Department of Communication Science

Prof Viola milton

College of Human Sciences
School of Arts
Department: Communication Science
Associate Professor
Tel: 012 429 6427


  • BA, BA (Hons) (with distinction), University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • MA (with distinction), University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • PhD, Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana, USA)


Abridged Personal History

I started my teaching career at Tukkies (also known as the University of Pretoria) where I also completed my undergraduate degrees as well as my Master’s degree. I then moved to Bloomington, Indiana (USA) where I enrolled for a doctorate in Communication and Culture. I completed my PhD dissertation on representations of HIV/Aids and people living with Aids in South Africa at Indiana University in 2005. At Indiana University, I taught Interpersonal Communication to undergraduate students. Following my sojourn in the United States, I returned to Tukkies, where I helped develop a degree in Media Studies. In 2009, Unisa successfully recruited me and I now teach media studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in the Department of Communication Science at Unisa.

I am a Thuthuka grantholder for a project, entitled "The televised public sphere: Afrikaans television and identity formation", which explores the politics of identity in post-apartheid Afrikaans television. Recently, my research focus shifted to the negotiation of media policy in South Africa as well as issues of media, citizenship and identity. This focus is reflected in the research project entitled "The Media Policy and Diversity Project" funded by Unisa's Women-in-Research grant as well as by the Open Society Foundation. The project is spearheaded by  Dr Julie Reid and viola milton from the Department of Communication Science at Unisa, in collaboration with Prof Jane Duncan from the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. My research publications and conference presentations are focussed on issues of media policy, citizenship and belonging.

With regard to academic citizenship, I am the executive editor for the oldest South African journal in Communication Studies, entitled Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research. I also chair the South African Communication Association's Journalism and Media Studies Interest Group.