Faculty & Staff

Brian Gabrial

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Associate Professor

Photo Brian Gabrial


Phone: 514-848-2424, ext. 2468

Office number: CJ-4.305

E-mail: brian.gabrial@concordia.ca



  • B.A. English Literature, Creighton University
  • M.A. Mass Communication, University of Minnesota
  • Ph.D. Mass Communication, University of Minnesota

Professional Background

Before coming to Concordia in 2004, I was a major-market television newscast and field producer for the ABC and NBC affiliates in Minneapolis-St.Paul. Before moving to the Twin Cities in 1992, I worked as a producer (and briefly a reporter) for the ABC affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska. Also in Omaha, I edited and wrote for a small, monthly newspaper The American Citizen Press.

Teaching (2012-2013 Academic Year)

  • JOUR 221 - Introduction to Journalism A/V
  • JOUR 536 - Advanced Television Reporting
  • JOUR 640 - Textual Approaches to Journalism

Areas of Research or Journalism Production Interest

Two important questions guide my research in journalism history: 1) How are discourses, contextualized as they are in the past, identified in newspaper coverage?  Once identified and analyzed, how are these discourses connected theoretically, for example, to culture, to power, to political identity?  Specifically, the major thrusts of my newspaper research have focused on issues of nationalism, race, and gender in 19th-century U.S. and Canada.

Apart from that research, my research assistants and I are examining Canada’s press councils and their future in the evolving news media landscape.  As well, another individual project involves a comparative study of Canadian and American newspaper coverage of the Chicago’s Gay Games and Montreal’s Outgames, examining discourses about sexuality, sports, and spectacle.


Recent Publications


Journal Articles


  • From Haiti to Nat Turner: Racial Panic Discourse during the Nineteenth Century Partisan Press Era ” (American Journalism, Fall 2013)
  • "A Crisis of Americanism: Newspaper Coverage of John Brown's 1859 Raid at Harper's Ferry and a Question of Loyalty." Journalism History (July, 2008).

  • "The American Revolution": Expressions of Canadian Nationalism at the Outbreak of the U.S. Civil War, Canadian Journal of Communication (January 2008).

  • "A Woman's Place: Defiance and Obedience -- Newspaper Stories about Women during the Trial of John Brown." American Journalism (Winter, 2008).


Book Chapters


  • “Alarming Intelligence”:  Sensationalism in Newspapers  after the Raids at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, and St. Albans, Vermont.”in   Murder, Mayhem, Mudslinging, Scandals, Stunts, Hatred, and Disasters: Sensationalism in 19th Century Reporting, David Sachsman, et al. (eds), (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Press, 2013).
  • "The Haystack Excitement": Moral Panic Discourse and the Hysterical Style of the Press after John Brown's Harper's Ferry Raid." in Words at War: The Civil War and American Journalism, David Sachsman, s. Kittrell Rushing, Roy Morris, Jr. (eds.), (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2008).

  • "Damning voices:  the press, the politicians, and the Mankato Indian Trials of 1862." in Words at War: The Civil War and American Journalism. David Sachsman, s. Kittrell Rushing, Roy Morris, Jr. (eds.), (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2008).

  • "History of Writing Technologies." in Handbook of Research on Writing*. Charles Bazerman (ed.).  (New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008.) 

    *Selected as a winner of the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s Outstanding Book Award for 2009

Conference Presentations



“Residual Oralities as Literary Journalism: Memories of the Massacres at Sand Creek 1864 and Wounded Knee 1890,” International Association for Literary Journalism Studies Annual Conference, Tampere, Finland.

“The Ammo for the Canon: What Literary Journalism Edcuators Teach,” International Association for Literary Journalism Studies Annual Conference, Tampere, Finland.,

“Straight eyes for the gay guys (and gals): How mainstream newspapers use familiar tropes to introduce gay culture to a straight audience,” PCA/ACA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.

“The Lynching of George Smith or How Michel Foucault Meets Rough Justice on the Great Plains of America” AJHA-AEJMC Joint Journalism Historians Conference, New York.


“The Burden of Slavery in America and ‘INCENDIARY PUBLICATIONS’:  From Unanimity to Animus, the Southern Editorial Fight to Silence the Media about Slavery,” AJHA-AEJMC Joint Journalism Historians Conference, New York.

“Ahead of the Curve:  The New Yorker Editor as a Literary Journalism Agenda Setter,” International Association for Literary Journalism Studies Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario.


“Crane, Hemingway and García Márquez Adrift at Sea or Re-Imagining their “Subtle Brotherhood,” International Association for Literary Journalism Studies Annual Conference, Brussels, Belgium.


““Existential crisis!” Canada’s press councils’ struggle for relevance in a new media world,” Canadian Communication Association Annual Conference, Montreal, Quebec.

“War, Revolution, and Ryszard Kapuscinski’s Journalistic Quest for a New Literature,” International Association for Literary Journalism Studies Annual Conference, London, United Kingdom.


““With the Most Determined Bravery”: The Canadian Press, John Brown and Harper’s Ferry,” Press Coverage of Antebellum Resistance Efforts, Symposium on the 19th-century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Tennessee.


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