About the WFI Director
Bryan Crable, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Communication
Founding Director, Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society
Bryan Crable, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Communication, is the founding director of the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI).
Dr. Crable joined the Villanova faculty in 1998 and served as the department’s chairperson from 2004-2011. Under his direction, the Department of Communication (the largest undergraduate major at Villanova University) created an entirely new undergraduate curriculum, expanded its full-time faculty, added a Master of Arts degree, and launched the Waterhouse Family Institute.
The vision for WFI was developed from Dr. Crable’s own scholarly work in communication and rhetorical theory. Finding inspiration in the writings of American critic and philosopher Kenneth Burke, Dr. Crable’s research focuses on the contention that language, and communication more generally, lies at the heart of the human condition, and must be accounted for in any attempt to create social change. In addition to his work theorizing these issues, Dr. Crable has engaged the link between communication and social change through studies of American racial discourse in the twentieth and twenty-first century.
Dr. Crable is the author of Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke: At the Roots of the Racial Divide (University of Virginia Press, 2012), a book included in the Mellon Foundation’s American Literatures Initiative. He is also editor of the collection Transcendence by Perspective: Meditations on and with Kenneth Burke (Parlor Press, 2014). Dr. Crable is the only two-time winner of the Charles Kneupper Award for best article of the year from the Rhetoric Society of America (2003, 2009), and, for his scholarly and professional contributions to the discipline, was awarded the Kenneth Burke Society’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. In addition to scholarly book chapters and reviews, his essays have appeared in leading rhetoric and communication journals, including The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric Review and Argumentation and Advocacy.