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Faber McAlister

Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies
Director, Cowles Speaking Center

Office Location: 112 Howard Hall

My teaching and research focus on identity and belonging in public life and popular culture. The places and practices that help us feel a sense of inclusion—or inflict the pain of exclusion—drew me from my career in community activism and political organizing into academic life. I completed my first degree at Seattle Central College, and then attended Boise State University for my B.A. in Anthropology and M.A. in Communication Studies. My Ph.D. in Rhetorical Studies is from the University of Iowa.

My scholarly work in rhetorical and critical media studies has been published in a variety of academic journals and books and shared through public media outlets. I am a former Editor of Women’s Studies in Communication and Co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Gender and Communication. My visual and spatial studies of tropes of belonging and representation in rhetoric and media call attention to the imprint of gender, sexuality, race, class, and other modes of social location in daily life. I identify as queer in my scholarship, my sexuality, and my gender.

I prioritize compassionate and respectful conversations across cultural and ideological differences in my teaching. I encourage open and diverse critiques of social norms, institutions, and hierarchies as students bring their unique voices and views into discussions. Creating classroom experiences that are welcoming and equitable is an ongoing objective for me, which is why I continue to pursue training in inclusive pedagogies and intercultural proficiencies. The classes I teach (including TV Tropes, Critical Media Studies, Urban Photography, Public Voices, and Rhetoric in Popular Culture) foreground student reading, writing, and speaking skills and feature cultural theories and critical studies of representation and identification.

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