Dr Cori Dauber & Media Lab Director Mark Robinson cited in The Economist

Dr Cori Dauber & Media Lab Director Mark Robinson were cited in The Economist’s article“The Propaganda War: The terrorists’ vicious message is surprisingly hard to rebut” (August 15, 2015)


Economist Aug 15, 2015


“One reason may be that since its declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria last year, IS has stood out from terrorist predecessors for the quality of its propaganda. Its video productions are “a generation ahead” of other groups, reckon Cori Dauber and Mark Robinson, media experts at the University of North Carolina. In a recent paper they outline a range of sophisticated techniques the group wields to heighten the power of its visuals, from care in choosing starkly contrasting colours—think black uniforms and orange jumpsuits—to the use of multiple cameras, tight focus, “subjective” angles and intimate sounds to create an eyewitness effect.” {excerpt}

For the full article, go here.

Video production techniques of ISIS: some thoughts from Profs. Dauber (Rhetoric) & Robinson (Production)

C.Dauber on Jihadology (2015)



Jihadology Guest Post 6 July 2015, “ISIS and the Hollywood Visual Style” by Communication (Rhetoric) and Peace, War & Defense Professor, Cori E. Dauber & Communication (Media Production) Professor, Mark Robinson


{EXCERPT} … what specifically does it mean to say that ISIS material is sophisticated in visual terms, or that their videos are done in a “Hollywood visual style?” While that’s a complicated question to get after, one can start by breaking it down in terms of the way ISIS makes use of some of the compositional elements of production to contribute to the persuasive power of their materials, in a way that other groups either cannot or simply do not.

for the full post, go here

Rhetoric Prof. Cori Dauber on “ISIS and the Family Man”

C.Dauber in Small Wars Journal (2015)


Small Wars Journal  July 1, 2015

“ISIS and the Family Man” — Cori E. Dauber

{EXCERPT} It is widely acknowledged that ISIS is enormously sophisticated in its use of Social Media.[i] It is also widely acknowledged that they have had great success recruiting fighters from around the globe.[ii] The problem is that there has been a tendency to assume, with no evidence, that the two phenomena are linked, and to make further assumptions about how they are linked. In fact, the intent behind the design of ISIS’ overall persuasive campaign, the production of the materials they distribute on Social Media, and how and where they distribute them, is of necessity a black box. Without interviews with those responsible for these materials (and for the most part without even any conclusive information about them,)[iii] we cannot know with certainty what it is they are trying to achieve with any specific propaganda product or set of products. Yet over and over again analysts in and out of government have made definitive statements about the purpose behind ISIS’ persuasive campaign. The assumption is that ISIS is recruiting the “disaffected” and “alienated,” both in the United States and Europe.[iv] They may be attractive to that group, but where is the evidence that their recruiting strategy is designed specifically to reach that population and that population only?


For the full article, go here.

Welcome to our new Chair & Assistant Chair !


The Department of Communication would like to announce its new Chair, Dr. Patricia Parker

Parker_Pat (2015)

and new Assistant Chair, Dr. Sarah Dempsey


  Welcome !



Also, a Thank you to immediate past Chair, Dr. Ken Hillis


and immediate past Assistant Chair, Dr. Sarah Sharma

Sarah Sharma

We appreciate your service !



Prof. Monahan “Resisting Surveillance Through Art”

Monahan NCA journal June2015

In opening, Monahan states:

With growing concern about proliferating surveillance, a number of artists have created fashionable ways to hide from the camera’s gaze. These include designs such as irregular face paint and hairstyles, creepy-looking masks, and reflective underwear. The problem with such symbolic plays of avoidance is that they fail to challenge discriminatory uses of surveillance.    (to read the full article, go here)



Communication Currents (a publication of the National Communication Association)

Volume 10, Issue 3 – June 2015

“Resisting Surveillance Through Art” by Torin Monahan, Ph.D.

translated from the scholarly article: Monahan, T. (2015). The right to hide? Anti-surveillance camouflage and the aestheticization of resistance. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 12,159-178.

Comm Studies in the top 10!

Communication Studies was one of the top 10 majors selected by students in the graduating class of 2015.

Check out the graphic for a cool snapshot of the new grads, by major. {Source: UNC Spotlight – What’s Your Major? }

2015grads by major

Congratulations to our Doctoral Graduates

doctoral grads 2015 (medium)

{C. Hardin, C. Matheson, J. O’Grady, A. Towns (K. Zemlicka not in attendance)}


Doctoral Grads (2015)


Congratulations to the newest class of Communication Studies graduates

Program front (2015)


Honors grads (2015)







Phi Beta Kappa grads (2015)








Spring 2015 grads (all)(2015)



Fall 2014 and Summer 2015 grads (2015)























Summer 2015 COMM STUDIES course offerings

old well (spring)Check out the interesting variety of courses on offer from the Comm Studies Department this summer!

MAYMESTER  { 5/13 – 5/29 }

2015 Maymester


FIRST SUMMER SESSION  { 5/13 – 6/18 }

2015 Summer 1


SECOND SUMMER SESSION  { 6/22 – 7/28 }

2015 Summer 2

Graduate Course offerings, Fall 2015

Click here for a listing of Grad-level courses being offered, Fall 2015

Old Well in autumn