Rhetoric and Public Culture Students

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. jdakotabrown@gmail.com

Sarah Chanski is a first-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 modern social and cultural myths: how they come to be, how they circulate, and how they function, both destructively and generatively. 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 6th 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, alternative labor formations, and narratives of innovation in the Global South. Last year, she was a Fulbright-Hays fellow, and currently she works as a Graduate Fellow at the Northwestern Center for Civic Engagement. beatrice.choi@u.northwestern.edu

Marissa Croft is a second-year student in Northwestern University’s 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. Her current research interests include the rhetoric of revolution and its temporalities, the visual rhetoric of clothing, and finding new ways to visualize historical distance using digital technology. croft@u.northwestern.edu

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.

Lauren DeLaCruz is a third-year student with a B.B.A in Business and Economics from James Madison University and an M.A. in English with a concentration in Professional Writing and Rhetoric from George Mason University. Her dissertation research explores how processes of public memory work to perpetuate gender ideologies through popular toys, such as the Easy Bake Oven and American Girl dolls. She is also interested in ideologies of girlhood and childhood and the various forms of popular education that work to sustain them such as 19th-century didactic literature for girls, puberty guidance manuals, and historical fiction.

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. mdenison@u.northwestern.edu

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 by non-elite actors in contemporary American social media and humor contexts. 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. tricia.england@gmail.com

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. ashleyferrell2022@u.northwestern.edu

Kaitlyn Filip is a second year JD-PhD student. She earned a B.A. in English Language and Literature, Political Science, and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in English Literature from Brandeis University. Before coming to Northwestern, she managed a public library in rural Michigan. Her research interests are primarily focused on gender, race, and (political) celebrity in the United States.

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. gabbygarcia@u.northwestern.edu

Sarah Idzik

Sarah Idzik is a first-year student who received her BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and her MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. She worked for several years in higher education prior to obtaining her MA. Her research interests include nationalism, neoliberalism, and embodied knowledge, with a particular interest in the formation of national identity and national anthem performances at major American sporting events. sidzik@u.northwestern.edu

Eric James is a third-year student. His research complicates the ubiquitous metaphor of the “network” by analyzing aesthetic and poetic practices that inhabit networks in their partiality, instability, and unknowability. More broadly, Eric works at the intersections of technology and culture 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

Harriette Kevill-Davies is a fourth year student. 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 primary interest is in artifacts created for, and marketed to, children — particularly boys, and the ways in which they bring children into political projects, especially those concerning the political management of affect, and the militarization of the domestic, to mold them into a particular kind of citizen. Her work focuses on the early Cold War, particularly during the Truman Administration.

Other recent work has included examinations of the representations of gender and masculinity, and the role of sentimental nostalgia, in recent television representations of the late Cold War period. In previous work, she examined twenty-first century British tabloid news representations of child sexual abuse alongside exposés of child prostitution in the late nineteenth century. harriettekevilldavies2014@u.northwestern.edu

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. angelacleone@gmail.com

Rob Mills is a fifth-year student and a Northwestern University Presidential Fellow. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Emory University and an MA in Communication Studies from Georgia State University. His dissertation project explores maritime piracy in early nineteenth century United States public culture and its part in the development of a sovereign imaginary. He is also interested in the role of law in public life, the politics of the unspeakable, and contemporary rhetorical and political theories. robmills@u.northwestern.edu

David Molina

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. dmmolina@gmail.com

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. liammayes@u.northwestern.edu

Lital Pascar

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. litalpascar2017@u.northwestern.edu

James Proszek is a third-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. jamesproszek2019@northwestern.edu

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 jquintero@u.northwestern.edu

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. dylan.rollo@u.northwestern.edu

Michelle E. Shaw is a third-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 within predominately Black churches. michelleshaw2015@u.northwestern.edu

Catalina Uribe

Catalina Uribe is a fourth year 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. catalinauribe@u.northwestern.edu

LaCharles Ward

LaCharles Ward is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Public Culture at Northwestern University. He received my BS in Speech Communication and MA in Intercultural Communication from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is also the 2018-2019 Black Arts Initiative (BAI) Graduate Assistant. Broadly, his research interests lie at the junctures of critical theories of race and racism, visual rhetoric, state violence, and Black visual culture studies. His dissertation, “They Left Us Dead,” attends to questions around the precariousness of Black life, anti-black state violence, and the political, social, and visual role of contemporary Black protest culture.

Zhiqiu Zhou

Zhiqiu (Benson) Zhou is a PhD candidate who obtained his BA in Public Relations and a minor in Journalism from Communication University of China, and an MA in Communication Studies from Renmin University of China. His research interests include masculinity studies, queer theory, cultural studies, political economy of media, and qualitative methodology. zhiqiuzhou@gmail.com