Barbara Baker

Barbara Baker

Assistant Professor of Instruction
Research Gate
Tags: Communication Studies FilmTheory and Criticism Rhetorical Theory and Criticism Gender Race and Class in Communication Critical Pedagogy Interpersonal Communication COMM VPAS ATCM

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Communication emphasing Rhetoric & Film
University of Southern California - 1990
M.S. - Speech Communication
North Texas State University - 1979
B.S. Ed - Secondary Education, History, & Drama
North Texas State University - 1972

Research Areas

Popular Culture/Film Criticism
I do critical studies of popular films and other media using a  rhetorical feminist perspective
Interpersonal Communication
I also have done qualitative research in areas of interpersonal communication
Communication Pedagogy
I have presented work on both graduate and undergraduate pedagogy in Communication
Issues of Gender & Race/Ethnicity in Communication
I have presented/published work related to issues in Gender & Race/Ethnicity in Communication


Baker, B. L. "The Star Wars Trilogy." Magill's Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature. Salem Press. 1996 - publications
Baker, B. L. & Benton, C. L. "The Ethics of Feminist Self-Disclosure." In K. Carter & M. Presnell, Eds. Interpretive Approaches to Interpersonal Communication (pp. 219-245). N.Y.: SUNY 1994 - publications
Baker, B.L. Reaffirmation and Transformation of Gender in Popular Film: A Feminist Approach to Mythic Rhetoric. Dissertation, University of Southern California. 1990 - publications


Nominated for a Teaching Excellence Award - UCM [Provost’s Office] [2006]
Top Paper Award - Popular Communication Division, International Communication Association [1997]
Nominated for a Faculty Achievement Award - College UCM College of Arts & Humanities [1992]
Gerald Miller Outstanding Dissertation Award, - National Communication Association [1991]
Sam Becker Award for Excellence in Mass Communication - Central States Communication Association [1990]
Doctoral Honors Seminar, Rhetorical Theory and Criticism - Speech Communication Association [1980]


Assistant Professor of Instruction
Arts & Humanities, University of Texas at Dallas [2014–Present]
Teaching basic communication classes plus some advanced classes.
University of Central Missouri [2000–2011]
Full Professor in Communication; retired December 2011 as Professor Emerita
Graduate Coordinator
University of Central Misssouri [1991–2004]
Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Communication for graduate programs in both Mass and Speech Communication
Associate Professor
University of Central Missouri [1995–2000]
Associate Professor of Communication, tenured 1995
Visiting Professora
Tec de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México (ITESM-CEM [2003–2003]
A one-semester faculty exchange appointment with the Departamento de Comunicación, Tec de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México (ITESM-CEM), Atizapan de Zaragoza, Estado de México, México
Visiting Lecturer
University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, Wales, UK [1994–1994]
A one semester faculty exchange appointment to the University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, Wales, U. K (now University of South Wales).
Assistant Professor
University of Central Missouri [1991–1995]
Appointed as a tenure track Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication
University of Central Missouri [1988–1991]
Appointed as a non-tenure track Instructor in the Department of Communication
Adjunct Instructor
California State University, San Bernardino [1988–1988]
Appointed as a part-time instructor in Communication for one semester
North Texas State University (University of North Texas) [1985–1987]
Appointed as a non-tenure track instructor for the Division of Communication and Public Address


Baker, B.L. "Star Wars Revisited: Myth and Gender in Disney’s Star Wars Sequel Trilogy."
Currently working on a critical research study on the Star Wars sequel trilogy, building on my prior work on the original films, ideally to be presented to a professional conference or submitted to a journal for publication.
Communication Curriculum Committee
Serving with other Communication faculty in an on-going committee to develop coherent course outcomes, with the final goal the creation of a major in Communication. We also continue curriculum development in the current courses in Communication (Fall 2014-current)


Baker, B.L. "Making Spaces for Feminist Voices: The Feminist Research Collective at the University of Texas at Dallas"
Paper presented as part of the panel, “Alternative Legacies of Support for Women in the Academy: Our Legacy, Our Relevance,” sponsored by the Women's  Caucus, National Communication Association annual conference, Dallas, TX. November 2017
Baker, B.L. "Continuing Issues in Master’s Only Education"; plus Baker, B. L. "Developing Graduate Student Voices Through Scholarship and Professional Development."
Two papers presented to the Master’s Education Section, National Communication Association annual meeting, New Orleans, LA. November 2011
Baker, B. L. "Myth & Gender in Popular Film"
A presentation of work in progress, updating prior research, to the Feminist Research Collective, University of Texas at Dallas. October 2015
Baker, B. L. "Building Bridges Across Technology: Addressing the Influence on Gender in the On-line Learning Process"
Paper presented to the Women’s Caucus, National Communication Association annual meeting San Francisco, CA. November 2010
Baker, B.L. "'The Same Old Con of Man': Faux-feminism and Reaffirmation of Patriarchy in The Da Vinci Code"
A critical research study presented to Religious Communication Division of  the National Communication Association annual meeting, Chicago, IL November 2007

