Our department emphasizes producing research and scholarship that engages and is developed with our local and global communities. We're committed to better understanding how communication shapes, and is shaped by, our cultures, families and organizations.

We believe that true understandings of communication can't emerge without a commitment to anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-religious intolerance, anti-classist and anti-ableist pedagogy and practice. All of our faculty are committed to supporting diversity and inclusion on and off the DU campus.

Student participates in debate

Our Mission

Our mission is to identify ways we can:

  • better understand who we are as members of cultures, groups and families;
  • examine and critique ideologies and structures that constrain our contact with each other;
  • identify ways to deliberate and reach just decisions in public, organizational and personal contexts;
  • create the means for dialogue and collaboration during conflict and struggle.

First, we are committed to developing philosophical accounts of the nature of communicative activity. Second, we are committed to understanding how communicative action works to form and transform our public and civic identities. Third, we are committed to producing reflective criticism of communicative activity in all of its textual and performative modalities.

Our department has long avoided choosing between teaching and research, micro and macro views of communication or theory and practice. Instead, we have encouraged the dialectic between them. We are a teaching department that places high priority on making our own contributions to new knowledge about communication. Our scholarship variously follows both social scientific and humanistic approaches. We refuse to privilege one research method over another.

In brief, throughout its history, our department has been intrigued by theory and dedicated to making contributions to it, yet we remain focused on practical application. Just as a hundred years ago we were proud to teach people to be good public speakers, today we are committed to advancing quality, ethics and justice as outcomes of communication.

Students listening in DU classroom

Inclusive Excellence

The University of Denver has articulated inclusivity and excellence as core values, supporting the vision of DU as a “great private university dedicated to the public good.” We recognize with the University that academic excellence can only be achieved in the context of diversity and inclusivity.

For resources on the larger context of inclusive excellence at DU, visit The Cultural Center.

The Department of Communication Studies responds to the University’s call for integrating inclusive excellence into its day-to-day practices of teaching and learning, researching, and serving the discipline, institution and public.

The Department of Communication Studies at DU:

  • Interprets inclusive excellence as a commitment to an anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-religious intolerance, anti-classist and anti-ableist pedagogy and practice.
  • Recognizes that forms of oppression are structural, interconnected and overlapping, and affect people and the environment on many levels in their day-to-day lives, in public and in private.
  • Dedicates itself to community engagement, social justice and the public good as ways to work within and with the community.
  • Values diverse ways of knowing including lived experiences as important sources of knowledge.
  • Endeavors to practice ethical listening and empathic communication, and recognizes that power relationships shape difference, disagreement and conflict.
  • Commits to creating a sanctuary amidst these times of precarity, particularly for those who face oppression, dehumanization, marginalization and discrimination.

Department Contacts