Emily Langan, Ph.D.

Menu
Associate Professor of Communication
On Faculty since 2005

Office: BGC 276
Phone: (630)752-5070
Email:

Education

Ph.D., Arizona State University, Human Communication

M.A., University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, Communication

B.A., Wheaton College, Communication

About Emily Langan

As a student and now as an educator, I have been fascinated with close relationships; Exploring the simplicities and complexities of people and their need to connect with each other in meaningful ways is at the heart of what I do. Though the study of interpersonal and communication theories can seem rather pedestrian at first glance, I believe its ordinariness is the greatest argument for continued study. Everyone has experiences with other people that have shaped them in profound ways but we also all have mundane, everyday interactions that make up the bulk of our relationships.  To me, part of being created in the image of God means that we are designed to live interdependently with others. But, those relationships can be simultaneously joy-giving and challenging.  This tension draws me to the study of interpersonal and relational communication, friendship, nonverbal communication & social influence.

As I work with students both in my classes and in the many conversations outside the classroom, I want them to gain a greater awareness and understanding of both the “big” deals and the smaller, foundational things that impact us. The second command is that we “love one another.” In my courses, we examine the exquisite verbal and nonverbal ways that command is fulfilled, given the multi-layered worlds that we live in where context, power, and relationship cannot be excluded.

Academics are only one facet of my life; I find that my students and my research endeavors benefit from experiences outside the walls of the College. I am a Chicago-native having been born and raised in the south suburbs. I frequently indulge my wanderlust; taking me to friends and family spread out across the US and students working in the developing world. Recent adventures include Australia, Indonesia, The Canadian Rockies, and Uganda. My sport pursuits keep me closer to home. I am a [very average] triathlete and a [extraordinarily super] hockey fan, most especially the Chicago Blackhawks.

Courses Taught

  • Public Speaking (COMM 101)
  • Fundamentals of Oral Communication (COMM 201)
  • Interpersonal Communication (COMM 221)
  • Family Communication (COMM 222)
  • Communication & Diversity: Gender (COMM 223)
  • Communication Theory (COMM 301)
  • Human Communication Research (COMM 312)
  • Persuasion (COMM 363)
  • Sport and Communication (COMM 424)
  • Personal Relationship (COMM 424)
  • Nonverbal Communication (COMM 424)
  • Qualitative Data Analysis (PSYC 893)

Membership in Professional Societies

  • International Association for Relationship Research (IARR)
  • National Communication Association (NCA)
  • Religious Communication Association (RCA)

Research

While my academic home is the field of communication, I feel most comfortable situating myself as a close relationships researcher.  Scholars from across the social sciences have addressed my focus areas (friendships, relationship maintenance, and nonverbal behavior) and as my career progresses, I find the cross-disciplinary nature invigorating.  Since I began graduate school, I have had an enduring interest in relational maintenance. From their initiation through their evolution, relationships take work.  Close relationships such as friendships and marriages, can be voluntarily initiated and terminated.  As such, the vitality of any relationship depends upon strategic and routine maintenance efforts.  Maintenance may take different forms and functions depending upon the goals of the partners and research indicates that maintaining relationships is important both for the individuals and their relationship. At the center of my scholarship is a focus on friendship as a unique and important interpersonal relationship.  I have studied the development and significance of friendship and its unique role from other relationships, such as kin or romantic associations.  Friendship, as a relationship type, does not appear stable throughout the lifecourse.  In other words, the relationship’s value and role takes on different values at different stages of life.

My personal interest in sport has led me to new areas of research and teaching. In 2012, I spent my sabbatical semester grounding myself in the literature of sport and communication, paying particular attention to sport fandom. In many segments of societies around the globe, sport transcends mere entertainment or recreation and becomes a currency of conversation, of national and civic pride, and of personal identity. As a rabid Blackhawks fan, I have particular interest in the behaviors associated with fandom, how sports interest is developed and nurtured, and actual and perceived differences between male and female sports fans.

Recent Publications and Presentations

Publications

Langan, E.J. (2014). Instructor's manual and test bank for Griffin's "A first look at communication theory" (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Langan, E.J. (2014, March). Sporty spice: Bonding through sports. Paper presented at the 8th Summit of Communication and Sport, Charlotte, NC.

Langan, E.J., Griffin, E., & Ledbetter, A. (2014, November). Teaching the college course in communication theory. Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Langan, E.J. (2014, July). Sporty spice: Female bonding through sports. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Melbourne, Australia.

Humphreys, M., & Langan, E.J. (2014, July). Getting started: The process of and holdups to moving from acquaintance to friend. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Melbourne, Australia.

Langan, E.J., & Griffin, E. (2013, November). Teaching the college course in communication theory. Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Washington, DC.

Langan, E.J., & Griffin, E. (2012, November). Teaching the college course in communication theory. Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Orlando, FL. 

Langan, E.J., Bae, A., Cannell, G., Fabry, J., McNamara, M., & Nielsen, C. (2012, July). "When I was little...": The shaping of identity and management of face through family stories. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Chicago, IL. 

Langan, E.J., Bae, A., Cannell, G., Fabry, J., McNamara, M., & Nielsen, C. (2012, July). Playing by the rules: Supportiveness, loyalty, and tolerance in adult friendships. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Chicago, IL.