Additional Information

Teaching Philosophy
Although now an Assistant Professor of Instruction in Communication at UT Dallas, I've had a long career teaching a wide diversity of communication courses in many different institutions, engaging with large numbers of students of all types, ages, and backgrounds. I use applied activities to engage students and help improve their skills. I see communication as vital to understanding ourselves and the world around us, and I am happy to help students learn to be better communicators, whether that is having a better understanding of their relationships, or learning how to speak well in public. I've also been able to aid students in developing an understanding of diverse groups, to become more literate in understanding media, and even to gain a better appreciation of movies. In addition, by teaching and conducting research at universities in two other countries (Wales and Mexico), I've also helped foster better understanding between peoples (giving me a chance to put theory into practice).
Applying the QM Rubric (APRQMR)
Certification in on-line teaching from QM Quality Matters, UCM, May 2011
Faculty Fellow
Competitively selected to attend a week-long faculty development honors seminar on designing on-line classes, April 2010; sponsored by the University of Central Missouri


Member, NCA Marsha Houston Award Selection Committee
Appointed by the NCA Legislative Assembly to be a member of the Marsha Houston Award Selection Committee for a three-year term starting January 2023. 
Journal Reviewer
Reviewer for scholarly submissions to the peer-reviewed journal, Feminist Media Studies, 2011-2022 
Journal Reviewer
Reviewer for submissions to the on-line peer reviewed international Journal of Language & Intellectual Communication Studies, 2018 [also on the Editorial Board 2018-19].
Feminist Research Collective
Member of this interdisciplinary faculty research group, 2015-current
Competitive Paper Reviewer
Reviewer of possible scholarly presentations for the following units of the National Communication Association: Critical & Cultural Studies Division, Feminist and Women's Studies Division; Master's Education Association: and the Rhetorical & Communication Theory Division, 1995-current 
Elected Officer, Master's Education Section, NCA
Served in the following roles from 2009-2014: NCA Nominating Committee Representative; Immediate Past Chair [included being a NCA Legislative Assembly Representative]; Chair [included being a NCA Legislative Assembly Representative]; Vice-Chair/Program Planner; 2nd Vice Chair, 2009-2010 [assisted with awards selection & reviews]
Elected Officer, Women's Caucus, NCA
Served in the following roles from 1997-2002: Inter-caucus Representative from the Women’s Caucus; Immediate Past Chair [Chaired Francine Merritt Award committee];Chair; Vice-Chair/Program Planner; 2nd Vice-Chair/Reviewer,
Journal Reviewer
Reviewer of scholarly submissions to the open access peer-reviewed Cinema Journal, 2021
Member, Graduate Studies Committee, AHT
Elected to serve on this committee in the School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology, 2022-2023
Member, Committee on Distance Learning
Appointed to the University of Texas at Dallas Faculty Senate Committee on Distance Learning, 2022-2023 
Panel Respondent
Respondent to a panel of competitively selected papers, to be presented to the National Communication Association annual meeting, New Orleans, LA., November 2022


Professor Emerita
Retired from the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO.
Phi Beta Delta
Inducted into this International Scholars Honor Society, University of Central Missouri Chapter
Phi Kappa Phi
Inducted into this Honor Society, University of Central Missouri Chapter
National Communication Association
An emerita member of the main national organization for Communication
Southern States Communication Association
Member of this regional organization for Communication 


Feminism and Cultural Studies
$2538.00 - Office of Graduate Studies & Research,, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO. [1993/04–1993/12]
A Faculty Research Grant to study this topic and prepare a research presentation/paper; including travel to a NCA Summer Seminar on Cultural Studies in Nashville.
Myth, Gender, and Popular Culture
$1700.00 - Office of Graduate Studies & Research, Faculty Research Grant, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO. [1992/03–1992/12]
A Faculty Research Grant to conduct further research on this topic, including travel to several film libraries in Los Angeles in the summer of 1992
Faculty Travel Grant
$5450.00 - The Department of Communication, the International Office, and the Office of the Provost, University of Central Missouri [1993/08–1994/07]
Travel costs necessary to serve as Exchange Faculty to the University of Glamorgan, Wales, U.K. in Spring 1994.
Minority Scholars Initiative Grant plus a Diversity Grant
$1510.00 - The Provost's Office; the Human Diversity Commission; the Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs; and the Department of Communication, University of Central Missouri [1993/01–1993/03]
A special one- time initiative grant combined with a diversity grant to sponsor a visit by Dr. Marquita Byrd, San Jose State University, March 27-30, 1993. During that time Dr. Byrd, a well-known scholar on the subject of culture, race, and communication, presented a public lecture on intra-cultural communication, gave an interview with the campus radio station and completed several other activities (including class and community visits),