Steven H. Chaffee Memorial Lecture Series


The Steven H. Chaffee Memorial Lecture was established in May 2006 on the fifth anniversary of Steve’s untimely death to honor the scholarship and personal qualities of Steven Chaffee, one of the most influential communication scholars of the 20th century.

Steve Chaffee came to UCSB from Stanford University in 1999, when he was appointed as the first Arthur N. Rupe Chair in the Social Effects of Mass Communication. His research focused on a wide range of issues dealing with the effects of media, with particular emphasis on political communication and the impact of the news. He wrote extensively on the role of mass media in political campaigns, voter behavior, and child development.

Chaffee earned a Master's degree in journalism from UCLA in 1962 and worked as an editor and reporter at several Los Angeles area newspapers before deciding to pursue a Ph.D. in communication at Stanford. Before coming to UCSB he was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin for 16 years and at Stanford for 18 years and was at various times the head of his department at both universities. His scholarship was at the forefront of mass media and political communication research, advancing world knowledge of the effects of mass media on voting habits, child development, culture and developing nations, to name but a few areas. His writings included 13 books and more than 500 articles.

His impact on the discipline was profound not only through his scholarship but also through his teaching. Approximately 40 prominent scholars in the discipline were his students.

During his career he received many well deserved honors. In 1990, Wisconsin awarded him the Harold L. Nelson Award for career contributions to education for journalism and mass communication. In 1992, the International Communication Association honored him with the B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award for service to his students and communication research. And in 1996, he won the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Presidential Award in recognition of his dedication and service. He was President of the International Communication Association and a Fellow of the Association.

The honors have continued in the years after his death. The discipline of communication has honored Steve through the International Communication Association STEVEN H. CHAFFEE CAREER PRODUCTIVITY AWARD which honors a scholar (or small group of collaborating scholars) for sustained work on a communication research problem over an extended period. The award like Steve favors research that is original, asks conceptually rich questions, and offers empirically sound evidence. In addition the graduate student award for Political Communication (a division jointly formed by ICA and the APSA) was named for Steven Chaffee in 2004. Steve not only had a remarkable reputation as a scholar but also as a person. As then chair of the Department Dave Seibold said in the interview he gave when Steve’s appointment as the Rupe Chair was first announced: "He's a star," Seibold said. "He's about as big as you get."

2006 The Inaugural Steven H. Chaffee Memorial Lecture

Bryon Reeves: “Emotional Responses and Unexpected Uses for Complex Multi-Player Games”

Professor Reeves is the Paul C. Edwards Professor in the Department of Communication and Director for the Center for the Study of Language and Information, an interdisciplinary group of faculty working at the intersection of computing and social sciences. Reeves is also co-founder of the Media X Program that brings together industry partners with university researchers across the campus working on innovations in interactive technology.

Professor Reeves has published widely on such topics as children and television, physiological responses to media, attention, memory, and emotion, the history of media effects research, political advertising, television news, and multi-player interactive games. He is co-author of The media equation: How people treat computers, television, and the new media like real people and places (Cambridge University Press). Professor Reeves is a Fellow of the International Communication Association and was Steve Chaffee’s colleague at both the University of Wisconsin and Stanford.


Lance Bennett: "Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina... and Beyond"

Lance Bennett is Ruddick C. Lawrence Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. His work on the news media and political communication has appeared in leading scholarly journals, and his research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Spencer Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission. He is the author of seven books, including News: The Politics of Illusion, and The Governing Crisis: Media, Money, and Marketing in American Elections and most recently When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina (co-authored with Regina G. Lawrence and Steven Livingston). University of Chicago, 2007.

Professor Bennett’s awards include the E.E. Schattschneider Award from the American Political Science Association for the best dissertation in American Politics; the Communication Policy Research Award for Social and Ethical Relevance from the Donald McGannon Communication Research Center; The Ithiel de Sola Pool Career Achievement Award from the American Political Science Association; the Murray Edelman Career Achievement Award in Political Communication, from the American Political Science Association, and most recently election as a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association in 2007.


