Mentor)
  • Queer of Color Communication Studies: Our Legacy, Our Relevance, Our Future Part Two (Chair/Respondent)
  • Real Bodies and Real Consequences: Queer Worldmaking and Performative Responses to Donald J. Trump’s First Year in Office (Performance)
  • Establishing Our Relevance, Publishing in Latina/o Communication Studies (Presenter)


Dr. Hanchey wins Dissertation Award

Assistant Professor, Dr. Jenna Hanchey, will receive the 2017 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Critical and Cultural Studies division of the National Communication Association and the annual convention this November in Dallas.  Hanchey’s dissertation work looked that international aid and nonprofit organizations working in Africa. Dr. Hanchey recently earned her PhD from the University of Texas, Austin and worked with adviser, Dr. Dana Cloud.

Recent Faculty Publications on spirituality, myth, and activism

Assistant Professor, Robert Gutierrez-Perez has recently published articles centering on issues of spiritual activism, actual spirits, and the storytelling surrounding them.

“Bailando Con Las Sombras: Spiritual Activism and Soul Healing in the War Years” is co-authored with Dr. Luis Manuel Andrade and is published in Qualitative Inquiry. By utilizing performative writing and personal narrative, this poetic essay dives into the personal and collective trauma of the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. As part of a special issue on Pulse, the co-authors (re)perform the dialogue and queer of color worldmaking that emerged from their frantic text messages to each other in the aftermath of this horrific moment in the Latinx and/or LGBTQ community. We argue that spiritual activism in the form of soul healing and radical interconnectedness is one path of many to consider for those who continue to question if their bodies matter in this political moment in culture and society.

“Sarah Winchester & the Winchester Mystery House, or Confronting the Ghosts of Genocide & White Guilt” is published in CHEERS FROM THE WASTELAND. This journal is a place-based journal that features creative work “by people with ties (loose, iron strong, and everything in-between!) to San Jose, California. Through words, images, and sounds, this journal aims to add contours to the wasteland, and surface the undeniable beauty–both underlying and blatant–that sets our city apart.” This piece utilizes monster theory to interrogate and analyze the myths and legends surrounding of Sarah Winchester and the Winchester Mystery House.

Recent Faculty Publications

Research faculty in the Department of Communication Studies have been busy with publishing articles.  Over Spring/Summer 2017, the following have been published:

Dr. Sarah Blithe continues to work on her research related to legal brothels in Nevada with this article in Human Relations:

Blithe, S.J. & Wolfe, A. (2017). Embracing Opportunities for Work-life “Balance” in Legal Sex Work: Managing Stigma and Lockdown. Human Relations, 70 (6), 725-750. doi:  10.1177/0018726716674262.

Dr. Blithe has also published on the service learning work her students participate in with the COM 412 Intercultural Communication course:

Blithe, S.J. (2016). Teaching Intercultural Communication through Service-Learning.  Communication Teacher, 30(3), 165-171.

Dr. Robert Gutierrez-Perez has been working on a few projects related to the writings of Gloria Anzaldua, and recently published a book review on Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality by Gloria E. Anzaldúa and edited by AnaLouise Keating  in the journal Women’s Studies in Communication

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