Craig Stewart

Craig O. Stewart


(901) 678-2565
(901) 678-4331
Art & Communication Bldg 237
Office Hours
Contact for office hours


I joined the communication department at the UofM in 2009. My research ties together my 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, global climate change, gender and cognition, and "reparative therapy" for homosexuality—and articles based on this research appear in the journals Communication Theory, Discourse & Society, International Journal of Science Education Part B, Science Communication, and Western Journal of Communication, as well as the edited volumes Rhetoric in Detail: Discourse Analyses of Rhetorical Talk & Text (John Benjamins, 2008) and Communication and Language Analysis in the Public Sphere (IGI Global, 2014). Recently, I have also begun researching the role of STEM Identity in recruiting and retaining students in STEM fields. I use both qualitative and quantitative methods in my research and take a broadly social cognitive perspective on discourse and communication.


Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University
M.S., University of Memphis
B.S., Lambuth University



Associate Professor, Department of Communication & Film, University of Memphis, 2015-present
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of Memphis, 2009-2015
Assistant Professor, Department of English, Old Dominion University, 2006-2009


Undergraduate Studies Coordinator, Department of Communication & Film, University of Memphis, 2014-2020
Interim Department Chair, Department of Communication & Film, University of Memphis, 2017-2019

Honors and Awards

University of Memphis Faculty Advisor-Graduate Mentor Award, 2020
College of Communication and Fine Arts Dean's Outstanding Faculty Advisor Runner Up, 2018
College of Communication and Fine Arts Dean's Outstanding Research Award, 2014

Research and Scholarly Activities

Research Interests

Science Communication
Critical Discourse Studies
Intergroup Communication

Recent Publications

Stewart, C. O., & Young, A. J. (in press). “Something with a frightening reputation”: 60 Minutes’ accommodation of HIV in gene therapy for sickle cell disease. Rhetoric of Health & Medicine, 5(1).

Stewart, C. O. (2021). STEM Identities: A communication theory of identity approach. Journal of Language and Social Psychology [online ahead of print].

Stewart, C. O., Darbeheshti, M., Ivey, S. S., Russomanno, D. J., Cummings, M. H., Simon, G. E., Schupbach, W. T., Jacobson, M. S., Altman, T., Alfrey, K. D., & Goodman, K. (2021). An initial exploration of engineering student perceptions of COVID's impact on connectedness, learning, and STEM identity. In ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings. San Diego, CA.

Goodman, K., Ivey, S.S., Stewart, C. O., O'Brien, S., Darbeheshti, M., Schupbach, W., & Alfrey, K. D. (2020). Launching the Urban STEM Collaboratory. In ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings. Montreal, QC, Canada.

Stewart, C. O. (2020). Populist linguistic tone in recent U.S. presidential campaign discourse: A DICTION analysis. Communication Research Reports, 37, 11-21.

Stewart, C. O., McConnell, J. R., Stallings, L. A., & Roscoe, R. D. (2019). Growth mindset: Associations with apprehension, self-perceived competence, and beliefs about public speaking. Basic Communication Course Annual, 31, 44-69.

Nau, C., & Stewart, C. O. (2018). Effects of gender and verbal aggression on perceptions of U.S. political speakers. Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict, 6, 127-148.

Stewart, C. O., McConnell, J. R., & Dickerson, D. L. (2017). Socioscientific and epistemic dimensions of support for science: Associations with science education and religiosity. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, 7, 1-13.

Stewart, C. O., McConnell, J. R., Stallings, L. A., & Roscoe, R. D. (2017). An initial exploration of students' mindsets, attitudes, and beliefs about public speaking. Communication Research Reports, 34, 180-185.

Rhodes, C. D., & Stewart, C. O. (2016). Debating LGBT workplace protections in the Bible Belt: Social identities in legislative and media discourse. Journal of Homosexuality, 63, 904-924.

Stewart, C. O. (2016). News media and intergroup contexts. In H. Giles & A. Maass (Eds.), Advances in intergroup communication (pp. 67-83). New York: Peter Lang.

Stewart, C. O. (2016). Truthiness and consequences: A cognitive pragmatic analysis of Stephen Colbert's satirical strategies and effects. In L. Ruiz-Gurillo (Ed.), Metapragmatics of humor: Current research trends (pp. 177-189). New York: John Benjamins.

Public Service

Board of Directors, Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (2012-2016)
Steering Committee, West Tennessee STEM Hub

University Service

Faculty Senate
Member, Center for Research and Innovation in STEM Teaching and Learning
Member, Institutional Review Board (IRB)
SafeZone Ally


National Science Foundation IUSE (Award No. 2120819), Preza, C. (PI), Ivey, S. (Co-PI), Stewart, C. O. (Co-PI). (10/01/2021-09/30/2024). Understanding the Role of Undergraduate Research and Mentoring in the Efficacy, Identity, and Success of Engineering Undergraduate Students. $299,998.

National Science Foundation ADVANCE (Award No. 2017452), Ozdenerol, E. (PI), Ivey, S. (Co-PI), Sabri, F. (Co-PI), Stewart, C. O. (Co-PI), Rockinson-Szapkiw, A. (Co-PI). (8/15/2020 - 8/14/2023). Adaptations for Sustainable Policies and Increased Recruitment Excellence in Diversity (ASPIRED). $1,000,000.

National Science Foundation S-STEM (Award No. 1833987), Ivey, S. (Lead PI), Haddock, J. (PI), Stewart, C. O. (Co-PI), Robinson, A. L. (Co-PI), Campbell, J. T. (Co-PI). (10/01/18-09/30/2023). The Urban STEM Collaboratory – Building Student Success through Academic, Financial, Social, and Career Support. $1,697,556.

University of Memphis Division of Research and Innovation Community of Research Scholars (Mid-South LGBTQ+ Archive), 2019. $2500.

College of Communication and Fine Arts New Faculty Research Initiative Grant, 2010. $4,500.