Erika L. Kirby
Erika L. Kirby

Erika L. Kirby

Professor
College of Arts and Sciences

Academic Appointments

Department

  • Communication Studies

Position

  • Professor

Teaching Activity

  • Communication and Community
  • Organizational Communication
  • Organizational Rhetoric
  • Privilege, Power and Difference
  • What Really Matters: Discernment, Conscience and Compassion
  • Work-Life Balance and Wellness

Biography

Erika L. Kirby is Professor of Communication Studies at Creighton University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in organizational communication, and she studies the everyday intersections of working and personal life, emphasizing how differing social identities (especially gender) assimilate into and collide with organizational structures. She teaches organizational communication courses and courses related to communication and social justice. She co-edited Gender Actualized: Cases in Communicatively Constructing Realities with Dr. Chad McBride and her research on work-life has been published in numerous outlets in her discipline, including two recent book chapters in the Handbook of Conflict Communication (2013) and the Handbook of Organizational Communication (2014) and two international encyclopedia entries in 2014 and 2015. Erika is Past-President of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender and a trained facilitator for the Great Plains Region of the Anti-Defamation League on issues of prejudice and discrimination. On a more personal note, she is also a Jazzercise instructor and she lives in West Omaha with Bob, her spouse of more than twenty years and their two daughters: Meredith, who is 19 and Samantha who is 17.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Nebraska, 2000
  • M.A., University of Minnesota, 1995
  • B.A., Buena Vista University, 1993

Publications and Presentations

Books

  • Kirby, E. L. and McBride, M. C. (Eds.). Gender Acutalized: Cases in the Communicative Construction of Realities. Kendall Hunt, Dubuque, IA., Gender Actualized: Cases in Commuicatively Constructing Realities, 2009
  • Kirby, E. L. & Krone, K. J. "The policy exists but you can't really use it": Communication and the structuration of work-family policies. In L. L. Putman and K. J. Krone (Eds.). Participation, Power and Gender. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage., Organizational Communication Volume 4: Participation, Power and Gender, 4, 337-367, 2006
  • Kirby, E. L., Krone, K. J., Schrodt, P. Structuration theory: Promising directions for family communication research, Engaging theories in family communicaiton: Multiple perspectives, 293-308, 2006
  • Kirby, E. L., Harter, L. M., Hatfield, K. L., Kuhlman, K. From spectators of public affairs to agents of social change: Engaging students in the basic course through service-learning, Basic Course Communication Annual 16, 2004
  • Golden, A. G., Medved, C. E., Kirby, E. L., Jorgenson, J., Buzzanell, P. M. An organizational communication challenge to the discourse of work and family research: From problematics to empowerment, Communication Yearbook 27, 1-43, 2003

