Communicating Women’s Equality

Dr. Sarah Kornfield joined the the Hope Academy of Senior Professionals (HASP) to present “Contemporary Feminism,” discussing how feminism is currently working to “end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.”

Dr. Kornfield teaches in Hope College’s Communication Department and the Women’s & Gender Studies Program. Her work consistently demonstrates how communication practices affect gender and vice versa. We live in language (and symbols more broadly); therefore, equality and inequality are communicated.

Stories Propel us to Space

Communication faculty are committed to life-long learning and community engagement. We teach, lead, and learn in local, national, and global communities. Dr. James Herrick has been hard at work helping us think about how the stories we tell ourselves results in technological advances–like space exploration.

This semester, Dr. Herrick led the conversation at Grand Valley State University’s Roger That! Conference, tracing the “the modern mythology of space from the late nineteenth-century Russian Cosmists, through twentieth-century science fiction writers, to the Transhumanists of our own day.” In this presentation, Dr. Herrick explained how these “narratives of space shape space policy, inform public discourse, and profoundly influence our expectations of the human future.”

Communication Internships

The Hope College Communication Department is on a mission to equip students to understand how humans create and share meaning in a global society. We prepare students to create, critique, and interpret communication messages and practices in multiple contexts–in relationships, in organizations, in public, across cultures, and through media.

We strive toward this mission through our classroom teaching, mentoring in office hours, public lectures and campus events, and our internship program. We’re thrilled to see local organizations, corporations, and industries recognize Communication students’ knowledge and abilities!

Pregnant TV Actors

When a TV actor becomes pregnant, viewers often consider how the pregnancy will affect the series’ narrative: Will the pregnancy be written into the series? If so, who is the father? How will having a baby change the character?

But what about the style–the way the character looks on the screen? Dr. Kornfield’s¬†¬†research focuses on how television–as an medium–stylizes onscreen pregnancies: how they costume the actors, position the actors in the stage, and how the camerawork and editing portrays the actors.

Dr. Kornfield’s article “Televisual Pregnancy Beauty” helps us understand the ways in which the entertainment industry commodifies pregnancy and reinforces the idea that women (especially on TV) ought to be beautiful all the time–even while pregnant.

Dr. Herrick’s New Book!

The Communication Department congratulates Dr. Jim Herrick on the publication of his new book, Visions of Technological Transcendence: Human Enhancement and the Rhetoric of the Future.

Dr. Herrick’s research on transhumanism studies the discourse of human enhancement–how people talk about immortality, the merger of humans and machines, human-level artificial intelligence, and space colonization. Dr. Herrick identifies how the rhetoric of human enhancement functions as a system of mythic narratives. These myths don’t just describe current technology; instead society uses these myths to guide the types of technologies we produce. This means that by studying each myth, we can predict technology’s trajectory.

Hope’s Communication Department is delighted for Dr. Jim Herrick and his exciting research!