IU professor and student receive top honors from National Communication Association

Sept. 18, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A professor and a student at Indiana University Bloomington have been selected for major honors given by the National Communication Association.

Robert Ivie, professor emeritus in the Department of Communication and Culture and the Department of American Studies in the IU College of Arts and Sciences, has been elected as a NCA Distinguished Scholar, which recognizes and rewards members for a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication.

Over its 99-year history, the association has selected only about 80 members as Distinguished Scholars for a lifetime of scholarly achievement. Current Distinguished Scholars nominate and elect other National Communication Association members to join the select group.

"The National Communication Association is the field's largest academic organization and, as a member of the American Council of Learned Societies, a key force in advancing scholarship on the process and consequence of human communication in its diverse forms," Ivie said. "Membership in this community of scholars has been instrumental to my efforts to analyze and critique the rhetorical constituents of war culture."

This will be the second consecutive year that the award has been presented to an IU professor. Last year, John Louis Lucaites, associate dean for arts and humanities and undergraduate education in the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of rhetoric and public culture, received the same award.

Also being honored is graduate student Emily Dianne Cram, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication and Culture, who will receive the Stephen E. Lucas Debut Publication Award. The award goes to new scholars in the communication discipline. It recognizes contributions by an author or authors who publish their first scholarly book or monograph.

"I am quite honored to receive this distinction from my NCA colleagues and to join the group of IU Communication and Culture graduate alumni who have received the recognition of the Lucas Award. More, I'm thrilled NCA has a commitment to research that emphasizes the cultural and legal politics of emotion, gender and sexuality," Cram said.

Ivie and Cram will receive their award at NCA's annual convention Nov. 21-24 in Washington, D.C.

Ivie's research often has focused on rhetoric as a mode of political critique and cultural production, with particular emphasis on democracy and the problem of war.

An IU faculty member since 1993, he has served as editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and the Western Journal of Communication.

In addition to his appointment in the Department of Communication and Culture -- where he served as department chair from 1993 to 2003 -- Ivie also taught in the Department of American Studies, in which he served as interim director in 2010. Prior to coming to IU, he was on the faculty at Texas A&M, Washington State, Idaho State and Gonzaga universities. He earned his doctorate at Washington State University. He was selected in 2010 for a five-year term as Honorary Professor in Rhetoric at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

He has been an editorial board member of Michigan State University Press' series on rhetoric and public affairs and on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals, including Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Javnost-The Public. He also was a member of the Indiana Democracy Consortium.

Student honored for her first major scholarly work

Cram is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, specializing in Rhetoric and Public Culture, Gender Studies, and Cultural Studies.

Her award-winning essay, "'Angie was Our Sister': Witnessing the Trans-formation of Disgust in the Citizenry of Photography," was published in The Quarterly Journal of Speech, the flagship journal for the study of rhetoric in the United States. The essay is part of her broader interest in public emotion, the law and social movements.

Cram completed a Master of Arts degree in women's and gender studies at the University of Northern Iowa, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in women's studies and sociology from the University of Wyoming.

Her dissertation, "Violent Inheritance: Landscape Memory, Materiality and Queer Feelings in the Rocky Mountain West," is a rhetorical ethnography of place-making practices located in the American West. Cram examines how material cultures in non-metropolitan environments constitute forms of counter memory relative to non-normative forms of intimacy, desires and regional identity in a West shaped by a national past.