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 Ernest Bormann

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Welcome to the Official Home Page of Ernest Bormann
One of the more prominent rhetorical theorists of the last half century has been Ernest Bormann.

His work on symbolic convergence encompasses important contemporary rhetorical theories with demonstrated practical applications for improving communication.

Ernest G. Bormann

Ernest Bormann graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1949. He earned Masters and Doctors degrees from the University of Iowa, finishing in 1953. He taught at the Universities of South Dakota, Eastern Illinois, and Florida State before coming to the University of Minnesota in 1959. He is currently professor emeritus in the Department of Speech-Communication in the College of Liberal Arts.

Professor Bormann is the author of numerous articles in such journals as Today's Speech, Southern Speech Journal, Central States Speech Journal, Journal of Broadcasting, Communication Monographs, Quarterly Journal of Speech, and Journal of Speech and Hearing Research. Some recent articles in national and international journals include "Fantasy and Rhetorical Vision: The Rhetorical Criticism of Social Reality," Quarterly Journal of Speech, 58 (1972), 396-407. (Winner of the Woolbert Award, 1983); "The Eagleton Affair: A Fantasy Theme Analysis," Quarterly Journal of Speech, 59 (1973), 143-160; "Fetching Good Out of Evil: The Rhetorical Uses of Calamity," Quarterly Journal of Speech, 63 (1977), 130-139; "Political Cartoons and Salient Rhetorical Fantasies: An Empirical Analysis of the '76 Presidential campaign," Communication Monographs, 45 (1978), 317-329, with Jolene Koester and Janet Bennett; "A Fantasy Theme Analysis of the Television Coverage of the Hostage Release and the Reagan Inaugural," Quarterly Journal of Speech, 68 (1982), 133-145; "Fantasy and Rhetorical Vision: Ten Years Later," Quarterly Journal of Speech, 68 (1982), 288-305; "Symbolic Convergence Theory of Communication: Implications for Teachers and Consultants," Journal of Applied Communication Research, 10 (1982), 50-61. "Rhetorical Visions of Committed Voters in the 1980 Presidential Campaign: Fantasy Theme Analysis of a Large Sample Survey," Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 1 (1984), 287-310, with Becky Swanson Kroll, Kathleen Watters, and Douglas McFarland. "Symbolic Convergence Theory: A Communication Formulation Based on Homo Narrans," The Journal of Communication, 35 (1985), 128-138.

Professor Bormann has written a number of books including Communication Theory (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980), The Force of Fantasy: Restoring the American Dream (Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985), Speech Communication: A Basic Approach, 4th ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1986), Discussion and Group Methods: Theory and Practice, 2nd ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), Forerunners of Black Power: The Rhetoric of Abolition (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1971).

He has written numerous chapters for books. Some recent chapters include, "Generalizing About Significant Form: Science and Humanism Compared and Contrasted," In Form and Genre: Shaping Rhetorical Action. Campbell, Karlyn Kohrs and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, eds., Falls Church, VA: Speech Communication Association, 1978, pp. 165-187; "The Symbolic Convergence Theory of Communication and the Creation, Raising, and Sustaining of Public Consciousnesses," In Studies in Honor of J. Keith Jenson. Sisco, John, ed., Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, 1983, pp. 71-90; "Fantasy Themes, Rhetorical Visions, and Organizational Sagas," in Communication and Organizations. Putnam, Linda and Michael E Pacanowsky, eds., Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1984, pp. 99-122; "Rhetoric as a Way of Knowing: Ernest Bormann and Fantasy Theme Analysis," in The Rhetoric of Western Thought. Golden, James L., Goodwin F. Berquist, and William E. Coleman, eds., 3rd ed. Dubuque, IO: Kendall/Hunt, 1983, pp. 431-449; "Symbolic Convergence Theory and Communication in Group Decision-Making," In Communication and Group Decision-Making. Hirokawa, Randy Y. and Marshall Scott Poole, eds. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1986, pp. 219-236; "Fantasy Theme Analysis of the Presidential Debates of 1984 in the United States," In Discourse Analysis and Public Life. Ensink, Titus, Arthur van Essen, and Ton van der Geest, eds. Dordrecht, Holland: Foris Publications, 1986; "Small Group Communication and Consciousness Creating, Consciousness Raising, and Consciousness Sustaining," In Sprechen und Handeln. Slembek, Edith, ed.Scriptor Verlag, 1986; "Fantasiethemenanalyse," In Sprechkultur im Medienzeitalter. Varwig, Freyr Roland ed. Scriptor Verlag, 1986, pp. 93-100.

He received his B. A. degree Magna Cum Laude and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and in 1983 served as president of the University of Minnesota Chapter. My Phi Beta Kappa presidential address was published in the Representative American Speeches.

Professor Bormann has received the following awards.

Outstanding Individual in Speech Communication in Minnesota Award of the Speech Association of Minnesota, 1983.

Charles H. Woolbert Award for research projects which have stood the test of time of the Speech Communication Association, 1983.

Outstanding teachers award of the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, 1986.

Delivered the distinguished lectureship in Speech Communication at the Louisiana State University in September, 1986.

The B. Aubrey Fisher Mentoring Award of the International Communication Association, 1988.

The Distinguished Service Award of the Speech Communication Association, 1990.

The Distinguished Scholar Award of the Speech Communication Association, 1992.
The Distinguished Mentar Arward pf tje Communication Associatrion.

His work in fantasy theme analysis was selected as the focus of one of the six seminars offered at the Speech Communication Association Convention in Minneapolis in 1978. His research was also featured on a program entitled "Spotlight on Scholarship: The Work of Ernest Bormann" at the Central States Speech Association Convention in St. Louis, in 1979.

He has either given a paper or served as a critic for a panel of papers at nearly all national conventions of the Speech Communication Association, beginning with an initial paper delivered in 1953.

He was the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Speech-Communication, University of Minnesota, 1971-1978. I am a past president of the Central States Speech Association.

He has served as associate editor for: Central States Speech Journal, Quarterly Journal of Speech, and Communication Monographs. I was a member of the Publications Board of the Speech Communication Association. I was instrumental in organizing the Bicentennial Monograph Series of the Speech Communication Association and served on the editorial board.