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Emily Van Duyn

Profile picture for Emily Van Duyn

Contact Information

3001 Lincoln Hall
702 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL, 61801

Office Hours

Spring 2024: T/TH: 12:30 - 1:30 pm
Associate Professor


Emily Van Duyn is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Before coming to Illinois, Van Duyn earned her PhD in Communication Studies at The University of Texas at Austin and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University with the Program on Democracy and the Internet.

Her research explores why people talk (or do not talk) about politics and the role of digital media in facilitating a space for community and political discourse. She tackles these questions using diverse methodologies, including surveys, experiments, interviews, and ethnography. Her recent book with Oxford University Press, Democracy Lives in Darkness: How and Why People Keep Their Politics a Secret, focuses on the reasons why individuals do not express their political opinions in public and how they express those opinions and organize in secret. Across several years, she follows a secret group of progressives in rural Texas who, out of fear of their conservative community, meet in secret to talk about politics and take political action. Her work is concerned with the effects of social, geographic, and political polarization and how these phenomena threaten liberal democratic norms. Her current book project explores the effects of political polarization on romantic and familial relationships and their broader implications for liberal democracy in the United States.

Her work has been published in top-tier journals including the Journal of Communication, Political Communication, Information Communication and Society, Mass Communication and Society, and Social Science Computer Review. Her work has  also been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic, and has received several awards, including the 2023 Roderick P. Hart Outstanding Book Award from the National Communication Association and an honorable mention from the American Political Science Association as well as top paper awards from the International and National Communication Associations.

Research Interests

Political Communication
Public Opinion
Media Effects
Political Polarization


Ph.D., Communication Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
M.Ed., Southern Methodist University
B.S., Communication Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
B.A., Government, The University of Texas at Austin

Additional Campus Affiliations

Associate Professor, Communication

Recent Publications

Van Duyn, E. (2024). Negotiating News: How Cross-Cutting Romantic Partners Select, Consume, and Discuss News Together. Political Communication, 41(2), 224-243.

Collier, J. R., & Van Duyn, E. (2023). Fake news by any other name: phrases for false content and effects on public perceptions of U.S. news media. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 51(4), 424-443.

Stroud, N. J., & Van Duyn, E. (2023). Curbing the decline of local news by building relationships with the audience. Journal of Communication, Article jqad018. Advance online publication.

Van Duyn, E., & Muddiman, A. (2023). Emotion Work on Social Media: Differences in Public and Private Emotions about Politics and COVID-19 on Facebook. Social Media and Society, 9(4).

Van Duyn, E., & Muddiman, A. (2022). Predicting perceptions of incivility across 20 news comment sections. Journalism, 23(1), 134-152.

View all publications on Illinois Experts