Press Room

Visual Communication Scholar Available to Discuss Border Enforcement and Family Separation Photographs

June 20, 2018
Experts Available
Political, Social Justice

As the controversy about the ongoing immigration enforcement crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border continues, the photographs of asylum seekers, the detention centers in which they are being held, and the clothing and accessories that have been confiscated by ICE officials have played a significant role in publicly communicating the story. National Communication Association member Cara Finnegan is available to assess and analyze some of the most powerful images being circulated by the media, including one taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John Moore that went viral earlier this week. Professor Finnegan has recently been quoted on photography and politics for Vox, BBC, and The Boston Globe.


Cara Finnegan, Ph.D.
Associate Head and Professor of Communication, University of Illinois

Finnegan's research examines the role of photography as a tool for public life. Her book-length projects are best described as rhetorical histories of photography, in that she variously examines the production, composition, circulation, and reception of photographs at specific moments in U.S. history. Finnegan is the author of Making Photography Matter: A Viewer's History from the Civil War to the Great Depression (2015), and is currently working on a new book project supported by the National Endowments for the Humanities, American Presidents and the History of Photography from the Daguerreotype to the Digital Age. She is co-host of Chatting the Pictures, a weekly analysis of news and media images hosted by the nonprofit media literacy site Reading the Pictures. Learn more about her at


To schedule an interview with Professor Finnegan, please contact Jenna Sauber at or 202-534-1104.

About the National Communication Association

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems. NCA supports inclusiveness and diversity among our faculties, within our membership, in the workplace, and in the classroom; NCA supports and promotes policies that fairly encourage this diversity and inclusion.

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