Articles

  • McBride, M. C., Kirby, E. L., Bergen, K. M., Wahl, S. T., Norander, S., & Robinson, T. (In press). Social identities in the classroom. In P. Witt (Ed.), Handbook of Communication and Learning., Handbook of Communication and Learning, 2016
  • Kirby, E. L., Kuhn, T., McBride, M. C., McHendry, G. F. Jr., Meisenbach, R. J., Remke, R. V., & Wieland, S. M. B. (In press: 2016). Opting (back) in to paid work: A capitalist, gendered, classed, careerist analysis. In E. F. Fish (Ed.), Communication and the work-life balancing act: Intersections across identities, genders, and cultures., Communication and the work-life balancing act: Intersections across identities, genders, and cultures, 2016
  • Kirby, E. L. (In press: 2016). Work-life balance. In C. Scott and L. Lewis (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons., International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication, 2016
  • Kirby, E. L., Riforgiate, S. E., Anderson, I. K., Lahman, M. P., & Lietzenmayer, A. M. Good Working Mothers as jugglers: A critical look at two work-family balance films. DOI: 10.1080/15267431.2015.1111216, Journal of Family Communication, 16(1), 76-93, 2016
  • Kirby, E. L. Work-life balance within close relationships. In C. Berger and M. Roloff (Eds.), International Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons., International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication, 2015
  • Kirby, E. L., & Buzzanell, P. M. Communicating work-life. In D. Mumby and L. Putnam (Eds.), Handbook of organizational communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage., Handbook of organizational communication, 3rd Ed. , 351-373, 2014
  • Geist-Martin, P., Gates, L., Wiering, L., Kirby, E., Houston, R., Lilly, A., & Moreno, J. Exemplifying collaborative autoethnographic practice via shared stories of mothering. In H. Chang, F. Wambura Ngunjiri & K.A.C. Hernandex (Eds.)., Collaborative Autoethnography, 175-188, 2013
  • Kirby, E. L., Wieland, S. M. B., & McBride, M. C. Work-life conflict. In J. G. Oetzel and S. Ting-Toomey, The Sage Handbook of Conflict Communication: Integrating theory, research, and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA., Sage Handbook of conflict communication, 2 Ed. , 377-402, 2013
  • Kirby, E. L., Koschmann, M. A. Forum Introduction: Communication-Centered Contributions to Advancing Scholarship in/of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations, Management Communication Quarterly, 26, 133-138, 2012
  • Kirby, E. L. “But society is beyond____ism”: Teaching how differences are “organized” via institutional privilege?oppression. In D. K. Mumby (Ed.), Reframing difference in organizational communication studies: Research, pedagogy, and practice Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage., Reframing difference in organizational communication studies: Research, pedagogy, and practice, 127-150, 2011
  • Harter, L.M., Kirby, E.L, & Gerbensky-Kerber, A. (2010). Enacting and disrupting the single-sex mandate of the YWCA: A post-structural feminist analysis of separatism as an organizing strategy., Women & Language, 33, 9-28, 2010
  • Bute, J. J., Harter, L. M., Kirby, E. L., & Thompson, M. Politicizing the personal? The storying of age-related infertility in public discourses. In S. M. Hayden and L. O. Hollstein (Ed.), Contemplating maternity in the era of choice: Explorations into discourses of reproduction. Rowman and Littlefield., Contemplating maternity in the era of choice: Explorations into discourses of reproduction, 49-72, 2010
  • Kirby, E. L. Commentary: The philosophy of “Co-”: Acting with to maximize potential in participatory partnerships. In L. M. Harter, J. Hamel-Lambert, and J. Millesen (Eds.), Participatory partnerships for social action and research. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt., Participatory partnerships for social action and research, 379-386, 2010
  • Geist-Martin, P., Gates, L., Wiering, L Kirby, E., Houston, R., Lilly, A., & Moreno, J. Exemplifying collaborative autoethnographic practice via shared stories of mothering. Special issue on Autoethnography as research practice. M8. http://jrp.icaap.org/index.php/jrp/issue/view/13., Journal of Research Practice, 6(1), 2010
