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Ryan Bince is a first-year student in the Rhetoric and Public Culture PhD program. His research combines field methods with rhetorical theory and criticism to re-conceptualize human relationships, collectivities, and collaboration for the 21st century social and political landscape. At Northwestern, Bince plans to conduct research about crowds, organizing, and activism. Bince’s past research experience is varied and includes ethnographic research about discourses of sex, marriage, and communion in Greek Orthodox Christianity; supervision of several large-scale qualitative data collection projects at Cornell University’s Survery Research Institute; and a mixed-methods research project on DIY punk houses at the intersection of art and activism. Bince received the 2017 Top Master’s Thesis in Rhetoric award from the National Communication Association’s Master’s Education Section for his punk house project and the J. Calvin Callaghan Graduate Student Achievement Award for his performance as an M.A. student at Syracuse University’s Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies. In addition to his M.A. (’17), Bince earned his B.A. (’13) in Speech Communication from Ithaca College.

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 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 is a second-year student with a BA and MA in English from Grand Valley State University. Her research interests include visual rhetoric broadly and comics and graphic narrative as a genre more specifically. She also studies Christian evangelical and fundamentalist rhetoric in the US, particularly the rhetorical negotiation of identity and agency by evangelical women. Before coming to Northwestern for a Ph.D., Sarah taught high school English in Michigan and has published an article on writing pedagogy in English Journal.

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 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 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 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 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 holds a BA from Hamilton College, an MEd from the University of Washington and an MA in Gender Studies from Central European University. Ashley’s past research explored how rhetoric framing terror and tragedy relates to structures of ablebodiedness and sexuality. Ashley’s research interests revolve around engagement with feminist and queer theories, and theories of emotion and embodiment. Outside of academia, Ashley has worked with nonprofit organizations in development and consulting capacities.

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 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.

Gabby Garcia is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Public Culture at Northwestern University. She holds a BA in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications from the University of Winnipeg, and an MA in Communication Studies from Northwestern University. Her research interests include theories of modernity, temporality and speed, critical theory, visual culture, postcolonial studies, and transnationalism, with a focus on Latin America. Her current research centers around representations of modernity and the shift to “postmodernity” particularly in terms of the conceptual categories of time, space, and speed, and in relation to experience and historical change.

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 is a first-year student in the Rhetoric and Public Culture doctoral program. She received her BS in Journalism from the University of Florida and her MA with distinction in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul University. She worked for several years in digital advertising prior to obtaining her MA. Her research interests are primarily focused on rhetoric and identity, with particular interest in generational, social, and political identities within Latin America and the US Latinx immigrant community.

Sarah Idzik is a third-year student. She received her MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University and her BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. Her research interests include adoption, mobility, and race in contemporary U.S. culture. Recent work has focused on discourse around transnational adoption as charity and the relationship between rhetorics of mobility and racialization, particularly in (neo)liberal contexts. In her former life, Sarah worked in higher education and college admissions.

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 is a PhD candidate. She holds 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. Her research focuses on collectible trading cards that were sold to children during the early Cold War, with rhetorical readings of the cards’ content, the themes that they address, the tropes and imagery they employ, and the kinds of narratives they propose about the world and their imagined audience’s place within it. Further, she examines the contradictions between the ostensibly exciting content of the cards: aliens, space travel, war, and so on, and the latent messages they contain, relating to technical operation within a system of information management. She argues that such cards promoted messages about technical competence in service to national security goals, and the disciplinary ordering of the world, its peoples, and their ideas, thus priming children to take their place among the ranks of middle-class technical operators who could serve national goals as part of a wider military-scientific complex. In addition, she explores the social practices associated with these cards, those of trading, (ac)counting, selling, and buying, suggesting that these practices supported the ideas latent in the cards about how individuals ought to operate as parts of a system in which each person operated in the service of a larger whole.

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.

Sarah K. Lingo is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Public Culture. She holds a B.A. in English with a focus in literary analysis from the University of Maine and an M.A. in English Literature from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include public memory, digital rhetoric, and media studies. In her dissertation, she explores the unique challenges posed to the production and study of public memory as computation is increasingly used to produce, organize, and curate knowledge.

David Molina holds a BA in English from Amherst College and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi. His dissertation, “The Whirlwind is our Commonwealth,” focuses on transformations in coalitional discourse in Chicago social movements during the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to his work at RPC, Dave served two years as Graduate Associate at Northwestern’s Searle Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning—where he led pedagogical development programs for graduate and postdocs. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Dave worked as a public high school teacher and youth organizer in Mississippi.

Liam Olson-Mayes holds a BA in Women’s Studies and an MA in Media and Communication Studies from McGill University in Montreal. His dissertation examines ethnographic and literary texts to map the emergence of the normative assumption that poverty is a condition that can be eradicated. By understanding the emergence and novelty of this normative shift, his research exposes the limitations and investments of present day representations of the poor and conceptions of poverty.

Lital Pascar is a doctoral candidate in Northwestern University’s Rhetoric and Public Culture program. Her research investigates dissenting and normative discourses from a feminist, critical race, and queer theory perspectives. Her dissertation focuses on US popular discourses about non-monogamy, examining how they relate to the contemporary conditions of living and shaped in relation to a long tradition of racialized and gendered narratives. She has published on queer safe spaces, using critical analysis to examine their inherent contradictions and their connection to securitization discourses. She holds an MA in Cultural Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Tel-Aviv University. Her professional experience includes working and volunteering in several human rights, LGBTQ and women’s rights NGOs as youth counselor, community coordinator and administrative director.

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 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 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 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.

Catalina Uribe is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies. She holds a M.A. in Political Philosophy and a PGDip in Journalism. Before coming to Northwestern she worked as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Journalism at Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. Her research focuses on visual rhetoric and political communication. She has published articles on government communication during war times, especially during the Colombian armed conflict, and on presidential rhetoric in Latin America. She is currently exploring the rhetoric of the narco, and the political discourses surrounding illegal drugs. She writes a weekly column for El Espectador newspaper.

Zhiqiu Benson Zhou is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Public Culture. He is also pursuing a certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies and was selected as a graduate teaching fellow in GSS during 2018-2019. His research and teaching interests include global masculinities, queer ethnography, cultural studies, queer media, critical race studies, and ethnographic methods. He is particularly interested in studying how marginalized groups further marginalize certain individuals. Through extensive fieldwork in Beijing, his dissertation explores the establishment of homonormativity, a set of new norms, values, and rules that hierarchize sexual subjects in Chinese queer communities. He has won awards for his research from the American Anthropological Association and the National Communication Association. Prior to coming to Northwestern, he received an MA from Renmin University of China and a BA from Communication University of China.