Rebecca Watts

Associate Professor and Chair of Communication and Media Studies

Rebecca Watts' research interests center on the application of rhetorical theory and criticism to public culture, including southern culture, political culture and popular culture. She is also interested in organizational crisis rhetoric as well as looking at internet communication as a way of increasing participation in public culture (in everything from political culture to sports culture).

Her book, Contemporary Southern Identity: Community through Controversy (University Press of Mississippi, 2008), reflects her research and teaching interests in the application of rhetorical theory and criticism to understanding southern culture specifically and public discourse in general.


  • Ph.D., speech communication, Texas A&M University
  • M.A., English, Clemson University
  • B.A., English, Stetson University

Course Topics

  • Visual Communication
  • Environmental Communication (Junior Seminar)
  • Classical Rhetoric
  • Rhetoric, Culture, and Identity
  • Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • Rhetoric of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa (Junior Seminar)
  • History and Criticism of American Public Address: The Civil Rights Era
  • Critical Thinking and the Law (Stetson Summer Pre-Law Institute)
  • Editing and Publishing
  • Gender in Communication
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Organizational Communication
  • Senior Seminar
  • Senior Project

Research Interests

  • Depictions of slavery at public plantation sites such as those run by the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation


  • "The Lost Boys of Sudan: Documentary Film and Television News Portrayals of Perpetual Boyhood," in Mediated Boyhoods: Boys, Teens, and Young Men in Popular Media and Culture, edited by Annette Wannamaker (Peter Lang Publishers, 2011).
  • Contemporary Southern Identity: Community through Controversy. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2008.
  • "The Florida Gator Nation Online," in Sports Mania: Essays on Fandom and the Media in the 21st Century, edited by Lawrence W. Hugenburg, Paul M. Haridakis, and Adam C. Earnhardt. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company Publishers, 2008.
  • "The Rhetoric of Managerialism: Media Coverage of a University President's Resignation," Florida Communication Journal, Fall 2004.

Rebecca Watts

Faculty Expert

  • Political Culture and Communication
  • Sports Culture and Communication
  • Southern Culture and Communication

Contact Information