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Michael Lane Bruner, Ph.D.


Communication Studies


Michael Lane Bruner (a.k.a. M. Lane Bruner) is a professor of rhetoric. His teaching currently focuses on policy development at the doctoral level.

Bruner’s recent scholarly work focuses on unconscious persuasive forces (Rhetorical Unconsciousness and Political Psychoanalysis, U. of South Carolina Press, 2019) and neo-fascist tendencies in the United States (“The Cynical Manipulation of Universities as Public Forums in the Age of Trump,” Communication Law Review, 2018). This work builds upon his earlier books and articles on arts of resistance in politically repressive environments, democratic statecraft, and collective identity construction. His work has won National Communication Association awards for outstanding scholarship in freedom of expression, performance studies, and rhetorical studies. 

Bruner is also a widely published poet interested in aesthetics and politics. In addition to his public performances from 1984 to 2010 with his various poetry troupes, his writing has appeared in such venues as The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and Evergreen Review, and the works and ephemera of his most famous poetry troupe, the Carma Bums, are held in the library archives at UCLA. Recent creative work includes an edited memoir, Stories of Civil Bend (Rose of Sharon Press, 2019), and three books of prose poetry and micro-fiction: Why Must You Say These Things Out Loud? (Rose of Sharon Press, 2021), Hard to Say in A Way That Might Be Heard (Rose of Sharon Press, 2021), and Piedmont the Jazz Rat of Cunningham Park (Red Hawk Press, 2019). 

Professor Bruner has taught with distinction at Louisiana State University, the University of Washington, Babson College, and then at Georgia State University, where he served as Graduate Director.  At UNLV he served as the Chair of Communication Studies before turning full time to public policy development.