College of Arts & Sciences Communication Studies

Shane Semmler

Shane Semmler
Assistant Professor
Communication Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
Phone: 605-677-6796
Bio:
I grew up in north-central Sioux Falls, attended Washington High School, earned my B.A. at Augustana College, M.A. at USD, and Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma.
Teaching Interests:
I am interested in using education to empower and inspire excellence within a supportive classroom community. I am particularly interested in teaching classes about the understanding or influence of political and entertainment media. Under that umbrella, I teach SPCM 203: Communication, Symbols, and Society, SPCM 215: Advanced Public Speaking, SPCM 222: Argumentation; SPCM 417/517: Political Communication, and SPCM 422/522: Persuasion. Last spring, I developed a new course entitled SPCM 492/592: Quantitative Content Analysis in Communication; and currently, I am developing a course examining the influence of mediated narratives on attitudes, identity, and society, which will be offered next spring under the title SPCM 492/592: Entertainment Education. As a member of the graduate faculty, I teach SPCM 701: Introduction to Graduate Studies and am currently directing three graduate student theses. I am also the acting director of the USD Speech and Debate team. Students interested in making entertaining arguments or students who just like to argue are invited to contact me about becoming involved in inter-collegiate forensics.
Research Interests:
My theoretical research program uses humanistic and behavioral methods to understand and explain the meanings or influence of mediated messages. I am particularly interested in how involvement with political or entertainment media confers resistance to persuasion or how it overcomes that resistance. I recently published an article with a political science graduate student that used a psychoanalytic critical lens to build a theoretical understanding of how ideological consumer materialism is structured to resist and appropriate its rhetorical opposition. My current work investigates the capacity of audio-only character narration to elicit involvement with entertainment television and how that involvement overcomes resistance to narrative persuasion. Last year, I worked with a group of graduate students to examine audio-only narration in the ABC situation comedy “The Wonder Years” and the Showtime crime drama “Dexter”. This fall, we will investigate the role of audio-visual narration in the Emmy-nominated Netfliks series “House of Cards”. Because it is a political drama, “House of Cards” presents an exciting opportunity to combine my interests in political communication and entertainment education. Students interested in researching the influence or meanings of political or entertainment media are invited to contact me for an appointment to discuss how I can help them get involved in the exciting process of discovery.
Education:
  • Ph D, Communication, University of Oklahoma, 2010
  • MA, Communication Studies, University of South Dakota , 2004
  • BA, Government, Augustana College, 1994
Grants:
  • Teaching Improvement Grant, Center for Teaching and Learning , (2011 - 2012)
Publications:
  • Semmler, S., (2014), Book review: M. Wheeler, “Celebrity politics.” , Political Communication.
  • McKay-Semmler, K., Semmler, S., Kim, Y. Y., (2014), Local news media cultivation of host receptivity in Plainstown, Human Communication Research.
  • Miller, C. H., Ivanov, B., Landau, M. J., Masad, D., Semmler, S., White, J. A., (2014), Differences in the experience and expression of sexual jealousy: A terror management theory perspective, Universal Journal of Psychology, vol. 2, iss. 2, pp. 65-75.
  • McKay-Semmler, K., Semmler, S., (2013), The art of making conversation: Learning the skills of small talk, Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota Journal.
  • Semmler, S., Bobby, J., (2013), Consumer materialism: An ideological critique and a dialogic response, Western States Journal of Communication.
  • Semmler, S., McKay-Semmler, K., Robertson, T., (2013), Gendered issue depictions in Commander in Chief vs West Wing, Atlantic Journal of Communication, vol. 21, iss. 4.
  • Pfau, M., Banas, J., Semmler, S., Deatrick, L., Mason, A., Nisbett, G., Lane, L., (2010), Role and impact of involvement and enhanced threat in resistance, Communication Quarterly, vol. 58, iss. 1, pp. 1-18.
  • Pfau, M., Semmler, S., Deatrick, L., Mason, A., Nisbett, G., Lane, L., Craig, E., (2009), Nuances about the role and impact of affect in inoculation, Communication Monographs, vol. 76, iss. 1, pp. 73-98.
  • Pfau, M., Houston, B., Semmler, S., (2007), Mediating the vote: The changing media landscape in US presidential elections, Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Pfau, M., Houston, B., Semmler, S., (2005), Presidential election campaigns and American democracy : The relationship between communication use and normative outcomes, American Behavioral Science, vol. 49, iss. 1, pp. 48-62.
  • Semmler, S., (2003), Fetching good out of evil: George W. Bush's post 9/11 rhetoric, Speaker and Gavel, vol. 40, pp. 67-90.
