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About Kristine Muñoz (Fitch until 2010)

Kristine's research and theory are centered in the ethnography of speaking based on fieldwork primarily in Colombia. From 1989-2015 her work focused on persuasion and personal relationships in cultural context, particularly in moments of poaching and improvisation at the intersections of public and private. These studies combined elements of sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and textual analysis to approach questions of how people created meaning in cultural contexts. In 2016, her work took a humanistic turn while remaining centered in Colombia. Shifting into Spanish language and cultural studies was part of an initiative to bring scholarship about Colombian culture into public digital spaces in ways that are accessible and compelling to educated lay publics and Spanish language educators. An ongoing project related to that effort is a website, Medellín after Escobar, intended to re-envision Colombia’s second-largest city through images, essays, oral histories and collaborative projects that show the city’s identity of innovation and industry, in contrast to memories of its violent history of narcotrafficking. This project was constructed through the University of Iowa’s Digital Humanities Studio:

Another current project, funded by a Fulbright Research and Teaching grant to Colombia in 2022, is an ethnographic study conducted in collaboration with researchers from the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, of how schools in different parts of the city have responded to a requirement to create a “Peace Course” - La Cátedra de la Paz - as part of the Havana Peace Accords in 2016. The requirement calls on the educational system, historically divided by class into public and private realms, to create a “culture of peace” by way of a course taught to every student in every school, from pre-kindergarten through adult education. The study focuses on how the mandate has been interpreted and enacted.

Kristine continues to publish data-driven social science theory as well as creative nonfiction. Her work has received the Gerald R. Miller Award for Outstanding Research in Interpersonal Communication (1999), the Outstanding Scholarship in Language and Social Interaction Award (2009) and, with Kathleen Valde, the B. Aubrey Fisher Outstanding Article Award (2005). She has been a Leverhulme Fellow in the UK (1999), a University of Iowa Global Scholar (1998-99) received a Fulbright Dissertation Fellowship in Colombia (1987) and a Fulbright Research and Teaching Award for 2021 (postponed until 2022 due to COVID-19). She received the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Collegiate Teaching Award in 2014 and an Honorary Doctorate from Jyvaskyla University in Finland in 2013.


Present Professor, Communication Studies, University of Iowa Communication Studies Department

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding Scholarship Award in Language and Social Interaction, 2008
  • B. Aubrey Fisher Outstanding Article Award, 2005 (with Kathleen Valde)
  • Thomas M. Scheidel Distinguished Faculty Lecture, University of Washington, 2004
  • Gerald R. Miller Award for Outstanding Research in Interpersonal Communication, 1999

Articles (25)