Building:Richcraft Hall, Room 4213
Department:School of Journalism and Communication


Ross Eaman holds an Honours B.A. from Carleton, an M.A. from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from Queen’s University, all in history. He served as graduate supervisor in Communication from 2001-2006 and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in areas such as discourse analysis and communication and the built environment.

Dr. Eaman has published three books: The Media Society: Basic Issues and Controversies (Toronto: Butterworths, 1987); Channels of Influence: CBC Audience Research and the Canadian Public (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994); and a Historical Dictionary of Journalism (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009). His most recent publications include “The Neo-University,” Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, no. 28 (Fall 2012), 245-250; “Teaching Historical Semiosis Through Empathetic Understanding,”CHA Bulletin, vol. 40, no.1 (2014), 33-34; and “‘The Story is Only the Platter on Which the Personality is Served’: The Debate Over Media Integrity on CBC Radio’s Literary Arts Programming, 1948-1985,” Canadian Journal of Communication 40, no. 3 (2015), 519-536. He has also been a regular participant at the annual conference of the Canadian Communication Association, his latest presentations being “Media History and the Problem of Periodization” (Montreal, 2010), “Emerson, James, and Rorty on Communication and Moral Progress” (Kitchener-Waterloo, 2012), “Mapping the Universe of Discursive Sites: A Burkean-Based Cartography” (St. Catharines, 2014), and “How Do Buildings Mean? A New Approach to Communication and the Built Environment” (Ottawa, 2015).

Dr. Eaman’s current research focuses on the history of thought about communication, the history of the CBC, and the built environment. In recent summers, he has been doing research on Yellowstone National Park as a built environment and rhetorical object at the Yellowstone archives in Gardiner, Montana, and other Western historical research centers. Some of this research was presented as Five Speeches, Five Eras: Presidential Perspectives on Yellowstone at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, on August 12, 2014.

Dr. Eaman has long been involved in promoting public broadcasting in Canada. During the 1980s, he served as research director for the CBC Oral History Project, a joint project of the CBC, the National Archives of Canada, and Carleton’s School of Canadian Studies. The project received two SSHRC grants and conducted interviews across the country, many of which have been used in radio documentaries and various historical publications. In addition to submissions to the CRTC, he gave evidence to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in 1995 and served as a member of the advisory committee for the Auditor General’s Special Examination of the CBC in 1999-2000. He also developed a method for assessing the relative distinctiveness of CBC English TV programming for the Auditor General. His journalistic writings in this vein include “Public Broadcasting as a Renewable Resource,” Media 11, no. 4 (Winter 2006), 20-21. His original article on “CBC/Radio-Canada” for the Canadian Encyclopedia has been recently updated by Sasha Yusufali and Sharon J. Riley. He has also contributed “Bureau of Measurement” and “Wayne and Shuster” to the Encyclopedia of Television (2nd edition) published by the Museum of Broadcast Communications. His current work on CBC’s history is directed towards the evolving philosophy of its public affairs programming.