Emily Langan, Ph.D.

Communication

Associate Professor of Communication
On Faculty since 2005

Office: BGC 276
Phone: (630)752-5070
Email:

Education

Ph.D., Arizona State University, Human Communication

M.A., University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, Communication

B.A., Wheaton College, Communication

About Emily Langan

As a student and now as an educator, I have been fascinated with close relationships; Exploring the simplicities and complexities of people and their need to connect with each other in meaningful ways is at the heart of what I do. Though the study of interpersonal and communication theories can seem rather pedestrian at first glance, I believe its ordinariness is the greatest argument for continued study. Everyone has experiences with other people that have shaped them in profound ways but we also all have mundane, everyday interactions that make up the bulk of our relationships.  To me, part of being created in the image of God means that we are designed to live interdependently with others. But, those relationships can be simultaneously joy-giving and challenging.  This tension draws me to the study of interpersonal and relational communication, nonverbal communication, communication theory, and persuasion & social influence.

As I work with students both in my classes and in the many conversations outside the classroom, I want them to gain a greater awareness and understanding of both the “big” deals and the smaller, foundational things that impact us. The second command is that we “love one another.” In my courses, we examine the exquisite verbal and nonverbal ways that command is fulfilled, given the multi-layered worlds that we live in where context, power, and relationship cannot be excluded.

Academics are only one facet of my life; I find that my students and my research endeavors benefit from experiences outside the walls of the College. I am a Chicago-native having been born and raised in the south suburbs. I frequently indulge my wanderlust; recent adventures include Italy, France and The Holy Lands. Some journeys take me to friends and family spread out across the US. I am also a triathlete which means I spend a lot of time decompressing by swimming, biking, and running.

Courses Taught

  • Public Speaking (COMM 101)
  • Fundamentals of Oral Communication (COMM 201)
  • Interpersonal Communication (COMM 221)
  • Family Communication (COMM 222)
  • Communication & Diversity: Gender (COMM 223)
  • Communication Theory (COMM 301)
  • Human Communication Research (COMM 312)
  • Persuasion (COMM 363)
  • Personal Relationship (COMM 424)
  • Nonverbal Communication (COMM 424)
  • Qualitative Data Analysis (PSYC 893)

Membership in Professional Societies

  • International Association for Relationship Research (IARR)
  • National Communication Association (NCA)
  • Religious Communication Association (RCA)

Research

While my academic home is the field of communication, I feel most comfortable situating myself as a close relationships researcher.  Scholars from across the social sciences have addressed my focus areas (friendships, relationship maintenance, and nonverbal behavior) and as my career progresses, I find the cross-disciplinary nature invigorating.  Since I began graduate school, I have had an enduring interest in relational maintenance. From their initiation through their evolution, relationships take work.  Close relationships such as friendships and marriages, can be voluntarily initiated and terminated.  As such, the vitality of any relationship depends upon strategic and routine maintenance efforts.  Maintenance may take differ forms and functions depending upon the goals of the partners and research indicates that maintaining relationships is important both for the individuals and their relationship. At the center of my scholarship is a focus on friendship as a unique and important interpersonal relationship.  I have studied the development and significance of friendship and its unique role from other relationships, such as kin or romantic associations.  Friendship, as a relationship type, does not appear stable throughout the lifecourse.  In other words, the relationship’s value and role takes on different values at different stages of life.

My nonverbal communication research has varied to include questions of context and environment and the interpersonal communication of attraction (published in separate book chapters).  I am fascinated with how we articulate liking and attraction, how flirting can be appropriate even a Christian context and how it is impacted by gender.  Most of the existing literature on flirting is from a decidedly secular point of view and tends to focus on female behaviors, but those restrictions need not be in place.  Flirting can and should be explored as an area of applied Christian ethics and as highly useful communication medium.

Recent Publications and Presentations

Publications

Langan, E.J.  (March, 2011).  Instructor’s manual and test bank for Griffin’s “A first look at communication theory”  (8th ed.).  McGraw-Hill.

Langan, E. J. (2011).  Good girls don’t but boys shouldn’t either: Towards a conservative position on male flirtation.  In K. Miller & M. Clark (eds), Dating and Philosophy.  Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing.

Langan, E. & McRay, B. (under review). "What a Jesus we have in friends: Friendship and the implications for youth ministry." Article submitted for publication at Journal of Youth Ministry.

Langan, E.J. & McClish, G.  (2008).  Instructor’s manual and test bank for Griffin’s “A first look at communication theory”  (7th ed.).  McGraw-Hill.

McClish, G. & Langan, E.J.   (2005).  Instructor’s manual and test bank for Griffin’s “A first look at communication theory”  (6th ed.).  McGraw-Hill.

Dindia, K., Timmerman, L., Gilbertson, J., Langan, & E., Sahlstein, E.  (2004).  The function of holiday greetings in maintaining relationships.  Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21(5), 577-594.

Dainton, M., Zelley, E., & Langan, E. J. (2002).  Maintaining friendships across the lifespan.  In D. J. Canary & M. Dainton (Eds.), Maintaining relationships through communication: Relational, contextual, and cultural variations.   Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaurn.

Langan, E. J.  (1999).  Environmental features in theme restaurants.  In L. K.  Guerrero, J. A. Devito, & M. L. Hecht (Eds.), The nonverbal communication reader: Classic and Contemporary readings  (pp. 255- 264).  Prospect Heights, IL:  Waveland.

