Edward Schiappa

Professor of Comparative Media Studies
former Head of Comparative Media Studies/Writing
John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities


Edward Schiappa Edward Schiappa is Professor and former Head of Comparative Media Studies/Writing in MIT’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, where he holds the John E. Burchard Chair of Humanities.

In 2009, Schiappa was named a Distinguished Scholar by the National Communication Association for his original research in persuasion, media effects, and argumentation. Among his research accomplishments is the Parasocial Contact Hypothesis, a theory of how mass media influences perceptions of social groups. He is former editor of the journal Argumentation & Advocacy and author of numerous books on persuasion and argumentation, most recently Argumentation: Keeping Faith With Reason (Pearson, 2014).

After graduating magna cum laude from Kansas State University, Schiappa earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University. Before moving to MIT, Professor Schiappa was Director of Graduate Studies in Communication at Purdue University and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Faculty Media

  • [Innovation@Work Webinar] Visual Persuasion in the Digital Age with Ed Schiappa

    In today's digital era, visual communication is king. We are constantly bombarded by visual stimuli that we decode rapidly and often without conscious thought. Did you know that words and images...

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Visual Persuasion in the Digital Age: Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

    Whether you're a power user or a casual participant, LinkedIn is a great place to research people and companies, expand and leverage your network, and find new opportunities. It's also the first...

  • Emerging Trends in Social Media

    Who knows what's hot in social media?

  • When Logic Meets Rhetoric

    Edward Schiappa has studied reason and rhetoric from ancient Greece to “Will & Grace.” Learn more in this MIT News feature.

  • Business Presentations: Five Tips to Engage Audiences

    Why don't most business presentations land? Why do speakers so frequently face tuned-out listeners who are more busy checking their phones than paying attention? Follow these five expert tips to...

  • Beyond Representational Correctness: Rethinking Criticism of Popular Media

    Representational correctness describes an implicit set of norms, including accuracy, purity, and innocence, that guide much of popular media criticism.

  • Defining Reality: Definitions and the Politics of Meaning

    In Defining Reality, Edward Schiappa argues that definitional disputes should be treated less as philosophical questions of “is” and more as sociopolitical questions of “ought.”

  • Introducing Ed Schiappa

    New to MIT but long familiar to the Comparative Media Studies / Writing (CMS/W) community, Edward Schiappa, now Associate Head of CMS/W, brings a background in both classical rhetoric and...


Contact Information

Email: schiappa@MIT.EDU
Website: http://edwardschiappa.com/
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Visual Persuasion in the Digital Age
Discover why visual communication is king in today's digital era.