emiltowner.com

Research

Broadly speaking, my research and teaching focuses on how information is transferred verbally and visually in professional communication settings. I explore that interest in three major areas of emphasis:

Business and Professional Communication—My research and teaching focuses on a variety of topics related to professional communication—including ethics in communication, documentation, visual communication, web and social media writing, online product recalls, and warnings in business documents and workplaces.

Image Repair and Apologia—This area of research relates to the verbal and visual communication used by corporations, politicians, government officials, and public figures accused of wrongdoing. It is of interest to anyone with a passion for business, communications, public relations, peace studies, international relations, politics and even pop culture. At the heart of this research is a focus on how apologetic exchanges impact processes, organizations, and societies.

Genocide, War, and Intervention Communication—How do government officials, politicians, and civic leaders respond to atrocities, war, genocide, and human rights violations? For me, answering that question consists of analyzing documents used to describe human rights violations, genocide, and the rebuilding of communities in the wake of such atrocities, particularly in relation to Rwanda. It also consists of analyzing the intervention rhetoric used by government officials and advocacy groups attempting to solicit aid for developing nations or victims of human rights violations.

My research in those areas has resulted in articles in Business Communication Quarterly, Communication Yearbook, Rhetoric Review, Qualitative Research Reports in Communication (QRRC), JAC, Intercom, and Technical Communication Quarterly.

For more information, you can review a list of my courses and publications on my CV. You can also review my dissertation on documenting apologies in Rwanda’s genocide trials. If you’re interested in these topics and would like to discuss them, please contact me. You can also review my teaching philosophy.

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