Victor J. Viser

Instructional Associate Professor
Department of Liberal Studies

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity….Never lose a holy curiosity"


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Learn more about Victor J. Viser

Get To Know Victor J. Viser

What in your life drew you to your current field of study?

Life magazine. As a kid going through old Life magazines, in that very large printed format, I became fascinated with the stories their writers told and the photojournalism that accompanied them.  Through this exposure to the medium, I started to learn on my own the process of capturing images with a camera, and capturing a readers imagination with writing. By age 10 I was a photographer, and at 16 I was a professional photo-journalist working at a small-town Texas newspaper.  The study of communication in college was my next step, after which I continued working professionally in all aspects of the field -- photography, cinematography, advertising, marketing, public relations, radio, and political campaign strategies.  In time, though, I was drawn to theoretical side of what I was doing professionally, and thus earned my Ph.D. which then led me to my career today as a scholar.

What do you hope your students gain from studying or working with you?

I hope my students gain the sense that they need to keep being curious, and that learning is something that should never end.

What are you passionate about in your personal life?

Never wasting a second of it. I love giving what I call "pick-up lectures" (usually at lunch or outside somewhere on the campus).  I also love pick-up basketball games.  And, of course, I’m passionate about my family and proud of the success of my wife and children.”

Ph.D. Communication, Temple University, 1995
Communication, Our Lady of the Lake University, 1991
B.A. Communication/Radio-Television-Film, The University of Texas at Austin, 1983
Courses Taught
International Communication
History of Rock and Roll
Activism and Communication
Public Speaking
Film History
Political Communication
Introduction to Mass Communication
Public Relations
Interpersonal Communication
Mass Media, Law and Society

“Pawns in Their Game: Bob Dylan’s Celebrity Persona in Dont Look Back,” Cinémas Journal of Film Studies, Vol. 27:1, 2017.

“Refractions,” 2017. A major solo show of recent large-scale photographic art. MOD Gallery, Galveston, Texas.

“Social Identity Formation in Mid-Passage: American Advertising Imagery in the 1940s,” Prospects, Vol. 27, pp. 515-546, 2003.

“Winning the Peace: American Planning for a Profitable Post-War World,” Journal of American Studies, 35:1, pp. 111-126, 2001.

“Thematics and Products in American Magazine Advertising Containing Children,” Communication Quarterly, 47:1. pp. 118-132, 1999.

“Geist for Sale: A Neoconsciousness Turn Through Advertising in Contemporary Consumer Culture,” Dialectical Anthropology, 24:1, pp. 107-124, 1999.

“Mode of Address, Emotion, and Stylistics: Images of Children in American Magazine Advertising,” Communication Research, 24:1, pp. 83-101, 1997.

“Mental Imagery and Emotional Responses to Opposing Types of Music” (first author, with Thomas Gordon), Journal of Mental Imagery, 20:3 & 4, pp. 169-190, 1996

“Commodification as a System of Signs in the Contemporary Historical Bloc,” Dialectical Anthropology, 19:1, pp. 109-127, 1994.


2018: “The Science of Communicating Your Science.” Invited presentation given to the Marine Biology / Marine Sciences Graduate Student Research Seminar, Texas A&M University Galveston Campus (Galveston, Texas).

2017: “Tourism: Implications for the Local Community,” Galveston Tourism Summit, 2017. Invited Speaker, Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau (Galveston, Texas).

2003: “The American Advertising Agency,” Eastern Communication Association Conference (Competitive Paper, Washington, DC).

2003: “The Political and Cultural Impact of Marketing, Advertising, and Psychographics in the Modern Technological Society,” Bradley Academy of the Visual Arts (Invited Speaker, York, PA).

2001: "A Case Study in Public Relations Practice and Theory,” Penn State University Teaching and Learning Consortium Conference (Invited Speaker, State College, PA).

2001: “Full On Down Under: New Zealand Identity and Advertising,” Penn State University, Communication Seminar (Invited Speaker, Harrisburg, PA).

2000: “Archival Research Methodologies,” The National Library of New Zealand (Invited Speaker, Wellington, New Zealand).

2000: “Advertising in Contemporary Consumer Culture,” Eastern Communication Association Conference (Competitive Paper, Pittsburgh, PA).

Grants and Fellowships
2017: The Port of Houston Foundation.  $5,000 awarded as an Outreach Grant for the “Teach the Teachers” maritime curriculum project. [Funded.  Co-Principal Investigator] 

2016: United States Maritime Administration.  $72,000 awarded to research and design integrated marketing communication strategy to enhance Merchant Marine and U.S. Naval Reserve recruitment and retention.  [Funded.  Principal Investigator]

2014: Texas Research Development Grant.  $44,000 awarded to enhance Maritime Studies research through the acquisition of three dimensional scanning (both field and laboratory), digital processing, and three dimension printing equipment.  [Funded.  Principal Investigator]

1999: Penn State University Research Council Grant.  $8,000 awarded to examine qualitative and archival research of the New Zealand advertising industry, as well as Internet advertising and marketing practices in New Zealand.  [Funded.  Principal Investigator] 

1999: The International Partnership and Academic Linkages in the University Office of International Programs.  $2,000 matching grant to PSU Research Council Grant for additional funds extending in-country research in New Zealand.  [Funded.  Principal Investigator]
Awards & Recognition

ADDY Award – Advertising Federation of America, Director, Best Television Campaign.

ADDY Award – Advertising Federation of America, Director, Best Television Commercial.

Imagineer – Mind-Science Foundation for United Way’s Waiting Room Lectures Series. Funded by $35,000 grant from the Pew Charitable Trust / National Migrant Resource Center.

Professional Appointments

Civic Involvement & Political Campaigns

  • Appointed by the City Council of Galveston, Texas to the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees (2-year term / 3 terms maximum). Present subcommittee appointments:

    • Chair, Beach Maintenance Advisory Committee

    • Member, Finance Committee

  • Board member, Silk Stocking National Historic District, Galveston, Texas.

Contact Info

Victor J. Viser
Instructional Associate Professor
Department of Liberal Studies
Phone: +1 (409) 740.4556
Fax: +1 (409) 740.4962

Classroom Lab Building (CLB), Office 128