  • Kirby, E. L., Bonewits Feldner, S., Leighter, J., McBride, M. C., Ortega Murphy, B., Tye-Williams, S., & Turner, L. H. “Exploring the basement of social justice issues”—A graduate upon graduation. In L. Harter, M. Dutta, & C. Cole (Eds.) Communicating for Social Impact. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press., Communicating for social impact : engaging communication theory, research, and pedagogy, 63-77, 2009
  • McBride, M. C.& Kirby, Erika L. "You're totally her work husband:" Managing misperceptions of the "work-spouse" relationship. In E. L. Kirby & M. C. McBride (Eds.), Gender actualized: Cases in communicatively constructing realities. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt., Gender Actualized: Cases in Commuicatively Constructing Realities, 133-138, 2009
  • Kirby, E. L., & McBride, M. C. Undercover moms, Family CEOs and "opted out" moms: Work-life possibilities for women. In E. L. Kirby & M. C. McBride (Eds.), Gender actualized: Cases in communicatively constructing realities. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt., Gender Actualized: Cases in Commuicatively Constructing Realities, 108-114, 2009
  • Kirby, E. L. & McBride, M. C. Introduction. In E. L. Kirby and M. C. McBride (Eds.) Gender actualized: Cases in communicatively constructing realities. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt., Gender Actualized: Cases in Commuicatively Constructing Realities, xvii-xxiii, 2009
  • McBride, M. C. & Kirby, E.L. Communicating gender diversity: a critical approach., Women & Language, 30, 62-63, 2008
  • Fleming, P. A.; Kirby, E. L.; Grandbois, G. H.; Chiwengo, N.; Welch, A. W.; Pierce, J. Creighton University: Beyond the conceptual: diversity education for faculty. In White, J.; Henderson, S. (Eds.)., Building Multicultural Competency: development, training, and practice Landham, MD: Jason Aronson/Rowan & Littlefield Publishers., Building Multicultural Competency: development, training, and practice, 53-66, 2008
  • Bergen, K. A., Kirby, E. L., & McBride, M. C. “How do you get two houses cleaned?”: Accomplishing family caregiving in commuter marriages. , Journal of Family Communication, 7, 287-307, 2007
  • Kirby, E. L. Organizing to "meet like real Americans": The case of a Hmong nonprofit organization. In B. J. Allen, L. A. Flores, & M. P. Orbe (Eds.), International and Intercultural Communication Annual. Washington, DC: National Communication Association., International and Intercultural Communication Annual, 201-228, 2007
  • Kirby, E. L. “Helping you make room in your life for your needs”: When organizations appropriate family roles. , Communication Monographs, 73, 474-480, 2006
  • Kirby, E. L. & Krone, K. J. Making theory practical: policy development as an illustration of structuration. Retrieved Nov. 2006 from www.communication.com., Communication Currents, 2006
  • Kirby, E. L., Wieland, S. M. B., & McBride, M. C. Work-life conflict. In J. G. Oetzel and S. Ting-Toomey (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Conflict Communication: Integrating theory, research, and practice Thousand Oaks, CA., Sage Handbook of conflict communication, 327-357, 2006
  • Kirby, E. L.. Communication and the accomplishment of personal and professional life: An introduction., The Electronic Journal of Communication, 16, 3-4, 2006
  • Kirby, E.; McBride, C.; Shuler, S.; Birkholt, M.; Danielson, M. A.; Pawlowski, D. The Jesuit difference: Narratives of negotiating spiritual values and secular practices., Communication Studies, 57, 87-105, 2006
  • Shuler, S.; McBride, M. C.; Kirby, E. L. Desperation loves company: Female friendships and the facade of female intimacy. In McCabe, J.; Akass, K. (Eds.). , Reading "Desperate Housewives": Beyond the white picket fence. th, I. B. Tauris & Co., Ltd., New York., Reading "Desperate Housewives": Beyond the white picket fence, 180-189, 2006
  • Kirby, E.L. Your attitude determines your altitude: Reflecting on a company-sponsored mountain climb. In J. Keyton & P. Shockley-Zalaback (Eds.), Organizational communication. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury., Organizational communication: Understanding communication processes, 2, 99-108, 2006
