Dr. Stephen M. Underhill

Dr. Stephen Underhill









247 Smith Hall

Spring 2024 Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 – 1:00 (virtual)
Wed: 9:00 – 1:00 (virtual)
Fri: 9:00 – 1:00 (virtual)

Office hours are times that faculty members have set aside specifically to help students. Please take advantage of these office hours if you have questions about something related to your class or are experiencing anything that is interfering with your ability to succeed in the class.


Stephen M. Underhill (Professor of Communication Studies) is a Washington Post contributor and works in the area of fake news, disinformation, and propaganda. He studies institutionalized power in critical and cultural contexts, which directs his focus to matters of law enforcement and national security. Among other things, Stephen is interested in how law enforcement speaks to and about its different publics to preserve and defend power structures. He is the director of the Fake News & Information Literacy Project, an IRB-approved undergraduate research study that investigates online perceptions of wedge issues and their media sources. He is published in Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Western Journal of Communication, and Voices of DemocracyHe contributes to Not Past It and The Road to Now with Bob Crawford & Ben Sawyer. Dr. Underhill is the author of The Manufacture of Consent: J. Edgar Hoover and the Rhetorical Rise of the FBI (Michigan State University Press, 2020).



Ph.D. in Communication from University of Maryland

M.A. in Communication Studies from University of Portland

B.A in  Political Science from Sonoma State University

Joined Marshall Faculty August 2012.

Scholarly Interests

Rhetoric, Public Address, Archival History, Law Enforcement

Courses Taught

CMM 205:      Rhetorical World

CMM 302:      Professional Presentations

CMM 307:      Political Communication

CMM 308:      Persuasion

CMM 310:      Argumentation and Debate

CMM 311:      Language and Communication

CMM 322:      Intercultural Communication

CMM 345:      Listening and Feedback

CMM 402/502: Rhetorical Theory

CMM 404/504: Rhetorical Criticism                                       

CMM 409/509: Theories of Persuasion and Change

CMM 605:      Qualitative Research Methods

Special Topics: Rhetoric of Collective Memory

Special Topics: National Security Disclosure

Selected Publications and Presentations

Stephen M. Underhill, “Prisoner of Context: The Truman Doctrine Speech and J. Edgar Hoover’s Rhetorical Realism,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 20, no. 3 (2017): 453-87.

Stephen M. Underhill, “Urban Jungle, Ferguson: A Place and Space of Visual Containment,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 102, no. 4 (2016): 396-417.

Stephen M. Underhill, “J. Edgar Hoover’s Domestic Propaganda: Narrating the Spectacle of the Karpis Arrest,” Western Journal of Communication 76, no. 4 (2012): 438-57.

CV:  https://marshall.academia.edu/StephenUnderhill/CurriculumVitae  






Contact Us

Dr. Richard G. Jones, Jr., Professor & Chair

244 Smith Hall
Department of Communication Studies
1 John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755

Denise Parks

Administrative Secretary, Senior
254 Smith Hall
Department of Communication Studies
1 John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755


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