Mark Orbe

Mark P. Orbe
Professor of Communication
(269) 387-3132
316 Sprau Tower, Mail Stop 5318
Mailing address: 
School of Communication
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5318 USA
Office hours: 

Mondays 12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.; Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; Wednesdays 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and by appointment.

Virtual appointments: Available via Webex Personal Room

  • Ph.D., Interpersonal/Intercultural Communication, Ohio University, 1993
Teaching interests: 
  • Intercultural communication
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Communicating about taboo topics
  • Human communication theory
Research interests: 
  • Co-cultural communication
  • Negotiation of cultural identities

Dr. Mark Orbe is a professor in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University. Orbe’s teaching and research interests center on the inextricable relationship between culture and communication as played out in a number of contexts (intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, mass media). Accordingly, he teaches a wide variety of undergraduate courses and is actively involved in numerous research projects.

He has presented over 100 papers at regional, national and international academic conferences, and published over 100 articles in scholarly journals and chapters in edited books. He has also published almost a dozen books, including:

  • Interracial Communication: Theory Into Practice (with T. Harris, Wadsworth Publishing, 2001; 2nd edition, Sage Publications, 2007; 3rd edition, Sage Publications, 2015).
  • Intercultural Communication in a Transnational World (with L. Flores and B. Allen, NCA Press, 2009).
  • Communicating Within/Across Organizational Contexts (with B. Allen and L. Flores, NCA Press, 2007).
  • The Same and Different: Acknowledging the Diversity Within and Between Cultural Groups (with B. Allen and L. Flores, NCA Press, 2006).
  • Contemporary Issues in Interpersonal Communication (with C. Bruess, Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • Building Diverse Communities: Applications of Communication Research (with T. McDonald and T. Ford-Ahmed, Hampton Press, 2003).
  • Constructing Co-Cultural Theory: An Explication of Culture, Power, and Communication (Sage Publications, 1998).

Orbe's three latest book projects are:

  • Critical Autoethnography: Intersecting Cultural Identities in Everyday Life (with R. Boylorn, Left Coast Press, 2014).
  • Identity Research and Intercultural Communication: Reflections and Future Directions (with N. Bardhan, Lexington Books, 2012).
  • Communication Realities in a "Post-Racial" Society: What the U.S. Public Really Thinks about President Obama (Lexington Books, 2011).