  • Krone, K. J., Schrodt, P. & Kirby, E.L. Structuration theory: Promising directions for family communication research. In D. O Braithwaite & L. A. Baxter (Eds.), Engaging theories in family communication: multiple perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage., 293-308, 2006
  • Kirby, E.L. and Simpson, J. L. "Choices" for whom?: A communicative response to the "opt-out revolution" through a white privilege/social class lens., The Electronic Journal of Communication, 16, 3-4, 2006
  • Kirby, E. L. Making theory practical: policy development as an illustration of structuration, Communication Currents, 2006
  • Golden, A. G., Kirby, E. L., & Jorgenson, J. Work-life research from both sides now: An integrative perspective for organizational and family communication. In C. Beck (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 30 Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum., Communication Yearbook 30, 143-195, 2006
  • Kirby, E. L. Communication and the accomplishment of personal and professional life: An introduction, Electronic Journal of Communication/Le Review de electronique de Communication, 16, 2006
  • Kirby, E. L., Simpson, J. L. 'Choices' for whom?: A communicative response to the 'opt-out revolution' through a white privilege/social class lens., Electronic Journal of Communication/Le Review de electronique de Communication, 16, 2006
  • Kirby, E., McBride, C., Shuler, S., Birkholt, M., Danielson, M. A., Pawlowski, D. The Jesuit difference (?): Narratives of negotiating spiritual values and secular practices, Communication Studies, 57, 87-105, 2006
  • Medved, C. E. & Kirby, E. L. Family CEOs: a feminist analysis of corporate mothering discourses., Management Communication Quarterly, 18, 435-478, 2005
  • Harter, L. M., Kirby, E. L., McClanahan, A. & Edwards, A. Time, technology and meritocracy: Narratively constructing age-related infertility. In L. M. Harter, P. M. Japp, & C. Beck (Eds.), Narratives of health and healing. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum., 83-106, 2005
  • Kirby, E. L., Medved, C. E. Family CEOs: a feminist analysis of corporate mothering discourses, Management Communication Quarterly, 18, 435-478, 2005
  • Kirby, E. L. Communication research methods., Communication Teacher, 18, 124-127, 2004
  • Morgan, J. M. & Kirby, E. L. Performing and resisting scripts of servitude to illustrate critical theory concepts in organizational communication., Communication Teacher, 18, 82-86, 2004
  • Harter, L. M, Kirby, E. L., Hatfield, K. L., & Kuhlman, K. From spectators of public affairs to agents of social change: Engaging students in the basic course through service-learning. In B. S. Titsworth (Ed.), Basic Course Communication Annual 16. Boston: American Press., 16, 2004
  • Harter, L. M. Kirby, E. L. Socializing medical students in an era of managed care: The ideological significance of standardized and virtual patients., Communication Studies, 55, 48-67, 2004
  • Kirby, E. L., Karter, L. M. Socializing medical students in an era of managed care: The ideological significance of standardized and virtual patients, Communication Studies, 55, 48-67, 2004
  • Kirby, E. L., Morgan, J. M. Performing and resisting scripts of servitude to illustrate critical theory concepts in organizational communication, Communication Teacher, 18, 82-86, 2004
  • Kirby, E. L. Communication research methods, Communication Teacher, 18, 124-127, 2004
  • Kirby, Erika L.; Golden, Annis G.; Medved, Caryn E.; Jorgenson, Jane; Buzzanell, Patrice M. An organizational communication challenge to the discourse of work and family research: From problematics to empowerment. In P. Kalbfleisch (Ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers., 27, 1-43, 2003
  • Kirby, EL and Krone, KJ. "The policy exists but you can't really use it": Communication and the structuration of work-family policies., Journal of Applied Communication Research, 30, 50-77, 2002
  • Kirby, E. L., Krone, K. J. 'The policy exists but you can't really use it': Communication and the structuration of work-family policies, Journal of Applied Communication Research, 30, 50-77, 2002

