Skip to main content


Ryan Bince

Ryan Bince is a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University’s Rhetoric and Public Culture program. He is interested in the communicative and cultural components of togetherness, which he has accessed through a variety of projects involving DIY punk house performance networks, religious ritual practice, and mass political gatherings online and in person. His dissertation project focuses on the history and practice of crowd control by private institutions, police, and social movement organizers. Bince received the 2017 Top Master’s Thesis in Rhetoric award from the National Communication Association and the Callaghan Graduate Student Achievement Award for his teaching and research as an M.A. student at Syracuse University. In addition to his M.A. (’17), Bince earned his B.A. (’13) in Speech Communication from Ithaca College.

Vidura Jang Bahadur

Vidura Jang Bahadur is a photographer and is currently pursuing a PhD in Communication Studies in the program of Rhetoric and Public Culture. His doctoral thesis explores Indian identity, and citizenship from the perspective of the ethnic Chinese living across the country. The project builds on Bahadur’s extensive photographic work on the community (2003-2015) and disputes easy understandings of nation, national culture, identity, and belonging.

Geraud Blanks

Geraud Blanks is a second-year student with a B.A. in Africology and Journalism, Advertising & Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His professional experience includes a five-year stint freelancing for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and a current position as a programmer for the Milwaukee Film Festival’s Black Lens program, the only major film series in the country exclusively featuring the work of African-American directors. His dissertation research explores commemorations of black death as both a compulsory and exploitative praxis of social movement organizing. His past research involved examining connections between Native American iconography and intellectual property law.

J. Dakota Brown

J. Dakota Brown initially trained as a graphic designer and later received an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His primary research interest is typography as contextualized by historical transformations in labor, technology, and aesthetic experience.

Sarah Chanski

Sarah Chanski is a sixth-year student completing a joint JD/Ph.D. Her dissertation examines the language judges use to justify outcomes in excessive force cases when officer’s raise a defense of qualified immunity. She applies rhetorical theories of definition and analogy to bring a new critical perspective to qualified immunity and offer suggestions for reform and dissent. While studying for her JD, Sarah served as Editor-in-Chief for the Northwestern University Law Review and President of the American Constitution Society, and she has taught and assisted in Public Speaking and Public Persuasion. Before coming to Northwestern, she taught high school English in Michigan and has published an article on writing pedagogy in English Journal.

Beatrice J. Choi

Beatrice J. Choi is a 7th year PhD candidate. Before coming to Northwestern, she completed an MA in Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU and BAs in Communication and International Studies from UCSD. Her work utilizes both archival and ethnographic methods to examine innovation culture in Brazil. She focuses on technological conditions of knowledge production and narratives of innovation in the Global South. She was a 2016-2017 Fulbright-Hays Fellow and a 2017-2018 Graduate Fellow at the Northwestern Center for Civic Engagement. This year she is a Predoctoral Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communication in University of Pennsylvania.

Marissa Croft

Marissa Croft is a fourth-year student in the Rhetoric and Public Culture Doctoral Program. She completed her BA in Communication Studies and French Literature at the University of Puget Sound and has her MA in Communication Studies from Northwestern University. She recently finished a summer of archival research in France funded by the Social Science Research Council. Marissa’s current research interests include the rhetoric of clothing reform during the French Revolution, 19th-century women’s science education, and finding new ways to conceptualize historical distance through digital and analog means.

Lucia Delaini

Lucia Delaini is a third-year PhD student. Before coming to Northwestern, she studied in Italy, Germany, Canada and Portugal. During her BA (Literary and Humanistic Studies) and MAs (Communication Studies, Comparative Literature), she explored the intersections of written text (literary and journalistic) and political theory. Such interest developed into an investment in the rhetorical outlook, in its various, contingent effects and attachments. Currently she studies the changes operated by and onto Rhetoric during the Early Modern period, paying particular attention to Late Renaissance re-elaboration of humanistic principles.

Madeline Denison

Madeline Denison is a first year graduate student with a B.A. in Communication & Rhetoric and Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her past research has focused on online anti-feminist movements and the rhetoric of the alt-right. She is interested in studying feminist protest tactics, affect theory, and anger as a rhetorical trope, as well as the intersection of femininity and the stigma of mental illness.

