Department of Communication
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Craig O. Stewart

StewartCraig O. Stewart

Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Studies Coordinator

Degrees Held

PhD, Carnegie Mellon University
MS, University of Memphis
BS, Lambuth University

Academic Summary

I joined the communication department at the U of M in 2009, after three years as an assistant professor at Old Dominion University. My research ties together my graduate training in rhetoric and cognitive psychology within the field of discourse studies. Most of my research focuses on how discourse of and about science is used and understood in the context of social and political controversies—including stem cell research, gender and cognition, and “reparative therapy” for homosexuality—and articles based on this research appear in the journals Communication Theory, Discourse & Society, Science Communication, and Western Journal of Communication, as well as the edited volume Rhetoric in Detail: Discourse Analyses of Rhetorical Talk & Text (John Benjamins, 2008). Recently, I have also carried out research on news media representations of “illegal immigrants” and on how irony functions within satirical media discourse. I use both qualitative and quantitative methods in my research and take a broadly social cognitive perspective on discourse and communication.

I frequently teach Communication Research Methods at the undergraduate level as well as graduate courses in communication theory, discourse studies, and persuasion. 

Courses Taught

Communication Research Methods (Undergrad)
Communication Theory (Undergrad & Grad)
Discourse Analysis (Grad)
Persuasion (Undergrad & Grad)
Senior Capstone

Major Publications

Dickerson, D. L., Eckhoff, A., Stewart, C. O., Chappell, S., & Hathcock, S. (2014). The examination of a pull-out STEM program for urban upper elementary students. Research in Science Education, 44, 483-506.

Dickerson, D. L., Stewart, C. O., Hathcock, S., & O'Connell, W. (2014). The nature and role of science kits in affecting change in public understanding of science. To appear in T. W. Hin & R. Subramanian (Eds.), Communicating science to the public (pp. 47-62). New York: Springer.

Nau, C., & Stewart, C. O. (2014). Effects of verbal aggression and party identification bias on perceptions of political speakers. Journal of Language & Social Psychology, 33, 526-536.

Stewart, C. O., & Rhodes, C. (2014). Global warming as a socioscientific controversy. In R. P. Hart (Ed.), Communication and language analysis in the public sphere (pp. 276-289). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Riordan, M. A., Markman, K. M., & Stewart, C. O. (2013). Communication accommodation in instant messaging: An examination of temporal convergence. Journal of Language & Social Psychology, 32, 84-95.

Stewart, C. O. (2013a). The influence of news frames and science background on attributions about embryonic and adult stem cell research: Frames as heuristic/biasing cues. Science Communication, 35, 86-114.

Stewart, C. O. (2013b). Strategies of verbal irony in visual satire: Reading The New Yorker's "Politics of Fear" cover. HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research, 26, 197-217.

Stewart, C. O., Pitts, M. J., & Osborne, H. (2011). Mediated intergroup conflict: The discursive construction of "illegal immigrants" in a regional U.S. newspaper. Journal of Language & Social Psychology, 30, 8-27.

Stewart, C. O. (2009). Socioscientific controversies: A theoretical and methodological framework. Communication Theory, 19, 124-145.

Stewart, C. O., Dickerson, D. L., & Hotchkiss, R. (2009). Beliefs about science and news frames in audience evaluations of embryonic and adult stem cell research. Science Communication, 30, 427-452.

Stewart, C. O. (2008a). How a media controversy can influence a scientific publication: The case of Robert L. Spitzer's "reparative therapy" study. In B. Johnstone & C. Eisenhart (Eds.), Rhetoric in detail: Discourse analyses of rhetorical talk and text (pp. 255-278). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Stewart, C. O. (2008b). Social cognition and discourse processing goals in the analysis of 'ex-gay' rhetoric. Discourse & Society, 19, 63-83.

Stewart, C. O., Setlock, L. D., & Fussell, S. R. (2007). Conversational argumentation in decision-making: Chinese and U.S. participants in face-to-face and instant messaging interactions. Discourse Processes, 44, 113-139.

Honors and Awards

College of Communication and Fine Arts Dean's Outstanding Research Award, 2014-15
College of Communication and Fine Arts New Faculty Research Initiative Grant, 2010

Professional Activity

West Tennessee STEM Hub, Steering Committee, 2014-present
Technoculture: An Online Journal of Technology in Society
, Editorial Board Member, 2013-2015.
University of Memphis, Institutional Review Board (IRB), Member, 2011-present
Southern States Communication Association, Language & Social Interaction Division Officer, 2010-2014

Phone: 901-678-4873

Fax: 901-678-4331


Office: ACB 237


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Last Updated: 10/1/14