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People  •  Communication Studies  •  Associate Teaching Professor

Steve Granelli

Steve received his B.A. and M.S. from Syracuse University in Communication and Rhetorical Studies, where he then was hired as a faculty member to teach Presentational Speaking, Small Group Communication, Research Methods, Rhetoric of Popular Culture, Public Advocacy, and Interviewing.

Steve served as a faculty member at the State University of New York at Oswego, teaching Introduction to Communication, Critical Thinking and Public Speaking, Small Group Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Advanced Public Speaking, and Message Criticism (face to face and online). During his time there, Steve served as the co-director of the Hollywood POV Program, which took up to 20 Communication Studies students annually to Los Angeles for a field experience where they met with alumni and professionals in the entertainment industry.

Steve received his PhD from Ohio University in Communication Studies, focusing on Rhetoric and Public Culture. His dissertation was titled: “Being Good at Playing Bad: Performance of the Heel in Professional Wrestling.” It explored professional wrestling as a staple of popular culture, and questioned a phenomenon that is a driving force behind the industry. Through performance ethnography and in-depth interviews with professional wrestlers, Steve’s dissertation explored the role of the “bad guy” in professional wrestling, also referred to as the ”Heel.” Steve traced the transactional nature between extemporaneous performance and audience feedback, and explored how the performance is conducted physically as well as verbally.

His research interests focus on rhetoric of popular culture, fandom, interpersonal and nonverbal communication themes in popular culture, and performance ethnography. The areas that Steve is interested in studying include multi-modal popular culture phenomenon such as The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, the role of the anti-hero in popular culture, professional wrestling, and stand-up comedy.

Research/Publications Highlights

  • Granelli, S. (2017) “This is totally inappropriate”: Louis C.K.’s use of narrative to build dialogic connections. Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research,16, 61-70.
  • Granelli, S. (2017). O.J., Dad, and me. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, 6(2), 78-79.
  • Granelli, S. & Zenor, J. (2016). Decoding “The Code”: Receptive theory and moral judgment of  Dexter. International Journal of Communication, 10, 1-23.
  • Granelli, S. (2016). (Professional) wrestling with my identity. In Eva Szabo’s (Ed.) Lehigh Valley Vanguard collections volume 9: Explorations of identity (pp. 12-14). Easton, PA: Lehigh Valley Vanguard.
  • Granelli, S. & Presley, R. (2016). Instructor’s manual for Persuasion (4th ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt
  • Granelli, S. & Presswood, A. (2016). Instructor’s manual for Interpersonal Communication: Building Rewarding Relationships (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
  • Presswood, A., & Granelli, S. (2014). Memes, props, and tweets: How fans cope when shows go off the air. In Alison Slade’s (Ed.) Television, social media, and fan culture (pp. 201-218). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Professional Affiliations

  • Eastern Communication Association
  • National Communication Association
  • Popular Culture Association


Communication Studies


  • PhD, Communication Studies, Ohio University
  • MS, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Syracuse University
  • BA, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, Syracuse University


  • 2017-18 – Nominee for College of Arts, Media, and Design Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • 2016-17 – Peter Raposo Graduate Service Award – Named for Father Peter Raposo, this award exemplifies a dedication to service across the department, university, and community in and out of the classroom.
  • 2016-17 – Graduate Associate Outstanding Teaching Award – University-wide recognition of excellence in graduate teaching, nominated by undergraduate students and selected by the Graduate Associate Outstanding Teaching Award Selection Committee.
  • 2015-16 – Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award – Nominated by Ohio University faculty and presented by the Communication Studies Department Awards Committee to a graduate student who displays excellence in teaching.
  • 2015-16 – Graduate Student Leadership Award – Awarded by graduate students at Ohio University to a student who makes outstanding contributions to the community of scholars through leadership in the classroom, department, and/or university.
  • 2012-2013 – SUNY Oswego President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Advisement Award recognizes commitment to academic advising, identifying “wise and trusted counselors” who aid students in the formation and development of their academic and life goals. Recognized at the 9th Annual SUNY Oswego Symposium on Learning and Teaching Awards Luncheon.
  • 2002 – International Communication Association Award for Excellent Teaching by a Graduate Assistant – Recognized at the annual conference of the International Communication Association in Seoul, Korea

Professional Experience

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant 2013 – present Ohio University, School of Communication Studies
  • Visiting Assistant Professor 2004 – 2013 State University of New York at Oswego
  • Adjunct Professor 2003 – 2004 State University of New York at Oswego
  • Adjunct Professor 2002 – 2013 Syracuse University
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant 2000 – 2002 Syracuse University, School of Communication Studies

Research Focus

  • rhetoric of popular culture
  • fandom
  • interpersonal and nonverbal communication themes in popular culture
  • performance ethnography

Courses Taught

  • COMM 1101: Introduction to Communication Studies
  • COMM 1113: Business and Professional Speaking

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