Lecture Series

Dr. Melvin L. DeFleur Distinguished Lecture Series

The College of Communication annually invites two distinguished scholars from outside to share their outstanding scholarship, expertise, and experience with the BU community. In recognition of the pioneering and inspirational contributions of Dr. Melvin L. DeFleur to the field of mass communication research and his service as a venerable and inexhaustible member of COM’s Communication Research Center (CRC), the faculty members of the CRC have named this series in his honor.


Dr. Joseph Turow(Robert lewis Shayon Professor of Communication, University of Pennsylvania) talked about the resignation industry and the future of the media studies. Spring, 2019.

Dr. Janet Fulk (Professor of Communication and Professor of Management and Organization, University of Southern California) portrayed the meaning of multilevel expertise by drawing on evolutionary theory, specifically her research on pelicans, and how multilevel expertise can be applied in organizations. Fall, 2018.

Dr. danah boyd (Principal Researcher of Microsoft Research, Founder of Data & Society, Visiting Professor of New York University) unpacked some of the unique cultural challenges presented by “big data” and machine learning, raising critical questions about fairness and accountability. Spring, 2018.

Dr. Icek Ajzen (Professor of Psychology Emeritus, University of Massachusetts) describes his work on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and its use as a cohesive framework for understanding and predicting behavior and designing effective behavior change interventions. Fall, 2016.

Dr. Robin L. Nabi (Professor of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara) introduces three novel approaches to the study of emotion in media contexts. Spring, 2016.

Dr. Ronald Rice (Arthur N. Rupe Chair in the Social Effects of Mass Communication in the Department of Communication, Department Chair, and Co-Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center, at University of California, Santa Barbara) presents how the concept and research surrounding the “digital divide” are broadening as new forms of digital equality are identified both in the U.S. and abroad. Spring, 2014.

Dr. James E. Grunig, Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication at the University of Maryland, has devoted his career to developing the strategic management paradigm of public relations. Watch “From Symbolism to Strategy: A Personal Intellectual History of Public Relations Theory.” Spring, 2013.

Dr. Diana C. Mutz delivered the third Dr. Melvin L. DeFleur Distinguished Lecture entitled, “In Your Face Politics: Television and the Intensification of Political Emotions.” Dr. Mutz draws on a series of experimental and survey studies to illuminate the consequences of incivility and the unique visual perspective of televised politics. Dr. Mutz’s findings have implications for understanding the strong emotions tied to contemporary politics. Fall, 2012.

Dr. Maxwell McCombs (Professor and Jesse H. Jones Chair in Communications at the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin) presented a research talk, “Do the Media Tell Us What to Think About? The Psychology of Agenda Setting,” as part of the Dr. Melvin L. DeFleur Distinguished Lecture Series. Spring, 2012.


Joseph Turow, “The resignation industry and the future of the media studies

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Maxwell McCombs, “Do the Media tell us what to think about? The psychology of agenda setting”

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Steve Lacy, “Digital journalism: Framing transformation and understanding impact”

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Communication Research Colloquium Series

The Communication Research Colloquium Series at Boston University was established in October 2009. This series consists of monthly research presentations that highlight current and original research of faculty in the College of Communication. This forum provides an intellectual exchange of ideas and perspectives, features scholarship in several methodological traditions, and fosters discussions among faculty and students about a variety of research topics in the field of communication.



Chris Wells (Assistant Professor Division of Emerging Media Studies in the Department of Journalism, Boston University) reveals how to understand attention, publicity and visibility in the hybrid media system.

Dr. Donald Wright (Harold Burson Professor & Chair in Public Relations, Boston University) reveals research, measurement, and evaluation have been and are being used in contemporary public relations practice in a ten-year longitudinal study.

Dr. Lindsey Decker (Lecturer in the Department of Film and Television, Boston University) reveals how embracing transnationalism and genre hybridity helped kick-start and sustain the British horror resurgence of the 2000s and allowed filmmakers to change the conversation around horror in middlebrow British film culture.

Dr. Charlotte Howell (Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Television Studies, Boston University) traces how taste cultures in the 1990s and early 2000s interacted with the discourse of religion within the television industry. 


Dr. Christopher Wells, “The Politics of Attention: Understanding the Currency of the Hybrid Media System”

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Dr. Donald Wright, “Social Media Research, Measurement, and Evaluation in the Public Relations Industry”

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Dr. Lindsey Decker, “Hybrid Horrors: Transnationalism, Film Culture, and British Horror Cinema of 2000s”

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Dr. T. Barton Carter, “Has the time come to revise §230 of the Communications Decency Act”

Thursday, February 22, 2017

Dr. James Shanahan, “Television & Authoritarianism”

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dr. Charlotte Howell, “Preachy TV: 7th Heaven, Touched By An Angel and Middlebrow Television”

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Dr. Michelle Amazeen, “Telling Stories: Negotiating Political and Consumer (Mis)Information in the Digital Age”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tammy Vigil, “The 2016 RNC & DNC: How the Coronation Became a Battlefield Again”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Patrice Oppliger, “Mean Girls, Stealth Girls, Sidekicks, and Targets: A Thematic Analysis of Female Characters in TweenComs”

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

H. Denis Wu, “The Affect Agenda: How Image and Emotion Influence Voters”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

T. Barton Carter, “Who is Safe in this Harbor? Rethinking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act”

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Denis Wu, “Journalism + Public relations = News media of Taiwan”

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Don Wright, “A longitudinal analysis of the increased use of social and emerging media in public relations practice”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bill McKeen, “Serendipity: Finding what you didn’t know you were looking for”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Marco Gui, “Attracted but unsatisfied: The effects of arousing content on television consumption choices”

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nancy Signorielli, “50 years of women on TV”

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ed Downes, “Congressional press secretary: The story of Capitol Hill’s image makers”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Michael Elasmar, “Looking inside their heads: Visualizing the thought process of media consumers”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Patrice Oppliger, “Standups, sitcoms and Sarah Silvermans: The Evolution of Women in Comedy”

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dietram Scheufele, “From stem cells to nanotechnology: The science of communicating controversial science”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Deborah Jaramillo, “’Dead Mexican!’ The traumatized suburbanite and the violent narcotraficante in Breaking Bad and Weeds”

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Michael Dahlstrom, “Diversity of television exposure and its association with the cultivation of concern for environmental risks”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mary Beth Oliver, “Media appreciation as a response to moral beauty”

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yong Jun Shin, “Communication ecology and urban politics”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nikos Leandros, “Media concentration: A European perspective”

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Deborah Jaramillo, “Ugly war, pretty package”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Andrew Hayes and Teresa Myers, “Testing the ‘proximate casualties’ hypothesis”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wolfgang Donsbach, “The public image of journalists”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mina Tsay, “Getting to the heart of media enjoyment”

Monday, October 26, 2009