Dr John Perlich

Photo of Dr John Perlich

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

Office/Department: Sociology and Communication Studies, Department of, Communication Studies

Location: Sattgast Hall 207 K

Phone: (218) 755-2807

Box #: 27

Email: john.perlich@bemidjistate.edu


I do—FOR FUN—what most people fear more than death!”

That’s my favorite saying about Communication and Public Speaking.  My mom told me that, as a toddler, I would stand in my crib waving my hands like a speaker on the podium.  So, it’s not a big surprise that I became a professor of Communication.

As a native Minnesotan, I’m thrilled to be back home.  I grew up in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis (Blaine) and have family throughout the state (Duluth, Pelican Rapids, Fargo-Moorhead, Minneapolis).  I’m proud to say that I come from one of the top-two “healthiest states” (according to US News & World Reports in May, 2018), and love the outdoor opportunities that are available in the Bemidji area.

I wasn’t sure what I would be doing for my career when I was an undergraduate.  In fact, I didn’t realize teaching is my “calling” until the end of my junior year.  That’s why I relate so well to new and undecided students.  I love being a generalist and studying a little bit of everything.  If you are uncertain about where life will take you, I know we’ll get along!

I started my career working as an undergraduate teaching assistant roughly thirty years ago.  I started school at a community college and finished my undergraduate degree at a state school.  Since that time, I’ve taught in Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska.  My job has taken me to 46 of 50 states (I’ll let you guess the four I’ve missed) and 10 countries outside the United States.  I completed my Doctoral degree in Nebraska where I studied Applied Communication, Instructional Communication, and Language & Culture.  My passion for research and teaching is centered on Communication Apprehension.  I’m best known for my work using Virtual Reality as a tool to overcome stage fright and speech anxiety—I actually hold the proprietary rights for a patent in this area.  Ask me about working with VR!  I love talking about the applications of this technology.

I’m new to BSU and excited to learn about the awesome activities and amazing people on our campus.  My experiences so far have proven that our students are authentic, energetic, and enthusiastic.  I’m thrilled to be back home and serving as a professor at Bemidji State.


Ph.D., 1997, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Communication Studies; areas of specialization: Language & Culture
Dissertation: “An explication of dialectical tensions and their negotiation in understudied relationships.”

M.A., 1992, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Communication Studies with a supporting field of Gender Studies

B.S., 1990, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Communication Studies with a minor in History

A.A., 1987, Anoka Ramsey Community College
General Education


  • Advanced Public Address
  • Career and Professional Communication
  • Communication and Conflict
  • Communication in Education
  • Communication Theory
  • Directing Forensics
  • Health Communication
  • Ideologies in Social Discourse
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Leadership and Small Group Communication
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Oral Interpretation
  • Performance of Literature
  • Persuasion
  • Principles of Human Communication
  • Public Speaking
  • Research Methods
  • Rhetoric and Cultural Criticism
  • Senior Seminar—Communication Capstone:
  • Video Games as Learning Tools

Recent Work

Perlich, J.  (2018).  Even the Playing Field: Virtual Reality Environment (VRE) as a Preparatory Tool for Speakers.  The Forensic, 103, 52-61.

Perlich, J., Arends, J., Christiancy. M., Griggs, A., Kindig, J., Rueckert, T., Schuster, T., and Swift, M. (2017). Using Assessment to Improve Teacher Efficacy in the Actualization of Student Outcomes: An Instrumental Case Study Approach. Speaker & Gavel, 54(2), 25-42.

Perlich, J.  (2014).  Speaking: A basic “how-to” for new speakers.  In T. Oman (Ed.), Brain food.  Hastings, NE:  Hastings College Press.

Whitt, D. & Perlich, J.  (2014).  Myth in the modern world:  Intersections with ideology and culture.  Jefferson, NC:  McFarland.

Perlich, J. & Whitt, D.  (2010).  Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Millennial Mythmaking.  Theofantastique.  http://www.theofantastique.com/2010/01/10/whitt-and-perlich-science-fiction-fantasy-and-millennial-mythmaking/

Perlich, J.  & Whitt, D.  (2010).  Millennial mythmaking: Essays on the power of science fiction and fantasy literature, films and games.  Jefferson, NC:  McFarland.

Perlich, J.  (2010).  Rethinking the monomyth: Pan’s Labyrinth and the face of a new hero(ine).  In J. Perlich & D. Whitt (Eds.), Millennial mythmaking: Essays on the power of science fiction and fantasy literature, films and games.  Jefferson, NC:  McFarland.

Perlich, J. & Whitt, D.  (2008).  Sith, slayers, stargates, & cyborgs: Modern mythology in the new millennium.  New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Perlich, J.  (2008).  “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”: Lucas gets lost on the path of mythos.  In D. Whitt & J. Perlich (Eds.), Sith, slayers, stargates, & cyborgs: Modern mythology in the new millennium.  New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Other Information

Hobbies: Reading, Ice Fishing, DIY, Gaming

Website:  www.thespeechteacher.org


Sith, Slayers, Stargates, + Cyborgs:  https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/20795?tab=aboutauthor&format=HC

Millennial Mythmaking:  https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/millennial-mythmaking/

Myth in the Modern World:  https://mcfarlandbooks.com/product/myth-in-the-modern-world/