Karen Tracy
Professor Emerita

Hellems 5

Office Hours: Emeritus Faculty

Karen Tracy is an emeritus professor in the Department of Communication. In her research she studies problems in justice-, education-, and governance-linked institutions. Through close study of talk in combination with interviews of participants, and analysis of documents (e.g., minutes, web pages, legal opinions) in particular communication practices , she seeks to build a picture of participants' problems and dilemmas, the discourse strategies they use, and their ideals of good conduct. She is the author of a handful of books including most recently Discourse, Identity, and Social Change in the Marriage Equality Debates (2016) and, coauthored with Bob Craig, Grounded Practical Theory: Investigating Communication Problems (2021). Karen has received two lifetime achievement awards. She is a Distinguished Scholar in the National Communication Association and a Fellow in the International Communication Association. Her most recent research has involved studying how judges and litigants talk in small claims court. She is now beginning a project studying jury sense-making and deliberation in civil and criminal trials.

Karen lives with her husband, Bob Craig, and their dog, Ginger, in Philadelphia. For fun she reads mysteries, watches police and legal thrillers, plays with her dog, and jazzercises.