Stephen J. Hartnett
Professor • Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Communication

Mailing Address:
Department of Communication
Campus Box 176
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
1201 Larimer Street
3rd Floor, Suite 3012
Denver, CO 80204

Spring 2021 Office Hours:
By appointment on Zoom, please email to schedule a meeting.

Expertise Areas: Civic engagement, globalization, social justice

PhD, UC San Diego, 1992
MA, UC San Diego, 1990
BA, Rutgers University, 1986

Stephen John Hartnett is a Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver; he served as the 2017 President of the National Communication Association and is the convener of the NCA’s Task Force on Fostering International Collaborations in the Age of Globalization. His work as a historian of American culture and politics has appeared in his award-winning books Democratic Dissent & the Cultural Fictions of Antebellum America and the 2-volume Executing Democracy: Capital Punishment & the Making of America. His work on U.S. foreign policy has appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, the South Atlantic Quarterly, Cultural Studiesó Critical Methodologies, and others. One of his previous books in this area, Globalization and Empire, was published by the University of Alabama Press in 2006. His latest book in this area of enquiry is the co-edited Imagining China: Rhetorics of Nationalism in the Age of Globalization (Michigan State University Press, 2017). As evidence of the excellence of this scholarly work, Hartnett has received the 2013 Kohrs-Campbell Prize in Rhetorical Criticism, CU Denver’s College of Liberal Arts and Science’s 2012 Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Award, the NCA’s 2011 Golden Monograph Award, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s 2011 PASS Award (Prevention for a Safer Society), and the NCA’s 2002 Winans and Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address.                                                                                                                                                        

In terms of his writings about U.S. foreign policy in Asia, Hartnett has spent the past ten summers working in China, Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong, Nepal, and India, where he has been gathering data, photographs, and interviews. This embodied research has resulted in a slew of peer-reviewed journal articles, the Imagining China book mentioned above, and a series of conferences about U.S.-China communication, which he has co-organized and co-hosted in locations across America and China. His work bridging U.S and Chinese communication cultures has resulted in his delivering keynote addresses before Chinese audiences at conferences in Beijing in 2015, 2016, and 2018, in Shenzhen in 2016 and 2018, and in Xi’an in 2018. Hartnett was invited in January and June 2017 to present workshops before the International Department of the Communist Party of China, where he has advocated for American-style norms of civic engagement and free speech while respecting the unique political conditions in China.

Hartnett has spent the past 29 years teaching in, writing about, and protesting at America’s prisons and jails. He has taught in prisons and jails in Colorado, California, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, and has lectured on prisons and/or the death penalty in 28 states. His commentary on prison education has appeared on MSNBC and in outlets such as Slate, Salon, In These Times, and over 100 different radio stations. He is the editor of the books Challenging the Prison Industrial Complex and Working for Justice, both published by the University of Illinois Press. As recognition of this work, Hartnett is the recipient of the University of Colorado’s Thomas Jefferson Award

COMM 2075 Research and Writing for COMM Majors
COMM 4700 Thesis and Special Project Writing (required for high Latin honors)