Texas Tech University

Brian L. Ott

Professor / Director of TTU Press
Communication Studies

Email: brian.ott@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.2928

Research: Social media, Political, Visual, Rhetoric


Web: http://ttu.academia.edu/BrianOtt



Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 1997
M.A., The Pennsylvania State University, 1994
B.A., George Mason University

View Full CV

Brian Ott


I am a committed and passionate teacher-scholar. I became an academic because I love teaching and my favorite aspect of my job is being in the classroom, working with students in the co-production of knowledge. As I have moved into administration, I have tried to bring that same passion for teaching and student-centered approach to education to my administrative philosophy.


My research is rooted in the 2000-year-old rhetorical tradition. It is the foundation of all other fields in Media and Communication. Basically, I am interested in how audiences are moved (both cognitively and affectively) by discourse in all its diversity: the spoken word, printed material, still images, moving images, music, and social media. My research has tended to focus on two domains in particular: film and museums. In both instances, I want to better understand how the unique features of these communication technologies alter human attitudes, beliefs, and actions. But I also write about new information platforms like Twitter. My approach can best be described as critical/interpretive, which is its own research paradigm distinct from quantitative and qualitative research. Now more than ever, I believe we need communication scholars committed to the humanist and liberal arts tradition on which the field is founded.


  • Field observation
  • Archival research
  • Rhetorical analysis
  • Ethnography/autoethnography

Research Areas

  • Social media
  • Political communication
  • Visual communication
  • Rhetoric


Selected Publications


Ott, B. L., & Mack, R. L. (2014). Critical media studies: An introduction (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. 392 pp.

Ott, B. L., & Dickinson, G. (Eds.). (2013). The Routledge reader in rhetorical criticism. New York: Routledge. 826 pp.

Dickinson, G., Blair, C., & Ott, B. L. (Eds.). (2010). Places of public memory: The rhetoric of museums and memorials. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press. 282 pp.

Leverette, M., Ott, B. L., & Buckley, C. L. (Eds.). (2008). It's not TV: Watching HBO in the post-television era. New York: Routledge. 256 pp.

Ott, B. L. (2007). The small screen: How television equips us to live in the Information Age. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. 199 pp.


Articles, Essays, and Book Chapters

Ott, B. L., & Sci, S. A. (2015). The many moods of Michael Moore: Aesthetics and affect in Bowling for Columbine. In B. Snee & T. W. Benson (Eds.), Michael Moore and the rhetoric of documentary: Art, argument, and affect (pp. 74-100). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Ott, B. L., & Domenico, M. (2015). Conceptualizing meaning in communication studies. In P. J. Gehrke & W. M. Keith (Eds.), A century of communication studies: The unfinished conversation (pp. 234-60). New York: Routledge.

Ott, B. L., & Aoki, E. (2015). Science fiction as social consciousness: Race, gender, and sexuality in Star Trek: The Next Generation. In D. Brode & S. T. Brode (Eds.), The Star Trek universe: Franchising the final frontier (pp. 53-63). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Ott, B. L. (2014). My two bytes [WSCA presidential address]. Western Journal of Communication78(3), 378-381. doi: 10.1080/10570314.2014.910311 (Invited)

Ott, B. L., & Lazic, G. (2013). The pedagogy and politics of art in postmodernity: Cognitive mapping and The Bothersome ManQuarterly Journal of Speech99(3), 259-282. doi: 10.1080/00335630.2013.806816 (Lead Article)

Ott, B. L., & Burgchardt, C. (2013). On critical-rhetorical pedagogy: Dialoging with Schindler's List. Western Journal of Communication77(1), 14-33. doi: 10.1080/10570314.2012.719659

Dickinson, G., & Ott, B. L. (2013). Neoliberal capitalism, globalization, and lines of flight: Vectors and velocities at the 16th Street Mall. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies13(6), 529-535. doi: 10.1177/1532708613503780 (Invited)

Aoki, E., Dickinson, G., & Ott, B. L. (2013). Memory and the West: Reflections on place, practice, and performance [Introduction to special issue]. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 13(1), 3-5. doi: 10.1177/1532708612464631 (Invited)

Dickinson, G., Ott, B. L., & Aoki, E. (2013). (Re)imagining the West: The Whitney Gallery of Western Art's sacred hymn. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies13(1), 21-34. doi: 10.1177/1532708612464633

Ott, B. L., & Dickinson, G. (2013). Entering the unending conversation: An introduction to rhetorical criticism. In B. L. Ott & G. Dickinson (Eds.), The Routledge reader in rhetorical criticism (pp. 1-13). New York: Routledge.