Editing and Reviews

  • Kirby, E. L., McBride, M. C. Communicating gender diversity: a critical approach, Journal of Women and Language, 30, 62-63, 2008

Presentations

  • Kirby, E. L. (2016, July). Work-Life Integration. Keynote address presented to the Iowa State Educational Association at the annual meeting in Des Moines, IA., 2016
  • Kirby, E. L., & Cunningham, J. (2016, April). Separation/Integration and Social Support in Negotiating Boundaries for “Adult” Undergraduate Students. Presented tho the Organizational and Professional Division at the annual meeting of the Central States Communication Association in Grand Rapids, MI., 2016
  • Kirby, E. L. (2015, November). Doing, Undoing, Done (?): Revisiting the study of gender in Feminist Communication Studies. Paper presented to the Feminist and Women Studies Division of the National Communication Association at the annual meeting in Las Vegas, NV., 2015
  • McHendry, G., Kirby, E. L., & Leighter, J. L. (2015, November). John Oliver’s long rants: Teaching the modes of persuasion in an online public speaking class. Paper presented to the Great Ideas for Teaching Students (G.I.F.T.S.) Division of the National Communication Association at the annual meeting in Las Vegas, NV., 2015
  • Kirby, E. L., Riforgiate, S. E., Anderson, I. K., Lahman, M. P., & Lietzenmayer, A. M. (2015, November). Good Working Mothers as jugglers: A critical look at two work-family balance films. Paper presented to the Family Communication Division of the National Communication Association at the annual meeting in Las Vegas, NV., 2015
  • Presented “Using Narrative to Teach the Communicative Construction of Gender/ed Identities” for the Central States Communication Association (April 2015), 2015
  • Kirby, E. L. (2015, February). Relationships in the Workplace and the “Lifespace” and Work‐Life Balance. Presented for the Sarpy County Chamber Wisdom of Women in Ralston, NE., 2015
  • Cullen, C. M., Kuligoski, J., & Kirby, E. L. (2014, November). “How many balls can she keep in the air?” The metaphor of working mother as juggler. Paper presented to the Family Communication Division of the National Communication Association at the annual meeting in Chicago, IL., 2014
  • Kirby, E. L. (2014, November). A working mom needs a (working) dad: Men as fathers and Partners. Paper presented to the Family Communication Division of the National Communication Association at the annual meeting in Chicago, IL., 2014
  • Kirby, E. L. (2014, November). Opting-In from a White Privilege Communicative Lens. Paper presented to the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association at the annual meeting in Chicago, IL., 2014
  • Kirby, E. L. (2014, October). The delivery of adult degree completion programs: Best practices. Paper presented to AJCU/DACE (Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Division of Adult and Continuing Education) at the annual meeting at LeMonyne College in Syracuse, NY., 2014
  • Kirby, E. L. (2013, November). Empowerment, Agency, and “Balancing” Working and Personal Life. Presented for The Way Up Conference of Women in Higher Education in Des Moines, Iowa., 2013
  • Kirby, E. L. (2013, July). Communicating Work-Life: A Constitutive Approach. Week-long seminar taught to National Communication Association’s Hope Conference (Holland, MI) participants., 2013
  • Kirby, E. L. (2013, July). The Importance of a Communicative Approach to Studying and Enacting Working and Personal Life. Presented for National Communication Association’s Hope Conference (Holland, MI) participants as keynote lecture., 2013
  • Foster, T., & Kirby, E. L. (2012, November). “The Way(s)” of the modern pilgrim: Analysis of Spanish and U.S. American pilgrim newsletters of the Camino de Santiago. Paper presented to the Religion and Communication Division of the National Communication Association at the annual meeting in Orlando, FL., 2012
  • Kirby, E. L., & Murray, R. M. (2012, October). Making our Voices Heard to PAVE the Potholes in Creighton’s Culture. Presented for Creighton Community sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Women., 2012
  • Kirby, E. L. (2011, December). Work-life integration. Presented for Creighton Community sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Women., 2011
  • Kirby, E. L. (2011, November). “Just a bunch of whiners”: Voice, graduate students and work/life balance questions. Faculty panelist in preconference at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association in New Orleans, LA., 2011
  • Kirby, E. L. (2011, November). Tall poppies and one-uppers. Position paper/narrative presented to the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association at the annual meeting in New Orleans, LA., 2011
  • Kirby, E. L. (2011, September). Microaggressions in everyday life. Colloquia presentation for the Creighton Communication Studies Department. [also conducted with Dr. Herb Grandbois for other audiences through Diversity Project—see service.], 2011
  • Kirby, E. L. (2011, July). Ignatian mission and a better model of a liberal arts communication curriculum. Position paper and syllabus presented to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ Communication Conference at the annual meeting at Creighton University in Omaha, NE., 2011
  • Kirby, E. L. (2011, March). But I don’t feel “balanced”: Understanding organizational impacts on work-life integration. Presented for Creighton Community sponsored by the Committee on the Status of Women., 2011
  • Kirby, E. L. (2010, November). A communicative approach to work/family research: What do we contribute? Roundtable presentation to the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association in San Francisco, CA., 2010
  • Kirby, E. L. (2010, November). The promises and pitfalls of accelerating our communication curriculum to target returning students. Presentation to the Roundtable presentation to the NCA Educational Policies Board of the National Communication Association in San Francisco, CA., 2010

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Organizational Communication Gendered Structures in Personal and Professional Life Work-Life Balance and Wellness

Current Research Projects

  • Several current research projects surround work-life issues, including how home party consultants "balance" work and life and how work-life "balance" itself is a classist construct.

Grant Funding Received

  • The Dr. George F. Haddix President’s Research Fund (2014—under review). Applied for a $5,000 team grant to study “Creighton’s Mission of Educating Post-Traditional Students: Chronicling History(s), Uncovering Ideology(s), and Offering Best Practices.”
  • CURAS Research Grant (2014—awarded). Applied for a $1,000 grant to have an undergraduate assist me in studying adult education.
  • The Dr. George F. Haddix President’s Research Fund (2013—not awarded). Applied for a $15,000 team grant to study “The Constructions of ‘Adults’ in Adult Higher Education.”

Awards and Honors

  • 2015 Charles Woolbert Award, National Communication Association, 2016
  • Book of the Year Award, Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender (OSCLG) , 2010