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Donathan BrownCommunication StudiesDonathan Brown
Race and public policy, immigration and official language laws


Donathan Brown’s expertise includes race and public policy, state and federal American immigration reform, English-only laws and rhetorical studies.

Brown conducts research at the intersection of race, rhetoric and public policy, particularly pertaining to African Americans and Latinos. Specifically, such research has come to entail (1) the correlation between race and the official/national language movement and (2) Latinos and state orchestrated immigration reform and the political/legal fallout such policies produce.

He was granted a U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award for the spring of 2017, to teach on the topics of race and public policy in America at the University of Maribor in Slovenia.

He served as editor of the Journal of Race and Policy (2012–15) and edited a special issue of the Journal of Latino and Latin American Studies in August 2013 on the “discursive state of American immigration reform.” He is the lead author of the 2014 book, “When Race and Policy Collide: Contemporary Immigration Debates.” He is co-author of "Voting Rights Under Fire: The Continuing Struggle for People of Color," a book examining modern efforts to restrict the voting rights of black and Latino citizens by exploring the history behind the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its evolution in the decades since. Brown’s research has also appeared in law and policy journals ranging from the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy to the International Journal of Discrimination and the Law. Brown is currently working on three other books pertaining to race and public policy, see CV for more details.  

Brown has presented research and delivered addresses around the world in conjunction with many universities and academic organizations. Brown has spoken at the National University of Ireland (Galway), University of Innsbruck (Austria), University of Ghent (Belgium), Jagiellonian University (Krakow), College of the Bahamas (Nassau), University of Maribor (Slovenia) and at other academic organizations in the United States, Latin America, Sri Lanka and Canada. 

Brown has taught courses on Communication, Race and Public Policy; Intercultural Communication: Cultures in Conflict; Introduction to Culture and Communication; Rhetoric and Social Order; Political Communication: Campaigns and Elections; and Electing the President.

Research Focus

  • The official language movement (also known as the national language movement)
  • Immigration reform laws
  • Race and public policy
  • Race and the Supreme Court
  • Presidential and political rhetoric


“I think we need to look very hard at the legal process of coming to the United States and see whether or not we’re actually meeting the obligations that we put forth to those who legally want to come here. We expect them to learn the language, learn the culture, learn the background, but are we necessarily doing our job to make it as what we put it out to be.”

Mentions in the Media

Curriculum Vitae for Donathan Brown


Ph.D. Texas A&M University

Communication: Rhetoric and Public Affairs, 2011

Cognate: Political Science: Race and Politics

M.A., Syracuse University

Communication and Rhetorical Studies, 2008

Certification in University Teaching

B.A., Illinois College

Communication and Rhetorical Studies, 2006

Dual Minor: Political Science and Philosophy

Cornell College

Secondary Education and Politics, 2003