Ethnography in Praxis in the College Literature Classroom

In this article, I suggest that an applied communication approach using Dell Hymes framework of ethnography of communication could serve as an intervention strategy in order to promote a greater sense of shared community by increasing member-shared knowledge based on speech codes, speech acts, and speech events within the college literature curriculum. I explore this framework with consideration on how this communication approach could be used as a way to help students identify with stories that contain culture-specific language in the form of speech codes, and how this assumed shared knowledge is necessary for member identification. This article is exploratory; it offers researchers interested in the intersection between applied communication research and ethnography the opportunity to study the ways mediated communication can create cultural sensitivity through an insiders or emic view of the heritage, the language differences, as well as the patterns of speech often found in ethnically diverse literature.


ethnography of communication, applied communication, pedagogy

A Critical Review of Black’s “Rhetorical Criticism: A Study in Method”

Edwin Black wrote his treatise, “Rhetorical Criticism: A Study in Method” (1965) while working on his Ph.D. at Cornell University. Black’s suggestion that Neo-Aristotelian practices based upon the assumptions and principles of theory limited the critic’s ability to understand the historical, social, political, and ideological context of texts provoked controversy among rhetorical critics of the day (p. ix). His method book, while, not welcomed by all scholars, opened the doors to new avenues of public discourse, and unchained subsequent generations of students and scholars to envision new ways to think, to explore, and to conceptualize the rhetorical process. The study method, published originally in 1965, was reintroduced to students in 1978 and has continued to be considered one of the most influential books in the field (Black, 1978).

Invitational Rhetoric

Recently, I was introduced to Foss and Griffin’s 1995 Theory of Invitational Rhetoric. I had never heard of this theory before, but learned about it while conducting research for my Advanced Theory of Communication course at Regent University (Spring 2015). I read two journal articles (currently being reviewed for my Applied Research Methods course) that suggest the “possibility” of designing English and Communication courses using this theory as a base model. The articles were suggestive of applicability, but not thoroughly tested in a classroom setting. I am intrigued by this possibility, and I am thinking of using this theory to create a multi-modal writing course for first year Freshman Composition. I need to flesh out the idea more, and of course, conduct some research (of which there is scant in literature at this time). My hope is that I might be able to produce some scholarly work, perhaps a conference paper, on this topic. It seems to be gaining some traction in higher education, specifically in Writing and Rhetoric departments and groups.

Member Experience, Perception and Commitment during Organizational Crisis

In June 2014, I conducted an ethnographic research project to study the role of affect on member experience, perception and commitment. I wrote a critical paper entitled, Paradise Church: An Ethnographic Study of the Affects of Organizational Crisis on Member Experience, Perception and Commitment, for a course in Qualitative Research Methods at Regent University in Summer 2014.


Crisis affects all organizations at one time or another. Crisis communication, strategies for crisis response, and crisis management programs form the basis for significant scholarship in the field of organizational communication. Researchers attempting to explore and to understand communication and its role within organizations have focused on crises and how the crisis itself forms the foundation for communication patterns. They seek to know how to interpret warning signs, how to create awareness of potential crisis, and how to effectively managed crisis once it has occurred. However, little research exists to explore how crisis affects members directly, how their experience is shaped, and how crisis leadership communication influences member perception and directly relates to commitment levels. Areas for future research are also addressed.

KEYWORDS Communication, crisis response, intragroup conflict, member experience

Gregory L. Bahnsen: Christian Communicator, Apologist, and Defender of the Faith

I wrote a critical paper on the late Dr. Gregory L. Bahnsen, entitled, Gregory L. Bahnsen: Christian Communicator, Apologist, and Defender of the Faith. This paper was for a course in History of Communication at Regent University taken in Fall of 2013.


Gregory Lyle Bahnsen was a Christian communicator, philosopher, apologist, lecturer, debater, and defender of the faith.  Bahnsen is most well known for his public debates against prominent atheists, and for his staunchly conservative theological positions, often creating controversy within reformed theological circles. Bahnsen’s prolific writing, along with a massive collection of teaching and lecture series, continues to educate, to inform, and to create thought-provoking discussion among Christian leaders, scholars and students. This brief historical account is designed to examine the background, the professional career, the apologetic foundation, the theological position, the communicative style, the influence, and the legacy of Gregory L. Bahnsen.