Associate Professor Leah Sprain’s research focuses on democratic engagement, studying how specific communication practices facilitate and inhibit democratic action.
Her research and teaching draw on language and social interaction perspectives to explore deliberation, environmental communication and social movement activism. Outreach and praxis are crucial to democratic engagement; thus, much of her research is collaborative and focused on the practice-theory interface.
As an ethnographer of communication, she has conducted extended fieldwork in Nicaragua and the United States. She co-edited Social Movement to Address Climate Change: Local Steps for Global Action, and her work appears in the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture and Qualitative Communication Research.
She received her PhD from the University of Washington.