Tricia England

Tricia England is a PhD Candidate in the Rhetoric and Public Culture program of the Northwestern University School of Communication. Her dissertation explores definitions and avoidance of the political in contemporary American social media and humor discourse. Outside of her doctoral work, she is a regular contributor to The Onion and a member of the comedy-writing faculty at The Second City. She also has a professional background in political communications consulting and campaign management. She holds an M.A. in Communication Studies with a graduate certificate in Critical Theory from Northwestern, and a B.A. in English from Carleton College.

Ashley P. Ferrell

Ashley P. Ferrell holds a B.A. from Hamilton College, an M.Ed. from the University of Washington, and an M.A. in Gender Studies from Central European University. In their research, Ashley explores rhetorics of race, reconciliation, and institutional histories and engages with scholarship across gender and sexuality studies, African American studies, ethnic studies, and critical university studies. Their current project focuses on the U.S. university as a site of racial redress, asking how universities reconcile legacies of slavery alongside contemporary racial injustices. Contact:

Kaitlyn Filip

Kaitlyn Filip is a 5th year JD-PhD student in Rhetoric and Public Culture. She has a BA in English, Political Science, and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan and an MA in English from Brandeis University. Her current research focuses on how discourses around public crises and scandal shape policy-making and legal advocacy in the fields of corporate and criminal law. She has interned with Corporate Accountability Lab and worked as an intern and network fellow with the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice.

Bailey Flynn

Bailey Flynn is a second-year student in the Rhetoric and Public Culture doctoral program. She earned her BA with honors in Communication and English from Boston College and her MA in Communication Studies from Northwestern. She is also a Medical Advocate with Resilience (formerly Rape Victim Advocates). Her research interests include gender and sexuality studies, science and culture, and trauma. Her current research focuses on the articulation of physical pain as a site of identity negotiation.

Adam J. Goldsmith

Adam J. Goldsmith is a first-year student in Northwestern University’s Rhetoric and Public Culture Doctoral Program. He completed his BS in Applied Computed at Arizona State University at the West Campus. was a student of Barrett, the Honors College, and completed his MA in Communication from the University of Maine. His research interests lie at the intersections of philosophy of aesthetics, critical theory, and communicative ethics.

Alexandra Gonzalez

Alexandra Gonzalez is a PhD Candidate whose research interests lie at the intersection of rhetoric, identity, and psychology. Her dissertation investigates contemporary conversations about personality, to understand the role personality plays in the stories individuals tell about their lives and the decisions they make. Alexandra has taught public speaking and presentation courses at Kellogg School of Management since 2017. She formerly worked at NU’s Center for Civic Engagement and Shorefront Legacy Center, where she developed a public oral history project with the support of The Public Humanities Graduate Research Workshop at the Kaplan Humanities Institute. Alexandra earned her BS in Journalism from the University of Florida and her MA with distinction in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul University.

Eric James

Eric James is a fourth-year student. His current research focuses on how control overlaps with resistance in digital networks and how we might embrace network metaphors in their partiality, instability, and unknowability. More broadly, Eric works in technology and cultural studies and is particularly interested in video games, social media, and trolling. Before coming to Northwestern, Eric spent two years in Austin, Texas working for a reputation management and digital marketing startup.

Harriette Kevill-Davies

Harrie Kevill-Davies is a PhD candidate. They hold bachelor’s degrees in Politics, Philosophy and History; and Linguistics and French, from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Masters in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. Their research focuses on collectible trading cards that were sold to children during the early Cold War, and the contradictions between the ostensibly exciting content of the cards: aliens, space travel, war, and so on, and the latent messages of mundanity that they contain, relating to technological control and information management. They argue that such cards promoted messages about technical competence in service of national security goals, and the disciplinary ordering of the world, its peoples, and their ideas, priming children to take their place in a wider military-scientific complex.

Angela Leone

Angela Leone is a second-year student who received her BA in Rhetoric and Media Studies from Willamette University. Her undergraduate research and BA thesis were centered on how music can act as discourse, and how performing music functioned as a stylistic precedent for oral discourse in the early women’s suffrage movement within the United States. Her research interests take particular root in queered communities, and relate to the overlapping significance of music, technology, community, performance, and rhetoric.

James Proszek

James Proszek is a fourth-year student who earned his BA in Philosophy and Communication from Drury University and his MA in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. James studies comparative and visual rhetoric with a special focus on rhetorical discourses and methods as a pedagogical topic. His current research projects consider how classrooms and schools, and the institutions and subjects therein, are rhetorically constructed.

