Brandi Lawless

Brandi Lawless

Associate Professor

Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-4133 Kalmanovitz Hall 337


Brandi Lawless is an Associate Professor in the Communication Studies department. Broadly, her area of research can be defined as critical intercultural communication. Within this realm of communication, she is interested in the ways individuals (re)produce and communicate their ever-changing identities. Specifically, her research has focused on the intersections of race and class. Her most recent work has explored the communication practices of a national nonprofit organization attempting to end poverty in the U.S. Within this work, she attempts to identify dominant ideologies, hegemonic systems that perpetuate such taken for granted beliefs, and status-based hierarchies. She is also interested in everyday performances of identity. In other words, her work explores the ways in which individuals perform their class(es) and race(s) in contexts such as the classroom, the workplace, and in close relationships.

PhD, Communication, University of New Mexico
MA, Communication Studies, San Francisco State University
BA, California State University, Northridge
Critical intercultural communication
Intersections of race and class
Conflict and alliance building
Identities and subjectivities
Critical communication pedagogy
Selected Publications

Lawless, B., & Chen, Y-W. (Forthcoming, 2016). ‘Reclaiming their historical agency’: A critical analysis of news discourses on occupy and Arab spring. Accepted to The Howard Journal of Communications.

Collier, M. J., & Lawless, B. (2016). Critically reflexive dialogue and praxis: Academic/practitioner reflections throughout a Formative Evaluation of Circles® USA. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 1-19. doi:10.1080/00909882.2016.1155724.

Chen, Y-W., Lawless, B., González, A. (2015). Relating across difference for social change: Calling attention to inter/cultural partnerships in nonprofit contexts. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 8(3), 187-192. doi:10.1080/17513057.2015.1057903.

Lawless, B., & Chen, Y-W. (2015). Immigrant women, academic work, and agency: Negotiating identities and subjectivities with/in the ivory tower. Accepted for publication in The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, 14, 39-50.

Lawless, B. (2015). Performing identity in ‘transforming poverty partnerships’: An extension of critical discourse analysis. Howard Journal of Communications, 26(3), 275-291. doi:10.1080/10646175.2015.1049758.

Lawless, B. (2012). More than white: Locating an invisible class identity. In Gonzalez, A., M. Houston, & V. Chen (Eds.), Our voices: Essays in culture, ethnicity, and communication. (5th ed.). (pp. 247–253). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Lawless, B. (2009). Guiding class consciousness in first-generation college students: A pragmatic approach to classism in the academy. In Housel, T. H. & V. L. Harvey (Eds.), The invisibility factor: Administrators and faculty reach out to first-generation college students. (pp. 23–34). Boca Raton, FL: Brown Walker Press.