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December Communication Faculty Highlight: Dr. Diem-My Bui

1. Describe your teaching values. What specific teaching strategies, beliefs, or resources do you draw on to create a learning environment that is inclusive, diverse, and accessible to all students? 

One of the things that draws me to communication studies is listening to the stories we tell about ourselves and others. These stories communicate a lot about who we are individually and collectively as a culture. When I teach, I use stories to illustrate the topic or to encourage students to connect with what they are studying. In my classes, students write or tell stories about their own identity, lived experience, and knowledge to recognize themselves and others in the diversity of society. Storytelling in teaching and learning promotes empathy and open-mindedness, which are two values that I hope students continue to develop beyond the classroom.


2.Tell us about your research interests! Feel free to share any relevant links to websites or CVs if you have them.

My research interests are related to cultural studies, media, and race and gender. I like to explore how meanings about race and gender are produced and circulated in pop culture. I am a qualitative scholar who practices autoethnography and textual analysis.


3.Any recent conferences attended? Any publications you’d like to shout out?

I recently published a chapter titled, “A Critical Discourse Analysis on Anti-Asian Sentiment and the Pandemic,” in Race/Gender/Class/Media (edited by R.A. Lind, 2023) that applies critical discourse analysis to political discourse about Asians during the early period of the COVID-19 pandemic. This research connected historical claims about people of Asian descent as threats and as unassimilable persons to contemporary media discourse scapegoating them as the cause of the pandemic. This scapegoating coincided with an increase in anti-Asian sentiment and violence.


4.What are you excited for in the future regarding Communication at UIC?

As the Communication Department adapts to the changing needs of career-minded students in the digital age, I am excited to see continued and new course offerings that prepare students post-graduation to navigate issues in media, AI technology, and cultural diversity. One of our strengths as a Department is the emphasis on developing critical thinking skills in classes, which our students can carry throughout their lives. We also recently have hired many amazing professors who are experts in their areas of study so students can learn firsthand from their cutting-edge research.

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