Duncan Koerber

Assistant Professor


PhD, Communication & Culture, York University and Ryerson University
MA, Journalism, University of Western Ontario
BA, English, Professional Writing & Political Science, University of Toronto

Office: SBH 310

Duncan Koerber (PhD, York University and Ryerson University) teaches courses on writing skills, business communication, public relations and crisis communication. His research has three streams: crisis communication theory, writing pedagogy, and media and journalism history.

My initial research was in media and journalism history. I showed how the first newspapers in Upper Canada created the first Canadian political parties practically (by creating new connections between partisan editors and readers) and symbolically (by developing party labels and programs that led to the left/right divisions we see in politics today). More recently, I have focused on research about the teaching of writing skills and the theory of crisis communication. In crisis communication, I am particularly interested in understanding why public crises develop in social media, and why social media crises have become so common and so damaging to organizations’ images and people’s careers.

  • Crisis communication
  • Public relations
  • Writing skills
  • Media and journalism history


  • 2017    Koerber, D. Crisis Communication in Canada. University of Toronto Press.
  • 2015    Koerber, D., and Allen, G. Clear, Precise, Direct: Strategies for Writing. Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

  •  2020    Koerber, D. “Mass Media and Their Symbiotic Relationship With Crisis.” In Handbooks of Communication Science Series: Crisis Communication (Vol. 23), W. Johansen & F. Frandsen (Eds.). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 493–508.
  • 2019    Koerber, D. “The Challenges and Opportunities in Sports Public Relations.” In Public Relations: Competencies and Practice, C. Kim (Ed.). Routledge. 207–218.

Journal Special Issue

  •  2020    Koerber, D. (Ed.). Connecting Crisis Communication Theory and Canadian Communication Research. Canadian Journal of Communication, 45, no. 3.

Journal Articles

  •  2020    Siddiqi, S., and Koerber, D. “The Anatomy of a National Crisis: The Canadian Federal Government’s Response to the 2015 Kurdi Refugee Case.” Canadian Journal of Communication, 45, no. 3: 411–436.
  • 2020    Koerber, D. “Connecting Crisis Communication Theory and Canadian Communication Research.” Canadian Journal of Communication, 45, no. 3: 359–363.
  • 2017    Koerber, D., and Zabara, N. “Preventing Damage: The Psychology of Crisis Communication Buffers in Organized Sports.” Public Relations Review, 43, no. 1: 193–200.
  • 2015    Koerber, D. “Fundamental Mediation: a Classification of Media in Crisis Communication and Damage Control Research.” Canadian Journal of Media Studies, 13, no. 1: 91–123.
  • 2014    Koerber, D. “Crisis Communication Response and Political Communities: The Unusual Case of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.” Canadian Journal of Communication, 39, no. 3: 311–331.
  • 2014    Koerber, D. “Faction and its Alternative: Representing Political Organizing in the Print Public Sphere in Early Canada.” Journalism History, 40, no. 1: 51–58.
  • 2013    Koerber, D. “Truth, Memory, Selectivity: Understanding Historical Work by Writing Personal Histories.” Composition Studies, 41, no. 1: 51–69.
  • 2013    Koerber, D. “Early Political Parties as Mediated Communities: the Case of Upper Canada.” Media History, 19, no. 2: 125–138.
  • 2011    Koerber, D. “The Role of the Agent in Partisan Communication Networks of Upper Canadian Newspapers.” Journal of Canadian Studies, 45, no. 3: 137–165.
  • 2011    Koerber, D. “Style over Substance: Newspaper Coverage of Early Election Campaigns in Canada, 1820-1841.” Canadian Journal of Communication, 36, no. 3: 435–453.
  • 2010    Koerber, D. “Political Operatives and Administrative Workers: the Newspaper Agents of Mackenzie’s Gazette, 1838-1840.” Journalism History, 36, no. 3: 160–168.
  • 2009    Koerber, D. “Constructing the Sports Community: Canadian Sports Columnists, Identity, and the Business of Sport in the 1940s.” Sport History Review, 40, no. 2: 126–142.
  • Professional Writing and Communication
  • Business Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Crisis Communication