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Department of Communication Studies

Soumia Bardhan

Assistant Professor and Director of Global Communication InitiativesBardhan

Affiliate: Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies


E-mail: sbardhan@ksu.edu
Campus Phone: 785-532-6845
Campus Address: 308 Nichols Hall


Ph.D. Communication, University of New Mexico
M.A. Communication, University of Madras
B.A. English Literature with Honours, University of Calcutta


Professor Bardhan’s interests are interdisciplinary and informed by intercultural/international communication, rhetoric, and Islamic studies. Her scholarship focuses on the intersections of culture, religion, politics, gender, and new media, particularly the interactional dynamics of Western and Arab Islamic rhetorical traditions; the multivocal discourses and discursive practices within Islam; the rhetoric of Muslim minority groups; and the role of new media/social media in the cultural-political transformation of Arab societies in the Middle East-North Africa region. She has presented at numerous national and international conferences and her research has appeared in the peer-reviewed Digest of Middle East Studies, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Contemporary Islam, and as peer-reviewed chapters in books published by top university presses. A commitment to promoting intercultural empathy, civic engagement, and social justice drives Dr. Bardhan’s research.

Current projects

“Negotiating religious, cultural, and minority identities: A Shia Muslim community in post-partition Bengal”

This piece focuses on a minority Shia community in Hooghly, one of the districts in the eastern state of West Bengal, India. The questions being explored are: 1) How the Shia community of Hooghly communicatively negotiates, co-creates, and/or reinforces its minority cultural identity(ies) in relation to religious, linguistic, and ethnic majority groups in post-Partition Bengal? and 2) What are the ideological implications of these communication practices? The purpose of this study is to explore whether these identity discourses reproduce or challenge social systems and relationships characterized by hierarchy and domination, with the hope to promote civic engagement/social justice endeavors as concerns this minority Shia community in the district (Hooghly)/state (West Bengal).

“Mutuality and/or hierarchy in The Sublime Qur’an: A feminist re-interpretation of the Qur’an”

This is a feminist rhetorical analysis of Laleh Bakhtiar’s The Sublime Qur’an (2012), the first “critical” English translation of the Qur’an by a woman, according to Bakhtiar. The questions being explored are: 1) What is the status of women in the rhetorical world of The Sublime Qur’an? 2) What are the rhetorical strategies used to construct this world? and 3) What is the implication of this rhetorical vision for: intercultural understanding (intra-Muslim/Muslim-Non-Muslim); social justice pertaining to Muslim women; Muslim feminism. Given the ubiquitous patriarchy of the classical Islamic tradition, the purpose of this study is to throw light on: a) How can one interpret the Qur’an to promote gender egalitarianism without losing the authority that comes from recourse to the classical Islamic tradition? and b) What might that mean for Muslim women’s experience with social justice and human rights within an Islamic framework?

“The rise and fall of cyber counterpublics in the Arab world: The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Ikhwanweb”

This book examines the cyber rhetorical dynamics associated with the rise and fall of the Islamist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), in Egypt between 2005-2015. Specifically, the MB’s rhetoric in its official English-language website, Twitter, and Facebook. Using the theoretical scaffolding of intercultural rhetoric, this book aims to unearth the MB’s cultural assumptions and understandings as manifest in its cyber rhetoric during its transition from margin-center-margin. This book also examines the instrumental function of the MB’s English-language media vis-à-vis Western societies, particularly the U.S. The questions being explored are: 1) What is the ideology/cultural worldview that manifests in its rhetoric 2) What are the rhetorical/communicative strategies the MB uses to construct its ideology/cultural worldview and 3) To what instrumental end is its rhetoric being used? The purpose of this study is to decipher what this decade (2005-2015) means to the global identity of the MB and the culture of political Islam as manifest and communicated by the MB.


Professor Bardhan teaches courses related to: Intercultural/Critical Intercultural Communication; Intercultural Rhetoric; Religion, Culture, and Communication; Communication Theories; Gender, Politics, and Islam; and directs travel programs focusing on Islam and Intercultural Dialogue in Spain, France, Morocco, and India. As a certified mediator, she also teaches mediation. Her teaching philosophy is informed by critical pedagogy and intercultural praxis.

At K-State, she is teaching

* Intercultural Comm. (COMM 480, Undergraduate, Fall 2015/Spring 2016/Fall 2016)
* Intercultural Comm. (COMM 780, Graduate, Spring 2016)
* Intercultural Travel Program-France and Andalusia: Europe and the Islamic World (COMM 480, Undergraduate and COMM 799, Graduate Independent Study, Summer 2016/Summer 2017)
* Critical Intercultural Comm. (COMM 820, Graduate, Fall 2016)
* Religion, Culture, and Communication (COMM 450, Undergraduate, Spring 2017)
* Theories in Human Communication (COMM 320, Undergraduate, Spring 2017)


Refereed Journal Articles

1. Bardhan, S. & Wood, R. (2015). The role of culture in civil society promotion in the Middle East: A case study approach with technology for social networking. Digest of Middle East Studies, 24(1), 111-138.

2. Bardhan, S. (2014). Egypt, Islamists, and the Internet: The Muslim Brotherhood and its rhetoric of dialectics in “Ikhwanweb”. Digest of Middle East Studies, 23(2), 235-261.

3. Oetzel, J. G., Dhar, S., & Kirschbaum, K. (2007). Intercultural conflict from a multilevel perspective: Trends, possibilities, and future directions. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 36(3), 183-204.

Book Chapters

1. Bardhan, S. & Foss, K. (forthcoming). Revolutionary Graffiti and Cairene Women: Performing Agency through Gaze Aversion. In Charrad, M & R. Stephan (Eds.), Women Rising: Resistance, Revolution, and Reform in the Arab Spring and Beyond. New York University Press.

2. Gonzalez, A. & Bardhan, S. (forthcoming). Intercultural Rhetoric. In Y. Y. Kim (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication. Wiley Publications.

3. Bardhan, S. (2017). Rhetorical approaches to communication and culture. In J. Nussbaum (Ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Oxford University Press. (Invited)

4. Bardhan, S. (2014). Iran, social media, and unrest. In K. Harvey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics, 9, 732-735. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

5. Bardhan, S. (2014). Evolution of social media and the Arab Spring. In K. Harvey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics, 5, 482-487. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

6. Bardhan, S. (2014). Anonymous and the Arab Spring. In K. Harvey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics, 1, 57-60. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Book Review

Bardhan, S. (2015). Review of Jeremy Bowen’s ‘The Arab uprisings: The people want the fall of the regime.’ Contemporary Islam, 9, 413-421


For access to publications and CV, visit http://ksu.academia.edu/SoumiaDharBardhan