Research

Sustaining the teacher-scholar tradition

The Communication faculty at UMass Amherst sustains the teacher-scholar tradition, with deep connections among our theoretical work, our research, our graduate and undergraduate instruction, and a range of engagements in community and policy development. We cover many of the field’s subspecialties, with particular strength in social interaction, cultural studies, cinema studies, and media, technology, and policy. Many faculty members are rooted in the social and behavioral sciences, many others in the humanities. Together, we offer diverse approaches to Communication scholarship and a genuinely interdisciplinary dialogue.

Our work is everywhere

Communication faculty are international authors whose work regularly appears in virtually every major North American journal in the field, as well as dozens of international journals. Our work is also found in the journals of such related fields as psychology, sociology, American studies, cinema studies, performance studies, feminist studies, Latino/a studies, and art history, and in specialty publications addressing quantitative and qualitative research methods. Along with distinguished scholarship in large sample survey research, we offer unusual depth in qualitative approaches, for example in communication ethnography, field research in media and cultural studies, conversation analysis, textual criticism, media historiography, audience research, critical policy analysis, qualitative approaches to political economy, and participatory action research including community media making.

Communication scholarship as a means to an end

Increasingly, members of our faculty undertake sponsored projects that apply Communication principles to questions of social, cultural, and governmental importance: for example in research on translation and international relations; culture-specific approaches to security, gender, and technology development; national and regional broadband access and practice; and health policy and community health practice. In different ways, faculty share a commitment to Communication scholarship as a route to social understanding, participation, and justice.

Graduate research in the Department of Communication is equally broad. Our graduate students are active as authors, editors, and presenters of original research at national and international scholarly events.

We invite you to explore this website

The best way to get a sense of the range and depth of our research activity is to explore this website. Visit our faculty and graduate program pages, review recent master's theses and doctoral dissertations, peruse a list of our "On the Road" scholarly activities, sample our scholarship through individual curriculum vitae, and follow news of our research events