Dr. Luke Winslow continues tradition of excellence at SDSU

Luke Winslow portrait
(Photo courtesy of Luke Winslow)

The School of Communication celebrates assistant professor Dr. Luke Winslow for his three published journal articles so far this year:

  • “Doing more with less: Modeling neoliberal labor relations in Undercover Boss” in The Journal of Popular Culture
  • “Pastors of profit: Marketplace ministries and the rhetorical acquisition of affective allegiance” in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies
  • “’Not exactly a model of good hygiene’: Theorizing an aesthetic of disgust in the Occupy Wall Street movement” in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies

Winslow’s teaching and research interests include contemporary rhetorical criticism, political communication, and rhetoric and social justice. His recent publications reflect studies on language and power.

“One [article] looks at class and economic inequality in the reality show Undercover Boss,” said Winslow. “The second looks at how the Occupy Wall Street movement was made sense of by focusing on language about their physical appearance and hygiene habits. The third is about a relatively unprecedented new phenomenon where religious chaplains are contracted out to for-profit businesses as a way to create more productive and more satisfied workers without having to pay the workers more or reward them materially.”

The assistant professor in the School of Communication joined SDSU in 2014. Prior to joining the Aztecs, Winslow taught for five years in the Department of Management at The University of Texas at Austin where he also earned his doctoral degree in communication studies. His research has additionally appeared in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Western Journal of Communication, Southern Journal of Communication, Communication Studies, and Journal of Communication and Religion.

“He is an example of why we celebrate a 90-year tradition of excellence this year in the School of Communication,” said its program director and professor Dr. William Snavely.

Why communication studies?

“Initially, it was simply because the professors that I liked as an undergraduate student were communication professors. That’s what drew me in,” said Winslow. “I also felt relatively comfortable standing up and giving presentations in front of people. I was a quarterback in high school and in college and developed the degree of confidence and some leadership capacities that allowed me to be comfortable communicating with people in public situations. It wasn’t really until my master’s program where I really started to see the opportunities to use communication as a way to achieve a degree of social justice that lined up with the other areas of my life. It’s kind of like an incremental thing where I just went down this particular path and I kept being affirmed and reaffirmed as I went down it.”

Why did you choose to teach?

“I feel that I am well equipped and passionate about trying to contribute to a world where all people have the opportunity to live full, viable, rich lives. I think that’s the foundational, philosophical premise and it’s why I enjoy being a college professor, teaching, and writing because I feel like I get to make a contribution to that aim.”

What’s next?

Winslow will publish a book this July entitled Economic Injustice and the Rhetoric of the American Dream, a scholarly exploration of how language is used to make sense of economic arrangements in the United States.

Also in the works is a long-term book project on communication and climate change examining how fundamentalist American Christians understand, make sense of, and respond to the threat of ecological catastrophe.

For more information on Economic Injustice and the Rhetoric of the American Dream, visit the pre-order website. Cover pages of Winslow’s 2017 publications are available to see in the display case in the administrative hallway of the School of Communication. – Jayla Lee


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