I am an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU). I received an A.S. degree from Danville Area Community College (Danville, Illinois), a B.A. and a M.S. degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida (Tampa). I attended private Catholic school from ages four until eighteen, worked as a bartender near Yellowstone National Park and as a teller at a bank, and have been a vegetarian since 1998.
At NEIU, I teach courses about interpersonal and family communication, qualitative research, communication theory, and sex, gender, and sexuality. As an instructor, I aim to create safe and inclusive learning environments, spaces that encourage and accommodate diverse views. I also aim to demonstrate how college courses can be meaningful, productive, and privileged spaces—spaces that allow relationships to develop, relationships that will continue after classes end and after graduation, and spaces not everyone has the ability or privilege to experience.
I am also an avid writer, and I have been fortunate to receive great support for my work. My first book, Narrating the Closet: An Autoethnography of Same Sex Desire (Left Coast Press, 2011), received four book awards, and the Handbook of Autoethnography (Left Coast Press, 2013), a collection I co-edited with Stacy Holman Jones and Carolyn Ellis, received the “Best Edited Book Award” from the Ethnography Division of the National Communication Association. Most recently, I co-edited, with Jonathan Wyatt, On (Writing) Families: Autoethnographies of Presence and Absence, Love and Loss (Sense Publishers, 2014), and co-authored, with Carolyn Ellis and Stacy Holman Jones, another book, Autoethnography (Oxford University Press, 2015).
Even though I no longer identify as Catholic, I try to treat everyone as worthwhile and important. We’re all in this world—this joy, this struggle—together, and I devote myself to finding ways to acknowledge and respect our differences and to get along with each other as best as we can. Even in times of frustration, pain, and anger, I try to find beauty, a lesson, and ways to improve myself. I am not perfect, am often stubborn, and like routine, but I also try my best to be patient, flexible, understanding, and grateful when I am able to live another day.
Click here for my Curriculum Vita (March 2016).
Dr. Tony Adams
Department of Communication, Media and Theatre
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue, FA240
Chicago, IL 60625