Ott, B. L. (2012). Unnecessary roughness: ESPN's construction of hypermasculine citizenship in the Penn State sex abuse scandal. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies12(4), 332-334. doi: 10.1177/1532708612446433 (Invited)

Ott, B. L., & Keeling, D. M. (2012). Transborder politics: The embodied call of conscience in Traffic. In D. R. DeChaine (Ed.), Border rhetorics: Charting enactments of citizenship and identity on the U.S.-Mexico frontier (pp. 181-196). Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press.

Ott, B. L., & Keeling, D. M. (2011). Cinema and choric connection: Lost in Translation as sensual experience. Quarterly Journal of Speech97(4), 363-386. doi: 10.1080/00335630.2011.608704 (Lead Article)

Ott, B. L. (2011). Assessing rhetorics of social resistance [Review essay]. Quarterly Journal of Speech97(3), 334-347. doi: 10.1080/00335630.2011.585171 (Invited)

Bonnstetter, B. E., & Ott, B. L. (2011). (Re)writing Mary Sue: Ecriture feminine and the performance of subjectivity. Text and Performance Quarterly31(4), 342-367. doi: 10.1080/10462937.2011.602706

Ott, B. L., Aoki, E., & Dickinson, G. (2011). Ways of (not) seeing guns: Presence and absence at the Cody Firearms Museum. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies8(3), 215-239. doi: 10.1080/14791420.2011.594068 (Lead Article)

Ott, B. L., Aoki, E., & Dickinson, G. (2011). Collage/montage as critical practice, or how to “quilt”/read postmodern text(ile)s. In C. E. Morris (Ed.), Remembering the AIDS Memorial Quilt (pp. 101-131). East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.

Ott, B. L. (2010). The visceral politics of V for Vendetta: On political affect in cinema. Critical Studies in Media Communication27(1), 32-47. doi: 10.1080/15295030903554359

Blair, C., Dickinson, G., & Ott, B. L. (2010). Introduction: Rhetoric, memory, and place. In G. Dickinson, C. Blair, & B. L. Ott (Eds.), Places of public memory: The rhetoric of museums and memorials (pp. 1-54). Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press.

Aoki, E., Dickinson, G., & Ott, B. L. (2010).The master naturalist imagined: Directed movement and simulations at the Draper Museum of Natural History. In G. Dickinson, C. Blair, & B. L. Ott (Eds.), Places of public memory: The rhetoric of museums and memorials (pp. 238-265). Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press.

Ott, B. L., & Dickinson, G. (2009). Visual rhetoric and/as critical pedagogy. In A. Lunsford (Ed.), The SAGE handbook of rhetorical studies (pp. 391-405). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Ott, B. L. (2008). The pleasures of South Park (an experiment in media erotics). In J. A. Weinstock (Ed.), Taking South Park seriously (pp. 39-58). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Ott, B. L. (2008). (Re)framing fear: Equipment for living in a post-9/11 world. In T. Potter & C. W. Marshall (Eds.), Cylons in America: Critical studies in Battlestar Galactica (pp. 13-26). New York: Continuum.

Teaching Focus

Texas Tech University, 2015-present

COMS 3320 Media, Technology, and Society
COMS 4310 Special Topics in Rhetoric
MCOM 2330 Media Literacy

COMS 5111 Communication Instruction in Higher Education I
COMS 6304 Seminar in Rhetorical Theory: Matter, Movement & Memory
EMC 6315 Special Topics in Electronic Media
MCOM 6364 Selected Research Methods

Leadership & Awards

Journal Editing

Associate Editor, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 16(1) â€" 18(4), 2019-21.
Editor-in-Chief, Western Journal of Communication, 73(1) â€" 75(5), 2009-11.

