Research Interests

My research primarily revolves around racial and cultural rhetorics.

After President Obama’s election in 2008, America entered took on discourse of being “post-racial,” where many publicly argued that our historicized racial struggle was behind us. However, the Black Lives Matter movement, immigration debates, xenophobia, the fear that anyone who looks “Middle Eastern” is a “terrorist,” and countless other public issues and perception problems demonstrate what America truly thinks about race, and I believe this creates an exigence for more rhetorical scholarship. Rhetoricians are uniquely positioned to analyze racialized public discourse, and my research focuses on America’s where race interacts with ideology, history, and public memories.

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Working on the set of Man on Fire.

I am especially interested in the ways people remember race through material and cultural productions–via racialized memorials, historical statues, and racist legends. I recently analyzed how people remember Confederate memorials, such as the Confederate Defenders of Charleston monument in central Charleston, South Carolina. My recent research on Grand Saline also focuses on how white people remember racialized histories and create place from these memories. Finally, another recent article looks at the way Donald Trump uses white supremacist language (via textual winks) to speak to hate organizations like the KKK.

Along with these articles, my forthcoming book projects both solely revolve around cultural and racial rhetorics. My forthcoming, co-authored book project (with authors Alex Lockett, Iris Ruiz, and Chris Carter), titled Race, Rhetoric, and Research Ethics, investigates the ways we can use various research methods for antiracist purposes, especially looking at how autoethnography, social media discourse, video discourse, and historiography can be utilized this way. This unique manuscript attempts to alter how we think of research methods and the positionality of researchers. My single authored book project (the proposal is under review) uses a cultural rhetorics method to explore white supremacy and the ways my hometown of Grand Saline, TX uses such racist discourse to build community. Both of these projects should be in print over the next few years.

Of course, this is just a brief description of my various research interests and my recent publications. More can be found on my CV page.

BLM!
At a protest Black Lives Matter protest in McKinney, TX, following a racist police encounter in 2015.
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