Brian Swafford

 

Associate Director of Forensics
CTCL 314
(740) 593-4836

 
bs170406@ohio.ed

I have taken a long road to get here to Ohio.  I began my academic career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where I studied chemistry and was a member of the Cornhusker Speech and Debate Team.  After several (5) years there, I decided I didn’t want to be a chemist anymore.  I switched majors to Communication Studies and graduated at the end of my sixth year at Nebraska.  I received a BA in Communication Studies with minors in Chemistry, Physics, and Philosophy.  The next stop on my journey was Central Michigan University where I took graduate courses in their Interpersonal and Public Communication program.  While attending CMU, I also coached their speech and debate team under the guidance of Dr. Ed Hinck.  To continue my career as a scholar and a forensics coach, I decided to attend Ohio University.

My research interested can be localized in the area of fandom.  Specifically, I am interested in sports and comic book culture.  In both contexts, I am interested in how fans define their fandom, how they make sense of their world, the physical, philosophical, and metaphysical boundaries of the fandom, and what artifacts and events are most important to these fans and why.  In the area of sports, I have been looking at baseball fans and how they act and interact with each other, the players, the ballpark, and the officials at baseball games.  For comics, I have examined the texts of major story arcs for their allegorical possibilities and have attended the Comic Con International in San Diego to see how fans interact at the largest gathering of comic book fans in the world.

To explore my research interests, it would be easiest to say that I am an Interpretivist.  I am in the Rhetoric and Public Culture track, so rhetoric is my primary emphasis.  I have also been exploring the ways that ethnographic research can give me a more rich description of what is going on within fan cultures, whether it be sports fans or comic fans. 

I have presented papers and presentations at National Communication Association Conventions, Central States Communication Association Conference, and the Eastern Communication Association Conference.  I have also presented a proposal at the National Individual Events Developmental Conference in Peoria, IL, where forensics coaches gathered to talk about competitive collegiate forensics.

OU COMS Tailgate

OU COMS Tailgate

OU Forensics Team at NFA

OU Forensics Team at NFA

Official OU Forensics Coaching Hat

Official OU Forensics Coaching Hat