David Weiss

Associate Professor

Photo: David Weiss

Mass Communication

Room 222

Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 2005


Dr. Weiss teaches courses in strategic communication, political communication, and media studies. His research interests include media discourse, political and religious communication, and the media and popular culture industries. Before his return to academia in 2000, Dr. Weiss worked in the advertising agency business in New York City for almost two decades. He has taught in Oregon, Ohio, and Montana, and is thrilled to be back at UNM, where he earned his Ph.D. degree in 2005.


I characterize myself as a critical scholar of the discourse, structures, and societal impact of the media and popular culture. The "elevator talk" description of my scholarly pursuits is quite simple: I critically investigate the roles played by the media in society. The ways that those pursuits play themselves out are, of course, more complex and multi-faceted. Specifically, the content areas in which I am most interested might best be described as "culture war" issues: mediated and other publicly communicated messages or texts that are located at the points where media, language, and popular culture intersect with the most powerful issues and institutions of our time: religion, politics, law, sex and sexuality, gender, and/or race and ethnicity.

To date, my interest in these content areas has been manifested in two distinct research and publication streams: (1) political communication and, in particular, its intersection with religious communication; and (2) linguistic manifestations of identity in media and popular culture. At the moment, however, I am in the early stages of a project situated at the intersection of media theory (specifically, normative theories of journalism) and the political economy of media.

Sample Publications

  • Weiss, D. (2020). Magazines and the construction of consumer lifestyles. In M. Sternadori & T. Holmes (Eds.), The handbook of magazine studies (pp. 165-179). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.  
  • Weiss, D., & Sternadori, M. (2020). Viewing the magazine form through the lens of classic media theories. In M. Sternadori & T. Holmes (Eds.), The handbook of magazine studies (pp. 51-64). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.  
  • Briziarelli, M., & Weiss, D. (2019). “The revolution will be complete when the language is perfect”: Nineteen Eighty-Four’s Newspeak and linguistic capitalism: On ideological and economic translatability. George Orwell Exhibition Catalogue, University of New Mexico Libraries, Albuquerque, NM. 
  • Weiss, D. (2017).God loves you and I love you”: Challenges to civil religious tradition in George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign rhetoric. In H. Bungert & J. Weiß (Eds.), “God Bless America”Civil religion in the United States in the 21st century (pp. 79-124). Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Campus Verlag GmbH.   
  • Weiss, D. (2017).Reality TV gets real about marriage equality: Project Runway’s “Tie the Knot” episode. Journal of Popular Television5(2), 246-261. 
  • Bentley, J., Weiss, D., White, J. M., & Shields, J. D. (2016).Teaching integrated marketing communication campaigns. Teaching Journalism & Mass Communication, 6(1), 18-35. 
  • Weiss, D. (2016).Civil religion or mere religion? The debate over presidential religious rhetoric. In J. Edwards & J. Valenzano (Eds.), The rhetoric of civil religion: Symbols, sinners, and saints (pp. 143-164). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books. 


I teach or have taught a wide range of courses in the C&J Department. My undergraduate classes include Political Communication, Introduction to Strategic Communication, Introduction to Mass Communication, Media Criticism, Strategic Planning & Positioning, and Strategic Communication Campaigns. The graduate seminars I teach include Mass Communication Theories and Media Structures & Institutions. At previous institutions I have taught classes such as Popular Culture & Cultural Studies, Multicultural Mass Communication, Introduction to Film Studies, Persuasive Communication, and Media Law.


Service to UNM and C&J: I am currently a member of C&J's Executive Committee, C&J's representative on the UNM Faculty Senate, a member of the Smoke- and Tobacco-Free Campus Task Force, and the faculty advisor to LoboEdge (C&J's student-run advertising agency). In recent years I have served on the KUNM Radio Advisory Board and on that Board's Programming Committee, on various C&J faculty search committees, and on several C&J ad hoc departmental committees.

Service to the Communication discipline: I have served as the Secretary for the National Communication Association's LGBTQ Caucus; as a reviewer for NCA's and ICA's political communication, mass communication, and GLBT studies divisions; and as a reviewer for several mass communication, political communication, and public relations textbooks as well as for the journals Communication Theory, Communication Research, Explorations in Media Ecology, and Culture, Theory, and Critique.

Spare Time

In my ample (?) spare time, I enjoy hiking, bicycling, exploring the Rocky Mountain West, going to as many current movies as I can, catching the occasional Lobos football or basketball game, playing in and directing one of Albuquerque's sanctioned Scrabble clubs, competing in regional and national Scrabble tournaments, and playing on a local pub trivia team.

View David Weiss's profile on the Faculty Authors page.