Headshot of John McArthur, new professor

John A. McArthur

Professor & Chair, Communication Studies

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John A. McArthur is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Furman University and the author of Digital Proxemics: How Technology Shapes the Ways We Move (2016). At Furman, Dr. McArthur teaches courses in social and mobile media and the impacts of digital technologies on our lived experience (the digital humanities).

Dr. McArthur’s research focuses on proxemics (the use of space) and information design with a particular interest in the ways that digital technology influences our interactions with spaces. His studies have applied information design theories to examine both built and digital spaces – urban settings, chat rooms, memorials, public art, classroom designs, and campus architecture – as well as to study our strategic communication messages. Some of his research also focuses on the relationships between spaces of learning, technology, and successful instructional practice.

Dr. McArthur has edited the Electronic Journal of Communication's special issue on "Digital Interactions in Social Spaces: Proxemics, Digital Media, and Human-Machine Communication," and has published over two dozen articles in journals ranging from Social Media + Society, the Journal of Communication Inquiry, Communication Teacher, and the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, to the ACEF Journal, Assessment Update, and the Journal of the Association for Communication Administration.

Dr. McArthur recently served as the 2018 Chair of the National Communication Association’s Human Communication and Technology Division and the 2019 President of the Carolinas Communication Association. ​


  • 2019 President, Carolinas Communication Association
  • 2018 Chair, National Communication Association Human Communication & Technology Division


  • Ph.D., Clemson University
  • M.Ed., University of South Carolina
  • B.S., Furman University​



  • McArthur, J.A. (2016). Digital Proxemics: How technology shapes the ways we move. New York: Peter Lang.

Journal Editing

McArthur, J.A. (Ed.) (2019). Digital Interactions in Social Spaces: Proxemics, digital media, and human-machine communication (Special Issue). Electronic Journal of Communication, 29 (3-4).

Journal Articles, peer-reviewed

  • McArthur, J.A. (2020). Cartoons and polarizing political rhetoric: A history of the party switch of 1964 as told from the Strom Thurmond Collection. Carolinas Communication Annual, 36, 24-35.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2020). Placemaking and the Dali Erhai Lake Science Education Center: Environmental communication through user-experience design. China Media Research, 16(3), 6-25.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2019). On the need for spaces for discourse in human communication and technology. Human Communication & Technology, 1(1), 18-21.
  • McArthur, J.A., & Jauregui, A. (2019). Augmented Placemaking and community engagement: Exploring social media interaction in Brazoria County “Rocks!” Texas Speech Communication Journal, 43, 55-66.
  • Furr, J., Carreiro, A., & McArthur, J.A. (2016). Strategic Approaches to Disability Disclosure on Social Media. Disability & Society, 31 (10), 1353-1368.
  • McArthur, J.A., & White, A. (2016). Twitter Chats as Third Places: Conceptualizing a digital gathering site. Social Media + Society, 2 (3), 1-9.
  • McArthur, J.A., & Graham, V.J. (2016). User-Experience Design and Library Spaces: A pathway to innovation? Exploring the behavioral, cognitive, and reflective responses of patrons. Strategic Library 31, 16-21 (Invited Reprint).
  • McArthur, J.A., & Graham, V.J. (2015). User-Experience Design and libraries: A pathway to innovation? Journal of Library Innovation, 6 (2), 60-73.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2015). Altruism meets Participatory Video: A correlational study of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Journal of Digital and Media Literacy, 3 (1), 1-12
  • McArthur, J.A. (2015). Matching instructors and spaces of learning: The impact of space on behavioral, affective, and cognitive learning. Journal of Learning Spaces, 4 (1), 1-16.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2013). Rethinking the classroom: One department’s attempt to connect student learning and national events. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, 32 (2), 77-86.
  • McArthur, J.A., & Bostedo-Conway, K. (2012). Exploring the relationship between student-instructor interaction on Twitter and student perceptions of teacher behaviors. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 23 (3), 286-292.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2011). Practical lessons from user-experience design for spaces of learning. American Clearinghouse on Educational Facilities Journal, 2 (1), 65-77.
  • Cox, S., Brooks, B., & McArthur, J.A. (2011). Ballin’ on Burris: Coordinated Management of Meaning. Journal of Critical Incidents, 89-92.
  • Slater, J., Burson, T., & McArthur, J.A. (2011). Connecting Assessment to Resource Allocation: A demonstration project at Queens University of Charlotte. Assessment Update, 23 (4), 1-4.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2011). “What Happened?” Teaching Attribution Theory with ambiguous prompts. Communication Teacher, 25 (1), 32-36.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2009). Composing Podcasts: Engaging ‘digital natives’ in the communication classroom. Communication Teacher, 23 (1), 15-18.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2009). Digital Subculture: A geek meaning of style. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 33 (1), 58-70.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2007). Review of Blogging for your Business: Byron & Broback, 2006. Business Communication Quarterly, 70 (3), 393-395.Book Chapters
  • McArthur, J.A. (2018). Placemaking and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial: An Exploration in User-experience Design. In R.C. Aden (Ed.). US Public Memory, Rhetoric, and the National Mall. New York: Lexington Press.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2018). Libraries & User-Experience Design. In D. R. Moore & E. C. Shoaf (Eds.), Planning Optimal Library Spaces: Principles, Processes, & Practices. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2017). Family Trainer: Jumpstarting a generation of motion capture. In R. Meija, J. Banks, & A. Adams (Eds.). 100 Greatest Video Game Franchises. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2012). Voicing a Campus Icon: Twitter, a bronze goddess, and hyperlocal community engagement. In J.A. McArthur (Ed.). Community 2.0—at the intersection of digital media and information design. CreateSpace.
  • McArthur, J.A. (2011). Digital Subculture: A geek meaning of style. In Rojek, C. (Ed.). Popular Music: Sage Benchmarks in Culture and Society, Sage Publications (Invited Reprint).
  • McArthur, J.A. (2010). Mediated Group Communication. In J. Park & E. Abels (Eds.). Interpersonal Relations and Social Patterns in Communication Technologies: Discourse Norms, Language Structures and Cultural Variables. IGI-Global.