Katie P. Bruner

 Katie Bruner

Contact Information

3001 Lincoln Hall, MC-456
702 South Wright Street
Urbana IL 61801
Graduate Student
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Katie P. Bruner is a PhD candidate in the Department ofCommunication at the University of Illinois. Her research investigates American attitudes toward visual image media, and how these attitudes are embedded in, and constitutive of, aesthetic, technological, and sociopolitical exigencies. She is interested in what assumptions individuals have regarding the relationships between vision, perception, and judgment. Where do these ideas come from, and how do they contribute to historical change?

In her dissertation, Katie draws on archival materials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), mapping the mode(s) of vision constructed and promoted by the work of midcentury artists, engineers, and computer scientists within a shared institutional context. These figures utilized vision to measure, to represent, and to control systems of information, and MIT used vision to assert its authority in postwar America. Her project contributes to our understanding of the rhetoric of the military-industrial complex, institutionalized knowledge production, and the “two cultures” debates between the sciences and humanities.

Katie also works in the areas of public memory and rhetorical criticism, examining how publics have constructed the role of the visual in memorialization. Her work draws broadly from rhetoric, history, science/technology studies, and media studies. 

Katie teaches on rhetoric and visual media in a variety of courses, and has been consistently ranked as an 'excellent' instructor by UIUC students.

Research Interests

  • Rhetoric and Public Culture
  • Mediated Communication and Technology


  • M.A., Communication, University of Illinois
  • B.A., Communication and English, Texas A&M University

Distinctions / Awards

  • Research Fellow, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, 2019-2020


  • CMN 340: Visual Politics
  • CMN210: Public Communication in Everyday Life
  • CMN101: Public Speaking