Communication and gender, public communication
Dr. Anita Taylor is professor emerita of communication and member of the gender and women studies faculty at George Mason University. She coached debate, taught or did administration at university level for more than 45 years, 25 of which were at George Mason where she chaired the Dept. of Communication and Performing Arts before it split into three Departments, making her the founding chair of GMU’s Communication Department. Gaining Emerita status upon retirement from full time teaching in 2004, she remains active in a part-time teaching role and continues to publish as well advise and mentor students and young faculty.
Active in several professional organizations, Dr. Taylor became president of the National Communication Association in 1981 where she had been one of the founders of its Women’s Caucus in 1971. In 1991 she received the Speech Communication Association's first Francine Merritt award for being the woman who had most contributed to the improvement of the professional lives of women in the profession and the association. In 1996 she was named Communicator of the Year by the Virginia Association of Communication Arts and Sciences; in 2000 was awarded the Distinguished Service Award of the National Communication Association; in 2002 was selected as the inaugural Feminist Teacher/Mentor by the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender; and selected as an NCA Mentor in 2003. She was also recognized with the first Teacher/Mentor Award given by the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender.
Widely known as a leader, writer, speaker and workshop leader in communication, Taylor focused her study on gender and language in communication, women as communicators and speaking in public. Most recently, she collaborated in creating a web publication with University of Florida linguist M. J. Hardman, Gender and Language: Making the Invisible Visible. This book presents the culmination of 12 years collaborative work in creating teaching and learning materials showing the interactive impacts of language and gender in communication. Earlier publications include many articles and speeches, several of which were published in Vital Speeches of the Day. Her first book, Communicating, was published in six editions, and she added two editions of Speaking in Public. From 1989 until 2010, Taylor served as executive editor of a self-supporting research periodical, Women and Language. Among other edited publications are the books, Gender and Conflict, Hearing Many Voices and Women as Communicators: Studies of Women's Talk.