Say Yes When Asked, Illinois: A Replication of Michigan’s Campaign to Increase Organ Donation Registration Rates in Drivers Facilities
Prof. Brian Quick and his research team recently replicated Michigan’s “Tell us Now” intervention in Illinois. Specifically,in the campaign they implemented the intervention in the ten best as well as the ten worst performing Driver Service Facilities located within the six counties in and around Chicago. In the campaign, a grassroots plus media educational program was utilized to increase the number of residents registered to donate their organs after death.
The roots of photography’s political power
Prof. Cara Finnegan is completing a book called Reading Photography's Viewers, which examines how late 19th and early 20th century Americans mobilized photography's rhetorical resources of presence, character, appropriation, and circulation in their political arguments about photographs.
Visual representations of human operators in technological systems
Prof. Ned O’Gorman is working with Kevin Hamilton (Art & Design, UIUC) on visual representations of nuclear weaponry, other than the ubiquitous mushroom cloud. In one project, they are looking at how photographs and films of human operators at work in and on nuclear weapons systems have historically helped address, dismiss, or ignore the moral questions surrounding atomic stockpiles and atomic warfare. In another, they are working toward a book on and a digitally-based archive of the films of Lookout Mountain Laboratory, a Hollywood production studio run by the 1352nd Photographic Squadron of the United States Air Force, in operation from 1948 to 1969.
Time is of the essence: Audience engagement with vintage films
Prof. Pat Gill’s recent research examines how and why spectators engage or fail to engage with films of past decades. She is working to identify the factors—generational, cultural, technicalâ€”that influence viewing, comprehension, interest, and enjoyment of films made in and for earlier eras.
Communication technology in virtual organizations
Virtual organizations—temporary organizations drawing co-workers together across geographic distance and institutional boundaries—are becoming increasingly important in many fields. Their success depends on many factors: finding and engaging the right group of collaborators, acquiring use of material resources as virtual assets of the project, and more. Prof. Sally Jackson’s current research is focused on this topic, especially on the selection, acquisition, and use of technology assets within virtual organizations formed around multi-institutional scientific projects.
Advertising as economic and political partner
Prof. Inger Stole is finishing a few shorter projects based on research she conducted while writing Advertising at War: Business, Consumers, and Government in the 1940s, her forthcoming book with the University of Illinois Press. This summer, she plans on starting her next book project, exploring the emergence of a postwar consumer market in Scandinavia and the influence of the American advertising industry on this process.
Returning home: Spousal relationships after military deployment
Prof. Leanne Knobloch is analyzing data from a study of military service members and their spouses recently reunited following deployment. Couples completed an online survey once per month for the first three months upon reunion. The results of the study should shed light on how to help military couples maintain more satisfying relationships during the homecoming period.
Characterizing presidential discourse
Prof. John Murphy is working on a project characterizing President Obama as a "thick" orator. That is, the President tends to use rhetorical strategies that invoke multiple contexts and establish dialogical relationships--tactics such as allusion, refutation, argument from reciprocity, historical narrative, and so forth. Professor Murphy suspects that the strengths and limitations of his appeal can be found in the thickness of his discourse.
Online news and the fragmentation of polities
Prof. David Tewksbury is working with graduate students in the department on a project designed to identify the long-term consequences of public adoption of the Internet for newsgathering. They are hoping to determine whether widespread reliance on the internet might lead to the segmentation of public affairs knowledge in isolated pockets of the population. Information segmentation of this sort has the power to affect the operation of contemporary democracies.
Bilingualism, culture, and identity
Prof. Michele Koven’s research has investigated how bilingual speakers experience themselves and are perceived by others as a different type of person in their two languages. She is currently investigating how such a phenomenon came about, by studying how participants link ways of speaking to cultural images of particular types of space, time, and person. Specifically, she has been examining how daughters of Portuguese migrants imagine ways of speaking as relatively more "modern" and/or "old-fashioned," and how they then project those images onto themselves and others. She has been analyzing these phenomena in everyday storytelling practices, and in online contexts.
Economic power in presidential politics
Prof. Bob McChesney is working on a book on media and American elections. It will be completed by the end of 2012 and published by Nation Books in 2013.
The Impact of Cultural Stressors on Latino Adolescent Risk Behaviors
Prof. Jennifer Kam is conducting a longitudinal survey study that involves three rural middle schools in Illinois. With her team of nearly 30 graduate and undergraduate students, Prof. Kam surveyed the middle school students in early fall 2011 and then again in early spring 2012. They will return to the schools at the end of spring to survey the students for a third and final time. Through this study, Dr. Kam's goal is to determine how cultural stressors place Latino adolescents at risk for substance use, delinquent behaviors, and poor academic performance. In addition, she is interested in identifying communication-based coping strategies for these youth.
High School Conversations about Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs
Prof. Jennifer Kam and her collaborator, Prof. Janice Krieger from The Ohio State University, are conducting an interview/survey study with students from local high schools in Urbana-Champaign. Funded by the Campus Research Board Award at UI, this study sheds light on the conversations that high school students have with their friends about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD). More specifically, the semi-structured interview and survey data will allow Drs. Kam and Krieger to: (1) identify specific messages that high school students use to discourage or encourage their friends from using substances, (2) determine how such messages influence subsequent use, and (3) examine how such conversations influence friendships and positive impressions. Such findings will inform substance use prevention programming.
The VERB Campaign
Using data from the VERB campaign, Prof. Huhman is studying if children’s physical activity levels affect their understanding of a positive message about being physically active. The basic question is:Does the VERB message have the same relevance for inactive children as it seemed to have for active children? Drawing from work by Erica Austin who applied the Message Interpretation Processing (MIP) model to study adolescents’ identification with alcohol advertising, she applied MIP to children’s identification with the VERB message, in particular with how their understanding of the message and their physical activity differed by perceptions of injunctive and descriptive norms to be physically active.
The communication foundations of economic policy
Prof. Dan Schiller continues to research and write his archivally grounded history of U.S. telecommunications from the late nineteenth century forward to the Internet. He is also making a first attempt to draft a short book on the role of communications and information in today's financial and economic crisis.
Popular culture and the human body
Prof. Mardia Bishop is currently working on a collection of essays for Praeger Press on the representation of the body in pop culture.