Department of Communication
270 UCB, Hellems 96
Boulder, CO 80309
303-492-7306
303-492-8411 (fax)

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Three Areas of Specialization

The communication graduate program at the University of Colorado Boulder emphasizes three areas of specialization: Discourse & Society, Organizational Communication, and Rhetoric. Each of those areas is comprised of core graduate faculty members.

1) Discourse and Society (more information)

Faculty and students in this area consider ways that communicators’ discourse expressions (e.g., language, talk, interactional devices, semiotic practices, and written texts) reflect and construct societal practices and institutional scenes, and how discourse expression varies across speech communities. For theses and dissertations, students select a theoretical issue about discourse that crosses contexts and/or study discourse within a societal site; sample foci include use and circulation of communication ideas in society, communication activism for social justice, cultural resources for public participation, training programs for mediation or parenthood, local and international governance bodies, and courts and policing.

2) Organizational Communication (more information)

Faculty members teaching and researching in this area are widely recognized for critical and interpretive scholarship on the constitutive role of communication in human organizing. Theorizing communicating and organizing through constitutive, cultural, and material perspectives, and integrating qualitative, critical, and quantitative methodologies, connections among organizational change, power, culture, technology, gender, identity, knowledge, and discourse are explored across a variety of organizing contexts (e.g., corporate, nonprofit, community, and government). Faculty members are especially committed to reforming organizing practices to serve the greater common good.

3) Rhetoric (more information)

This area offers a distinctive program that integrates contemporary rhetorical approaches with cultural studies and the interpretive turn in social science. Area members are linked by a common interest in historical and historically inflected studies of rhetoric and its media, including discourses, technologies, and bodies. Rhetoric is studied in the context of popular, public, and intellectual cultures, via historical, ethnographic, textual, and critical methods and frameworks of analysis. The program, thus, combines traditional rhetorical education with a contemporary focus, offering diverse methodological training to produce cutting-edge critical work and innovative theory development.