Robert M. Entman: “Scandals in the Media: Now You See 'Em, Now You Don't”

Entman is the J. B. and M. C. Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs and Professor of International Affairs at The George Washington University.  He is co-author of The Black image in the White mind: Media and race in America (University of Chicago, 2000, with Andrew Rojecki), which won Harvard's Goldsmith Book Prize, the Lane Award from the American Political Science Association, and the Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award; and Democracy without citizens: Media and the decay of American politics (Oxford, 1989) as well as numerous other volumes including, most recently, Projections of power: Framing news, public opinion and US foreign policy (Chicago, 2004), and Scandals of media and politics (Polity Press, 2010).

He has also published dozens of journal articles, reports, and book chapters in such fields as political communication, public opinion, race relations, and public policy. For his work on media framing, Entman received the 2005 Charles H. Woolbert Research Award from the National Communication Association for research that has stood the test of time and has become a stimulus for new conceptualizations of communication phenomena. In 2006 he was awarded the American Political Science Association's Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Achievement Award in Political Communication, and in 2007 was recognized as a Distinguished Scholar by the National Communication Association.


Kathleen Hall Jamieson:  “New Media, Campaigns, and Elections”

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor at the Annenberg School of Communication and the Director of the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is the author of 15 books, including:  The Obama Victory:  How Media, Money, and Messages Shaped the 2008 Election (Oxford, 2010), Presidents Creating the Presidency (University of Chicago Press, 2008), Echo Chamber:  Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment (Oxford, 2008) and unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation (Random House, 2007).  Her research has been supported by the Pew Charitable Trust, the Carnegie Corporation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. 

Professor Jamieson’s awards include the Murray Edelman Distinguished Career Award in Political Communication from the American Political Science Association, the National Communication Association’s Diamond Anniversary Book Award, the James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichels Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address, the Outstanding Book Award from the International Communication Association, and the American Publishers Association Professional and Scholarly Excellence Award.  Her publications on campaign communication, discourse and the presidency, and the role of the media in shaping the political scene appear in top scholarly journals as well as in popular media outlets such as National Public Radio, the Bill Moyer show,The New York Times, and The Washington Post.  She is a Fellow of the International Communication Association, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association.


Joe Walther: "How Social Media Change Our Relationships to Information and Each Other: The Transformation of Media and Chaffee's Opportunism"

Joseph B. Walther is a professor in Communication, and in Telecommunication, Information Studies & Media, at Michigan State University, a 2013 Fulbright Scholar at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), and a Fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA). His research focuses on computer-mediated communication and social media in personal relationships, groups, educational settings, and inter-ethnic conflict, topics on which he has contributed several original theories and numerous empirical studies. He has previously held appointments in Psychology, Information Science, and Education & Social Policy at universities in the US and Europe. With over 13,700 citations to his published works, he has twice been awarded the National Communication Association (NCA) Woolbert Award for articles that have stood the test of time and changed thinking in the communication discipline for more than ten years, twice the NCA's Knower Award for articles in interpersonal communication, and he received ICA's Chaffee Award for career productivity and influence. He is a member of Michigan State's Center for Health and Risk Communication, and the Center for the Advanced Study of International Development.


Larry Gross: "The Gay Revolution: How LGBT folks went from sinful, sick and criminal to citizen and consumer, and what role did the media play?"
Larry Gross is Director of the Annenberg School of Communication, and a member of the Communication Ph.D. Program, and the Digital Social Media Program. He spent 35 years teaching communication at the University of Pennsylvania before joining USC Annenberg in 2003 as director of the School of Communication. Gross, who holds degrees from Brandeis University and Columbia University, became a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. A specialist in the areas of media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies. From 1971 to 1991, Gross co-directed the Cultural Indicators Project with George Gerbner, which focused on television content and its influence on viewer attitudes and behavior, introducing the theory of cultivation.