Professorial Inaugural Lecture by Professor Godfrey A. Steele

Event Date(s): 27/01/2022

The UWI St. Augustine Campus invites you to attend the Professorial Inaugural Lecture by Professor Godfrey A. Steele, Professor of Human Communication Studies, on the topic Human Communication Studies: What, Why and How from a Caribbean Perspective. The lecture takes place on Thursday, January 27, at 6:00 p.m. To register, visit https://uwi.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Q20joOoEQri8BonxNgiAJQ

Abstract: Human communication is a central aspect of human existence, but its nature, development and rationale as a discipline are not widely known and may have varying interpretations, particularly in the Anglophone Caribbean. Human communication is defined as the study of the creation, exchange and sharing of messages and meaning in human interactions. The creation, exchange and sharing of messages and meaning can occur in diverse settings such as current COVID-19 vaccination debates, intersections among communication, culture and conflict, divergent philosophies of communication competence and communication curricula content, critical discourse studies of social inequity and social justice, and stakeholder concerns about climate change and water resources management, for example. Human communication embraces scholarly concerns about the universal and the particular. This lecture traces the development of the human communication studies discipline at what I call the St Augustine School of Communication. As I do so, I reflect on the discipline’s trajectory, its processes and outcomes and prospects. In sharing this ongoing human narrative, I make links to my research and my body of work and that of other scholars in the background and the foreground. This lecture focuses on the nature of human communication studies (what), its philosophy and rationale (why) and its methods and processes (how). A discussion of the what, the why and the how of the human communication studies discipline is presented from a Caribbean perspective that connects Caribbean thinking and scholarship with a wider world view. I tell this story to make the point that having begun, we are far from finished. I also note we are where we are meant to be as we chart the way forward in the discipline.

About Professor Godfrey A. Steele

Godfrey A. Steele, BA, Dip. Ed., MA, PhD, Cert. Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Professor of Human Communication Studies

Professor Godfrey A. Steele is an interpersonal and strategic human communication studies scholar. Professor Steele’s research has focused on health communication and communication studies in a career at The UWI spanning 1995 to the present. After completing a BA in English (1982) and an MA in Education (1995), he explored “The Teaching of English for Communication Purposes in a Medical Context” in his doctoral dissertation in Linguistics (2000). Before joining the academy in 1995, he served as a teacher for 18 years and as one of the first officially appointed Heads of Department in the secondary school system.

His academic career has combined scholarly research, publication, teaching and service interests while pioneering and coordinating the study of business communication (1992) in the Faculty of Social Sciences, health communication (1995-2007) at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, the Communication Studies (1999) and the postgraduate programme in Human Communication Studies (2009) in the Faculty of Humanities and Education. The holder of primary (Valsayn Teachers’ College, 1979-1981), secondary (The UWI, School of Education, 1986-1987) and tertiary level teacher training (University of British Columbia, 2007-2008), Professor Steele has long held an interest in teacher and faculty professional development, and curricular integration, innovation and intersections in human communication studies.

Awarded a CIDA/UWI master’s fellowship (1991-1993), the Guardian Life/UWI Premium Teaching Award (2000), the Instructional Development Unit Prize for Most Outstanding Classroom Research (2009), he has consistently and diligently promoted and participated in curriculum development of new courses and programmes in the human communication discipline and in related disciplines such as conflict management and mediation, political communication, and forensic linguistics. He established the UWI Communication Studies Association (2005), Communication Studies Research Day (2007), the Association for Human Communication Studies in the Caribbean (2013), the inaugural and biennial Human Communication Studies International Conferences (2013 and 2015) and the Journal of Human Communication Studies in the Caribbean (2015) with support from colleagues.


Author of over 80 peer-reviewed conference papers at local, regional and international fora, over 60 publications including Communication and Education and about HIV and AIDS (1999), Health Communication in the Caribbean and Beyond (2011), Principles and Practices of Health Communication (2019) and Communication, Culture and Conflict: Trinidad and Tobago and the Wider World (2021), he has also supervised 20 completed and five current postgraduate research projects. Professor Steele focuses on translational human communication research that affords The UWI and his academic discipline opportunities to interrogate and analyse communication issues and conduct research of relevance to the Global South including the Caribbean. Professor Steele’s contribution to academic and public scholarship emphasises the application of human communication knowledge, principles, and theories to develop a better understanding of the Caribbean’s identity, self-knowledge and role in human communication scholarship. His professorial inaugural lecture will speak to human communication studies as the study of the creation, exchange and sharing of messages and meanings in interactions where we live, work and play on the topic Human Communication Studies: What, How and Why from a Caribbean Perspective. Email: Godfrey.Steele@sta.uwi.edu Website: https://sta.uwi.edu/FHE/dlcc/prof-godfrey-steele

Open to: | General Public |