This special issue of Review of Communication presents new offerings of the study of communication, forging present and future humanities. This Introduction engages the six essays in this special issue—which extend and intersect across categories of the humanistic study of communication: communication philosophy and ethics, rhetorical theory, history, pedagogy, criticism, and digital humanities—to explore their contributions in defense of the humanities. Taken together, these essays explore the study of communication as 1) a resource for inquiring and exchanging with concepts, practices, and embodiments of difference, the other, and the posthuman; 2) a means of examining the ontological, epistemological, technological, existential, performative, and ethical implications of our communicative being, our being constituted by symbolic action and mediated exchange in ever-present yet always variant material and affective environments, spaces, and places; 3) a discipline emerging from rhetoric, one of the original liberal arts, yet developing in transdisciplinary ways, transforming the binary of humanities and sciences; 4) a tool for decolonizing knowledge(s); 5) a tool for exploring, critiquing, engaging, and creating with the new media of our digital lives together; 6) a long-standing yet ever inventive method and mode for public humanities; and 7) a praxis of resistance. These essays bring to light what studying communication offers the humanities: a plural, public, reflexive, and ever inventive enterprise for examining being human together on this planet.

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Copyright © 2019 Routledge. Article first published online: May 2019.

DOI: 10.1080/15358593.2019.1599411.

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Full Citation:

Mifsud, Mari Lee. “To the Humanities: What Does Communication Studies Give?” Review of Communication 19, no. 2 (April 3, 2019): 77–93.