José Luis Quintero Ramírez

José Luis Quintero Ramírez is a second-year PhD student. He earned his BA with Honors in Rhetoric and Media and German Studies from Lewis and Clark College. His interests are New Media, Music, and Technology Aesthetics as they relate to global representations of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Class. His current research project is focused on Record Store Day, as it mobilizes epideictic discourse to create a space for the parallel use of music technologies and destabilize a market previously driven by technological development. He is also developing work in the synesthetic qualities of music, the global development of reggaeton and the tensions it complicates Latin American masculinity. If you want to share some research ideas or just share music, find him at

Dylan Rollo

Dylan Rollo earned his BA with honors in Rhetoric and Communication Studies and Writing at Drake University and his MA in Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University. His research interests have developed around feminist and queer geographies as well as visual cultures of space and place as seen in architectural renderings, particularly relating to potential modes of embodied belonging and resistance for marginalized groups in the built environment. He previously worked as an editorial assistant for the Women’s Studies in Communication journal.

Michelle E. Shaw

Michelle E. Shaw is a fourth-year PhD student in Rhetoric and Public Culture. She earned her BA in Mass Media Arts from Clark Atlanta University, and while working as a full-time journalist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center. She later earned a Master of Theology degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Before returning to the classroom to pursue her graduate education, she wrote for several newspapers in the South and Southeast over the course of 15 years. She is currently interested in how rhetoric factors into the preaching moment, specifically when the orator is a woman, within predominately Black churches.

Eva R. Célem

Eva Rubens Célem is a third-year student in the Rhetoric, Media, and Publics PhD program. She earned her BA and MA in Design and Society from PUC-Rio, Brazil. In her master’s she developed a critical analysis of feminist subjectification processes through the study of the second-wave feminist practice of Consciousness-Raising, engaging with the tensions between feminism, identity, liberalism, and how said practice has influenced the development of identity politics both in the US and in Brazil. In 2019, Eva held a Visiting Scholar appointment at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University, where she conducted vast archival research that supported this work. Her current interests revolve around memory construction processes and truth-producing discourses within the Brazilian political context, especially in regard to women’s movements and how they relate to the country’s democratic ideals.

Bipin Sebastian

Bipin Sebastian is a PhD student at the Department of Communication Studies. His research interests lie at the intersections of politics, religion and media, with a focus on South Asia. He investigates the related phenomena of populism, religious revivalism and latest media technologies. He worked as a subeditor with The Times of India after completing MA in Communication (Print Media) from the University of Hyderabad. Interested in pursuing research, he joined National University of Singapore where he received an MA (By Research) in Communication, before joining Northwestern University as a doctoral student.

Skylar Clark

Skylar Clark is a second-year student in the Rhetoric and Public Culture Doctoral Program. She completed her BA in English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley in 2021. Her research interests center around the rhetorical, political and affective potential of bodies touching and moving together, particularly through the ontologically constitutive and institutionally resistant practices of protest, dance, performance, and music making. She is currently working towards producing a master’s thesis which will cover the relationship between community, identity discourse and musical production in the context of feminist and queer intersectional social justice organizing in Poland. As part of this project, she recently traveled to Poland for an archival and ethnographic research trip graciously funded by the slavic department’s Radulovacki Grant.

Margaret Solice

Margaret Solice is a first year PhD student in the Rhetoric, Media, and Publics program at Northwestern University. She is currently working on projects related to music and public memory. Maggie has a B.A. in Political Science and Human Communication from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and an M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, she enjoyed a career coaching competitive intercollegiate policy debate at Harvard and teaching debate to a number of students across the United States and around the world.

Elise De Los Santos

Elise De Los Santos is a first-year student in the Rhetoric, Media, and Publics Ph.D. program. She has a B.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, where she triple-majored in journalism, history, and English literature. She worked in various editing roles at the Chicago Tribune, starting out as a copy editor and rising to executive editor at RedEye before joining the Tribune copy desk, where she edited metro, investigative, politics and breaking news stories. She returned to Medill as a lecturer to teach reporting and newswriting, and now returns to the classroom as a student in the RMP program. She’s interested in studying how language used to describe identities evolves over time, particularly in how news outlets and institutions adopt and use those terms.