  • Total manuscripts received: 564
  • Overall acceptance rate: 11.5%

Guest Editor, Cultural Studies â†" Critical Methodologies, 13(1), 2013.

  • With Eric Aoki and Greg Dickinson.

Editorial/Advisory Board Member (alphabetical order)

  • Communication Studies, 2013-15 (Robert S. Littlefield, editor).
  • Critical Studies in Media Communication, 2017-18 (Robert Alan Brookey, editor) and 2009-10 (Eric King Watts, editor).
  • Itineration: Cross-Disciplinary Studies in Rhetoric, Media, and Culture, 2012-present (Cynthia Bateman, editor).
  • Quarterly Journal of Speech, 2016-17 (Mary E. Stuckey, editor) and 2014-15 (Barbara A. Biesecker, editor).
  • Western Journal of Communication, 2015-17 (Sharon D. Downey, editor), 2012-14 (William F. Eadie, editor), and 2003-05 (Daniel Canary, editor).
  • Women's Studies in Communication, 2014-16 (Joan Faber McAlister, editor) and 2006-09 (Cindy Griffin, editor).

Western States Communication Association (WSCA)

  • Member, Distinguished Scholar Award Committee, 2015-16.
  • Member, Executives Club, 2005-present.
  • Immediate Past President, 2014-15.
  • Chair, Nominating Committee
  • Member, Executive Council
  • Member, Distinguished Service Award Committee
  • President, 2013-14.
  • WSCA Presidential Address: "My Two Bytes"
  • Presiding Officer, Executive Council
  • Presiding Officer, Legislative Assembly
  • Presiding Officer, Convention Luncheon
  • Chair, Executive Director Performance Evaluation Committee
  • President-Elect, 2012-13.
  • Primary Program Planner, 84th Annual Convention, Reno, NV, 2013.
  • Convention Theme: "Going Global: Communication in the Network Era"
  • Convention Overview: 146 panels, 652 participants
  • Member, Executive Council
  • Member, Officer and Editor Evaluation Committee
  • First Vice President, 2011-12.
  • Chair, Distinguished Scholar Award Committee
  • Chair, Distinguished Teaching Award Committee
  • Chair, Planning Meeting for Interest Group Chairs
  • Member, Executive Council


Top Paper, Rhetoric and Public Address Interest Group, Western States Communication Association, 2015.

Wrage-Baskerville Award, Public Address Division, National Communication Association, 2014.

Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, National Communication Association, 2012.

Top Four Paper, Rhetoric and Public Address Interest Group, Western States Communication Association, 2008.

Top Four Paper, Media Studies Interest Group, Western States Communication Association, 2007.

Award for Excellence in Visual Communication Research, Visual Communication Division, National Communication Association, 2006.

Lambda Pi Eta Excellence in Teaching Award, Department of Communication Studies, Colorado State University, 2006.

Diane Furno-Lamude Award, Media Studies Interest Group, Western States Communication Association, 2005.

Outstanding Article Award, Critical & Cultural Studies Division, National Communication Association, 2003.

2nd Best Professor on Campus, voted by readers of The Collegian: Best of CSU (10/28/03), Colorado State University, 2003.

Top Four Paper, Media Studies Interest Group, Western States Communication Association, 2003.

Outstanding Communication Alumnus, Department of Communication, George Mason University, 2001.

Top Competitive Paper, Media Studies Interest Group, Western States Communication Association, 2000.

Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Liberal Arts, The Pennsylvania State University, 1996.

Top Three Paper, Rhetoric and Public Address Interest Group, Eastern Communication Association, 1996.

Top Three Paper, Mass Communication Interest Group, Eastern Communication Association, 1996.

Top Three Paper, Political Communication Interest Group, Eastern Communication Association, 1996.