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, and the Trump era demonstrate what America truly thinks about race, and I believe this creates an exigence for more rhetorical scholarship on race. Rhetoricians are uniquely positioned to analyze racialized public discourse, and my research focuses on where race interacts with ideology, history, and public memory in my hometown and the United States more broadly.
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. 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 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 (which is under revision with NCTE Press) explores white supremacy and the ways in which my hometown uses racist discourse to build community. Both of these projects should be in print over the next couple of 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.