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Personal profile

Research interests

I (he/him) am an assistant professor in the Communication Studies department in the Rhetorical Studies area at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. My research program is about how rhetoric shapes public perceptions about secrecy, surveillance, transparency, and opacity in American public culture. Ongoing projects include research on the ancient history of rhetoric, nuclear waste disposal on colonized Indigenous lands, and the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

My book (in progress) is titled This Page Intentionally Left Blank, and focuses on secrets in American public culture. This work seeks to expand rhetorical studies' conventional foci of publicity (as public address) and visibility, and offers a critique of transparency as a self-evident ideal. The chapters offer a rhetorical history and readings strategy for secrecy that draws upon critical frameworks like psychoanalysis, genealogy, and deconstruction, with individual chapters that explore how dog-whistles, whistleblowing, cybersecurity, and fraud have conjured spectacular secrets that are both perceptible and invisible to a wide American public.

You can find my most recently updated CV here.

I received my PhD from the University of Georgia and previously worked as adjunct faculty at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. My Master's degree is from the University of Iowa's Communication Studies program in Rhetoric and Public Advocacy. I also have undergraduate degrees in English literature, chemistry, and Spanish language from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I enjoy kayaking, hiking, and spending time with my small dogs. Please reach out if you have inquiries about research, teaching, or wish to set up consultations.


I have taught courses on public speaking, argumentation, rhetorical theory, communication ethics, and secrecy and surveillance. In my home unit, I frequently teach an undergraduate and graduate rhetorical theory curriculum concentrated in the Communication Studies discipline. These classes offer a survey of frameworks for understanding spoken persuasion, symbolic representation, and hierarchical power dynamics. I have also taught courses on secrecy and surveillance, which draws upon my research in this area.

I have also recently published an open-access textbook (Reading Rhetorical Theory: Speech, Representation, and Power) through the University of Minnesota Libraries for flipped learning and online (synchronous/asynchronous) delivery modalities. Other teaching resources can be found at my newsletter site (The Rhetoric UnTextbook), which contains materials on the rhetoric of secrecy and surveillance and graduate-level rhetorical theory.

(last updated September 2022)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Interest Keywords

  • Rhetoric
  • surveillance
  • secrecy
  • political culture
  • gender and political representation
  • terrorism
  • science communication
  • whistleblowing


The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.
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