Communication Research Area

Dr. Melissa Harris’s research interests are located at the intersection of culture, race, gender, and media studies. Most of my research is cultural and critical in nature, often using theoretical frameworks that illuminate discourse, power, rhetoric, resistance, and emancipation. Dr. Harris is currently conducting research on the cultural rite of passage known as “The Talk” within Black family and community communication structures, guided by interseconality and critical race theory (CRT). This research focuses on the implications and interplay of such conversations on gender, media, and the public and private sphere.

Dr. Kimberly Meltzer’s research focuses on journalistic adaptation to change, from the perspective of journalists themselves, and the political and social implications of those adaptations. I look at how journalists perceive their own work, the work of their peers, and its effects on citizens. My recent research has examined journalistic discourse around the coverage of hate groups, and opinion and commentary in news, including civility in public discourse. The latter was the subject of my 2019 book. I am now exploring how journalists and their news organizations respond to challenges including reputational attacks, disinformation, and physical threats and harm.