Awards and Honors:
  • Top Four Papers in Intergroup Communication: Advances in Theorizing and Measuring Intergroup Contact , National Communication Association: Intergroup Communication Interest Group, 2014
  • Ralph Cooley Award for Top Faculty Paper in the Division (co-author), National Communication Association: International/Intercultural Division, 2013
  • Top Faculty Paper Panel (co-author), National Communication Association: International/Intercultural Division, 2013
  • Belbas-Larson Outstanding Teaching Award Nominee, University of South Dakota, 2013
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award Nominee, Political Communication Division of the National Communication Association, 2010
  • Top Graduate Student Paper, Sooner Communication Conference, 2007
  • Top Paper Award, Environmental Communication Division of the National Communication Association, 2006
  • Outstanding Graduate Student, Department of Communication: University of Oklahoma, 2005
  • Vera Way Marghab Writing Competition, South Dakota State University, 2004
  • Top Graduate Student Paper, Political Communication Division of the Central States Communication Association, 2003
Presentations:
  • McKay-Semmler, K., Patel, S., Prodanovich, R., Semmler, S. (2014, May). Intergroup contact and host community attitudes toward immigrants in Plainstown: A mixed methods study. Presented at the International Communication Association, Seattle, WA.
  • VonEhwegen, J., Semmler, S. (2014, April). Televised depictions of same-sex . Presented at the Central States Communication Association, Minneaplis, MN.
  • McKay-Semmler, K., Semmler, S., Kim, Y. Y. (2013, November). Local media cultivation of host community attitudes in Plainstown, USA. Presented at the National Communication Association Conference, Washington, D.C..
  • Semmler, S., Loof, T., Berke, C. (2013, November). The influence of audio-only direct address on involvement with characters in narrative television . Presented at the National Communication Association Conference, Washington, DC.
  • Semmler, S. (2013, June). Influence of narrative-trailer political advertising on transportation and resistance to persuasion. Presented at the International Communication Association , London, UK.
  • McKay-Semmler, K., Semmler, S. (2013, June). Cultivating host receptivity and host conformity pressure: Exploring media use and host attitudes on immigration. Presented at the International Communication Association Conference, London, UK.
  • Semmler, S. (2012, November). Television involvement versus television exposure in the online model of second-order cultivation. Presented at the National Communication Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Prodanovich, R., McKay-Semmler, K., Semmler, S. (2012, November). "Plainstown" content analysis. Presented at the Student/Faculty "Brown Bag" Presentations of Projects and Research, Vermillion, SD.
  • McKay-Semmler, K., Semmler, S., Kim, Y. Y. (2012, November). Cultivating host receptivity and host conformity pressure: Exploring the relationship between media use and host community members' attitudes toward immigrants. Presented at the National Communication Association Conference, Orlando, FL.
  • Semmler, S., Bobby, J., (2012, June). Validation of a content analytic instrument for evaluating the parasocial interaction potential of political talk radio. Presented at the International Communication Association, Phoenix, AZ.
  • Semmler, S. (2011, November). Sponsor credibility’s role in the process of . Presented at the National Communication Association, New Orleans, LA.
  • Semmler, S., Bobby, J., Michels, C., Loof, T. (2011, May). Parasocial Interaction in the Online Model of Value Cultivation . Presented at the International Communication Association, Boston, MA.
  • Semmler, S., White, D., Siebert, H., Grosvenor, D. (2010, November). A Content Analysis and Experimental Evaluation of 2009 Health Care Reform Policy-Campaign Advertising . Presented at the National Communication Association, San Francisco, CA.
  • Semmler, S., Whitehill, T., Matt, H., Erin, H., Seurer, L., Jamie, S. (2009, November). Weighted and Unweighted Descriptions of 2008 Presidential-Candidate-Sponsored Political Advertisements. Presented at the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Semmler, S., McKay-Semmler, K., Robertson, T. (2009, April). Consequential Depictions of Female Leadership in Commander in Chief. Presented at the Central States Communication Association, Saint Louis, MO.
  • Semmler, S., Pfau, M., Deatrick, L., Mason, A., Lane, L., Craig, E. (2008, November). Role and Impact of Involvement and Enhanced Threat in Resistance. Presented at the National Communication Association, San Diego, CA.
  • Semmler, S. (2007, November). Antecedents and Consequences of Presidential Parasocial Interaction. Presented at the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Semmler, S., Houston, B. (2006, March). Revelations of Citizenship: A Content Analysis of the Depicted Citizenship Behaviors in Major Newspapers. Presented at the Sooner Communication Conference, Norman, OK.
  • Miller, C., Ivanov, B., Massad, D., Semmler, S., White, J. (2005, November). Gender Differences in Sexual Jealousy: A Terror Management Theory Perspective. Presented at the National Communication Association, Boston, MA.
  • Semmler, S. (2005, November). Phantasy, Ideology, and Ideological Reproduction. Presented at the National Communication Association, Boston, MA.
  • Semmler, S. (2004, November). Sowing the Seeds of Revolution in the American Colonies: A Straussian-Burkean Criticism of John Locke's State of Nature. Presented at the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Semmler, S. (2003, April). Fetching Good Out of Evil: President George W. Bush's Post-9/11 Rhetoric. Presented at the National Communication Association, Omaha, NE.