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Publications and Research

The School of Communication is one of Virginia's leading institutions for communication and media professions because of the outstanding scholars who impart their knowledge to a future generation of communicators. Each year, School of Communication professors work hundreds of hours outside the classroom conducting research, writing scholarly papers, contributing to academic journals, attending conferences, and publishing books. The following books, book chapters, and academic and professional articles have been published over the past three years by our faculty.


Bill Kovarik's Revolutions in Communication (2011) is an authoritative introduction to the history of all branches of media. The rise of the Information Age, the fall of the traditional media, and the bewildering explosion of personal information services are all connected to the historical chain of communications' revolutions. We need to understand these revolutions because they influence our present and future as much as any other trend in history. And we need to understand them not simply on a national basis but rather as part of the emergent global communications network. Unlike most of the current texts in the field, "Revolutions in Communication" provides students and teachers with detailed sidebars about key figures, technical innovations, global trends, and social movements.



Bill Kovarik's Forbidden Fuel (2010; co-authored with Hal Bernton and Scott Sklar) is the definitive history of alcohol fuel, describing in colorful detail the emergence of alcohol fuel in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the political and economic forces behind its popularity, opposition, and eventual growth. In 1982, when The Forbidden Fuel was first published, approximately 350 million gallons of ethanol were produced in the United States for transport fuel. In 2008 that number had grown to 9 billion gallons—an approximate average annual growth rate of 98.9 percent. Similar dramatic growth has occurred all over the world, especially in Brazil. This new edition examines the forces behind this explosive growth; it also presents fresh evidence that the controversial issues that were presciently foreseen and described in the 1982 edition—limits of the land, food versus fuel, environmental risks, and global warming—still persist as unabated challenges.



Vince Hazleton's Public Relations Theory II (2006; co-edited with Carl Botan) brings together key theorists and scholars in public relations to articulate the current state of public relations theory, chronicling the ongoing evolution of public relations as a field of study. The contributors to this volume represent the key figures in the discipline, and their chapters articulate the significant advances in public relations theory and research. Working from the position that public relations is a theoretically grounded and research based discipline with the potential to bring numerous areas of applied communication together, Botan and Hazleton have developed this volume to open up the public relations field to a broad variety of theories. Organized into two major sections—Foundations, and Tools for Tomorrow—the volume presents four types of chapters: discussions addressing how public relations should be understood and practiced; examinations of theories from other areas applied to public relations; explorations of theories about a specific area of public relations practice; and considerations of public relations theories and research that have not been given sufficient attention in the past or that hold particular promise for the future of public relations. The volume concludes with the editors' views on future influences on public relations theory development. Like its predecessor, Public Relations Theory II will be influential in the future development of public relations theory. Taken as a whole, the chapters in this book will help readers develop their own sense of direction for public relations theory. Public Relations Theory II is an essential addition to the library of every public relations scholar, and is appropriate for use in advanced public relations theory coursework as well as for study and reference.


Academic Journal ArticleS (selected)


“Positive organizational behavior: A buffer for bad news,” S. L. French and T. Holden, accepted for publication in Business Communication Quarterly, scheduled for June 2012

“Food fight! Public relations and politics in the battle for Gigante,” T. Holden and S. L. French. Journal for Business Communication, January 2012.

“Black sheriffs and villains in white hats: The image of the hero in western parodies,” M. Turner, American, British and Canadian Studies Journal, 2012.

“Arrr!!!: Performing piracy and the origin of international talk like a pirate day,” M. Turner, Popular Culture Review, 2012.


“Trains, chains, blame and elephant appeal: A case study of the public relations significance of Mary the Elephant,” J. Brummette, Public Relations Review, [Special Issue, 2011, available online].

“It's all your fault: Kenneth Burke, symbolic action, and the assigning of guilt and blame to women,” S. L. French and S. Brown. Southern Communication Journal, February 2011.

“Undisciplined: Interdisciplinary teaching in a disciplinary world,” M. Turner, Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy Proceedings, 2011.

“Guiding public opinion in civil disorders: The Chinese experience,” G. Shao, T. Xiao, S. Yao & H. Shen, Journal of International Communication, 17(2), August 2011, pp. 91-106.

“Breadth or depth? A content analysis of the use of public relations theory,” H. Fussell Sisco, E.L. Collins & L. M. Zoch, Public Relations Review, 37(2), June 2011, pp. 145-150.


“Framing Second Life for use in higher education: An analysis of EDUCAUSE Review and The Chronicle of Higher Education,” K.W. Bowers, D.Z. Davis & J.C. Neely, Journal of Virtual Worlds and Education, 2010, 1(1).

“The writing on the wall: A content analysis of college students’ Facebook groups for the 208 presidential election,” J. Fernandes , M. Giurcanu, Bowers K.W., & J. C. Neely, Mass Communication and Society, 2010, 13(5).

“Virtual possibilities: A constructivist examination of the educational applications of Second Life,” J. C. Neely, K. W. Bowers, & M. W. Ragas, Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 2010, 21 (1), 93-110.

“Do lay people prepare both sides of an argument? The effects of confidence, forewarning, and expected interaction on seeking out counter-attitudinal information,” M.M. Turner, S. Yao, S. Baker, J. Goodman, & S. Materese, Argumentation & Advocacy, 2010, 46(4), 226-239.

“Examining the gender of sources in media releases. Does the CEO matter?” H. Fussell Sisco, L. M. Zoch and E. L. Collins, Public Relations Journal, (4/1) Spring 2010. Article available online.

“Through the looking glass: A decade of Red Cross crisis response and situational crisis communication theory,” H. Fussell Sisco, E. L. Collins and L. M. Zoch, Public Relations Review, 36(1), March 2010, pp 21-27.

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