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Laura Bruns, PhD

Chair | Organizational Director

Laura Bruns is an Assistant Professor at Florida Atlantic University. Originally from Aiken, SC, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the College of Charleston in 2008 and Master of Science in Communication from Illinois State University in 2010. She completed her PhD studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI in 2022.

Her lifelong interest in death and dying stems from a general sense of anxiety, morbid curiosity, and a college seminar in death and dying that she found fascinating. Her dissertation, "Perimortem Rhetoric: A Rhetoric of Death and Dying," examined the ways that we rhetorically talk around the words "death" and "dying." Her other research interests include the rhetoric of magic, communication education, social movements, feminist rhetoric, rhetorical autoethnography, field rhetoric, and persuasion. She is currently serving as the inaugural Chair of the newly established (2023) Death Communication Division at the National Communication Association. When she's not doing research, she is hanging out with her three fur kids - one elderly dog and my two mischievous cats - and her one human child and human husband. In her free time, she loves trying new vegan foods, volunteering with a local hospice, drinking wine, reading manga, planning the next Halloween costume, listening to k-pop, and getting out into nature.


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Memorial Candle

Role Statements

Chair | Organizational Director

Organizational Vision

General Duties
& Responsibilities:

  • Our primary organizational figurehead and first point-of-contact for representation.

  • Provides a high-level of oversight on EOL/Death Scholars organizational trajectories.

  • Sets the organizational agenda and follows an agreed upon strategic plan for organizational growth.

  • Attends meetings for regional, national, and international conventions/conferences where EOL/Death Scholars hold divisional affiliations/various organizationally-sponsored interest groups.


University Teaching

Past Courses Include:

  • Rhetorical Criticism

  • Public Speaking/Oral Communication

  • Interpersonal Communication

  • Campaigns and Social Movements

  • Communication Theories

  • Business Communication

  • Persuasive Speaking

  • The Rhetoric of Death and Dying

  • The Dark Side of Rhetoric


Bruns, L.C. (2022, September 27). A Home for Death: Welcome from Inaugural Chair Laura Bruns. Death Scholars Blog.


Bruns, L.C. (2022). Amy's Army: An Evolution of Support and Grief in a Private Facebook Community. Iowa Journal of Communication, 54 (1). 72-91.


Bruns, L.C. and Zompetti, J.P. (2014).  The Rhetorical Goddess: A Feminist Perspective On Women in Magic. The Journal of Performance Magic, 2 (1), 8-39.

Contact Information

General nonprofit email:

Direct contact for Laura:

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