Trost, M. L., Langan, E. J., & Kellar-Guenther, Y.  (1999).  Not everyone listens when “just say no’ “:  Drug resistance in adolescence.  Journal of Applied Communication Research, 27, 120-138

Peer-Reviewed Conference Presentations and Invited Addresses

Ruiz, A. K., Langan, E. J.,  Morgan, M. J., Oswald, N. L., Rice, E. J., & Ryan, S. J.  (April, 2010). Setbacks and Letdowns: A Qualitative Study of Disappointment in Friendship. Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the Central States Communication Association, Milwaukee, WI.

Griffin, E. & Langan, E. J.  (2010). Teaching the College Course in Communication Theory.  Short course to be taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, San Francisco, CA.

Langan, E. J. (2010).  “My friends are great but sometimes…”:  An exploration of letdowns and disappointments in friendship.  Presentation at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Herzliya, Israel.

Langan, E. J. (2010).  Understanding the Role of Group Cohesiveness and Shared Humor in Aiding Students’ Transition to College.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the Conference on the First Year Experience, Denver, CO.

Ribbe, R. & Langan, E. J. (2010).  Into the Woods: How Wilderness and Adventure Programming Enhance the First-Year Transition.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the Conference on the First Year Experience, Denver, CO.

Langan, E. J. (2009).  Tainted Goods: Can the Possibility of a Relationship Ruin a Chance at Friendship? Paper to be presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, Il.

Langan, E. J. (2009).  “I Believe There Are Angels Among Us”: How Stability and Change Are Produced by Integrating Faith and Ethical Beliefs in the Communication Classroom.”  Panel Participant at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, Il.

Griffin, E. & Langan, E. J.  (2009). Teaching the College Course in Communication Theory.  Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, Il.

Griffin, E. & Langan, E. J.  (2008). Teaching the College Course in Communication Theory.  Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, San Diego, CA.

Langan, E.J. & McRay, B.  (2008) "Are friends really friends forever: Implications for youth ministry drawn from a survey on friendship of an entire college community."  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Youth Ministry Educators, Atlanta, GA.

Langan, E.J., Setran, D. P., & McRay, B.  (2008). Friendship at a Christian College: A Survey of an Entire College Community and Implications for College Ministry.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Professors of Christian Education, Atlanta, GA.

Langan, E. J. (2008)  “You had to have been in my Passage group”: Group cohesiveness and Inside Jokes.  Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Providence, RI.

Langan, E. J. & McRay, B. W.  (2008)  How many friends are enough?: An analysis of friendship network size, satisfaction, and adequacy.  Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Providence, RI.

Langan, E. J. (2007).  Talking to and about friends.  Invited respondent at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL

Griffin, E. & Langan, E. J.  (2007). Teaching the College Course in Communication Theory.  Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Griffin, E. & Langan, E.J. (2007).  Spotlight Panel: Teaching theories that promote social justice or the common good.  Panel presentation at the annual meeting of the Central States Communication Association, Minnesota, MN.

Griffin, E. & Langan, E. J.  (2006). Teaching the College Course in Communication Theory.  Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, San Antonio, TX.

Griffin, E. & Langan, E. J.  (2006). Teaching the College Course in Communication Theory.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the Central States Communication Association, Indianapolis, IN.

Langan. E. J. (2006).  Models of Attachment and Friendship: A failed relationship?  Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece.

Langan, E. J.  (2004).  I to my friends: Attachment And Maintenance Strategies In Young Adult Friendships.  Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Madison, WI.

Langan, E. J.  (2002).  Friends for life: Friendship across the lifespan.  Panel presentation at the annual meeting of the Western States Communication Association, Salt Lake City, UT.

Langan, E. J.  (2001).  Why do I like you and how do you know: Interpersonal Attraction in Initial Interactions.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Network of Personal Relationships, Prescott, AZ.

Langan, E. J.  (2001).  New scholars/hip: Engaging seminal works of INPR/ISSPR.  Presentation at the annual meeting of the International Network of Personal Relationships, Prescott, AZ.

Trost, M. R., Yoshimura, S. M., Langan, E. J., Morr, M. C., & MacKinnon, D. P.  (2000).  Uncovering relational drug resistance in high school.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western States Communication Association, Coeur d'Alene, ID.

Langan, E. J.  (1999, November).  Total Eclipse: The bright and dark sides of reciprocal self-disclosure.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Guerrero, L. K., & Langan, E. J.  (1999, February).  Dominance displays in conversations about relational problems:  Differences due to Attachments style and sex.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western States Communication Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Top Four paper award winner, Interpersonal division).

Langan, E. J.  (1998, November).  Preparing Future Faculty and Communication in the 20th Century.  Panel presentation to be presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, New York City, NY.

Trost, M. R., Langan, E. J., & Bachman, G.  (1998, June).  Addicted to the drug or to the man?  Drug resistance in high school dating relationships.  Paper to be presented at the bi- annual meeting of the International Society for the Study of Personal Relationships, Saratoga Springs, NY.

Langan, E. J.  (1998, February). Changing lanes and changing highways: An examination of topic shifts and topic changes using conversational analysis.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western States Communication Association, Denver, CO

Langan, E. J.  (1997, November).  Tracing the influences of Social Psychology:  The impact of Social Psychology on the study of personal relationships.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Langan, E. J. (1997, February).  Does friendship communication model family communication:  A Qualitative Analysis.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western States Communication Association, Monterey, CA.

Trost, M. R., & Langan, E. J. (1996, November).  Decoding the Green- Ey'd monster: Nonverbal indicators of romantic jealousy.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, San Diego, CA.

Burrell, N.A., Cuneo, A., Grob, L., Langan, E., & Sahlstein, E.  (1995, November).  Planning conferences for peer mediators: Training, retraining, and networking in Milwaukee.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association convention, San Antonio, TX.

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