 Langan, E.J. (2011, March). Instructor's manual and test bank for Griffin's "A first look at communication theory" (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Langan, E. J. (2011).  Good girls don’t but boys shouldn’t either: Towards a conservative position on male flirtation.  In K. Miller & M. Clark (eds), Dating and Philosophy.  Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing.

Langan, E.J., & Griffin, E. (2011, November). Teaching the college course in communication theory. Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, New Orleans, LA.

Ruiz, A.K., Langan, E.J., Morgan, M.J., Oswald, N.L., Rice, E.J., & Ryan, S. J. (2010, April) Setbacks and letdowns: A qualitative study of disappointment in friendship. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Central States Communication Association, Milwaukee, WI.

Langan, E.J., & Griffin, E. (2010, November). Teaching the college course in communication theory. Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, San Francisco, CA.

Langan, E.J. (2010, July). "My friends are great but sometimes...": An exploration of letdowns and disappointments in friendship. Presentation at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Herzliya, Israel.

Langan, E.J. (2010, February). Understanding the role of group cohesiveness and shared humor in aiding students' transition to college. Presentation at the annual meeting of the Conference on the First Year Experience, Denver, CO.

Ribbe, R. & Langan, E.J. (2010, February). Into the woods: How wilderness and adventure programming enhance the first-year transition. Presentation at the annual meeting of the Conference on the First Year Experience, Denver, Co.

Langan, E.J. (2009, November). Tainted goods: Can the possibility of a relationship ruin a chance at friendship? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Langan, E.J. (2009, November). "I believe there are angels among us": How stability and change are produced by integrating faith and ethical beliefs in the communication classroom. Panel participant at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Langan, E.J., & Griffin, E. (2009, November). Teaching the college course in communication theory. Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Langan, E.J. & McClish, G.  (2008).  Instructor’s manual and test bank for Griffin’s “A first look at communication theory”  (7th ed.).  McGraw-Hill.

Griffin, E. & Langan, E. J.  (2008, November). Teaching the college course in communication theory.  Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, San Diego, CA.

Langan, E.J. & McRay, B.  (2008, October). "Are friends really friends forever: Implications for youth ministry drawn from a survey on friendship of an entire college community."  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Youth Ministry Educators, Atlanta, GA.

Langan, E.J., Setran, D. P., & McRay, B.  (2008, October). Friendship at a Christian College: A Survey of an Entire College Community and Implications for College Ministry.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Professors of Christian Education, Atlanta, GA.

Langan, E. J. (2008, July).“You had to have been in my Passage group”: Group cohesiveness and inside jokes.  Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Providence, RI.

Langan, E. J. & McRay, B. W.  (2008, July). How many friends are enough?: An analysis of friendship network size, satisfaction, and adequacy.  Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Providence, RI.

Griffin, E. & Langan, E. J. (2007, November). Teaching the college course in communication theory.  Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Griffin, E. & Langan, E. J. (2006, November). Teaching the college course in communication theory.  Short course taught at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, San Antonio, TX.

Langan. E. J. (2006, July). Models of attachment and friendship: A failed relationship?  Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece.

Griffin, E. & Langan, E. J. (2006, April).Teaching the college course in communication theory. Presentation at the annual meeting of the Central States Communication Association, Indianapolis, IN.

McClish, G. & Langan, E.J.   (2005).  Instructor’s manual and test bank for Griffin’s “A first look at communication theory”  (6th ed.).  McGraw-Hill.

Dindia, K., Timmerman, L., Gilbertson, J., Langan, & E., Sahlstein, E.  (2004).  "The function of holiday greetings in maintaining relationships".  Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21(5), 577-594.

Langan, E. J.  (2004, April). I to my friends: Attachment and maintenance strategies in young adult friendships.  Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the International Association for Relationship Research, Madison, WI.

Langan, E. J.  (2002, February). Friends for life: Friendship across the lifespan.  Panel presentation at the annual meeting of the Western States Communication Association, Salt Lake City, UT.

Langan, E. J.  (2001, July). Why do I like you and how do you know: Interpersonal attraction in initial interactions.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Network of Personal Relationships, Prescott, AZ.

Trost, M. R., Yoshimura, S. M., Langan, E. J., Morr, M. C., & MacKinnon, D. P.  (2000, February).  Uncovering relational drug resistance in high school.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western States Communication Association, Coeur d'Alene, ID.

Dainton, M., Zelley, E., & Langan, E. J. (2002).  Maintaining friendships across the lifespan.  In D. J. Canary & M. Dainton (Eds.), Maintaining relationships through communication: Relational, contextual, and cultural variations.   Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaurn.

Langan, E. J.  (1999).  "Environmental features in theme restaurants".  In L. K.  Guerrero, J. A. Devito, & M. L. Hecht (Eds.), The nonverbal communication reader: Classic and Contemporary readings  (pp. 255- 264).  Prospect Heights, IL:  Waveland.

Trost, M. L., Langan, E. J., & Kellar-Guenther, Y.  (1999).  Not everyone listens when “just say no’ “:  Drug resistance in adolescence.  Journal of Applied Communication Research, 27, 120-138.

Guerrero, L. K., & Langan, E. J.  (1999, February).  Dominance displays in conversations about relational problems:  Differences due to attachments style and sex.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Western States Communication Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Top Four paper award winner, Interpersonal division).

Media Center