Thomas Dunn, Ph.D., wins New Investigator Award

Thomas Dunn headshot
Tom Dunn, Department of Communication Studies, Colorado State University

Story by Lindsay McNeish

Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies Thomas R. Dunn has been awarded the New Investigator Award from the National Communication Association. Dunn will be attending the NCA conference from Nov. 15 to 19 in Dallas, Texas where he will be formally presented the award.

Alongside other Colorado State University and communication studies faculty and graduate students, he will present essays: “Whatever Happened to the “Critics of the Intermediate Period”? A Genealogy of Rhetorical Criticism” and “The Public Address of Obama’s “Gay Rights Diplomacy.

The New Investigator Award is given by the NCA Critical/Cultural Studies division and is evaluated on scholarship, mentorship, and service to the division. Scholars of critical/cultural communication are eligible for the award until their last year before seeking tenure. Dunn, who has been at CSU since 2012, goes up for tenure this year.

“It’s a really encouraging award, a way to get recognized by people you respect,” said Dunn. “It’s not that you made one good point or said one interesting thing, but over the course of the first five to six years of your career you’ve regularly done things that people have found to be worthwhile, and that’s flattering.”

Dunn’s research involves LGBT/queer culture, politics, and rhetoric—with a particular focus on public memory and visual rhetoric. His 2016 book Queerly Remembered: Rhetorics for Representing the GLBTQ Past (University of South Carolina Press) examines queer monuments and how LGBT people use their past to advocate for social, political, and cultural change in the present.

The Department of Communication Studies is hosting a reception during NCA on Friday, Nov. 17 at the Sheraton Dallas celebrating Dunn and other 2017 NCA awardee, Allison Prasch.