B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College
M.A. and Ph.D. University of Minnesota
Current Professional/Research Interest:
In an essay entitled "Commencement" Terry Tempest Williams writes, "In the open space of democracy, the health of the environment is seen as the wealth of our communities. We remember that our character has been shaped by the diversity of America's landscapes and it is precisely that character that will protect it." Throughout the essay Williams makes connections between the natural world and our political communities. This is the focus of my research. As an environmental communication scholar I am interested in how nature shapes human communication and how communication shapes human relationships with nature. More specifically, I am interested in how we might use communication to help build communities that are beneficial for both humans and the non-human world. How, for instance, might we use our processes of communication and political debate to help shape communities in which we rely on those in our spaces for material things, such as food, clothing, and even electricity?
Food is the great human equalizer; it is something everyone needs and enjoys (when it's available). Thus, my most recent research has turned to food as a foundation on which to build a productive communicative and political project. At its base food is apolitical, something that individuals across the globe and the political spectrum can identify and see as valuable, but it is currently mired in a variety of politics, as politicians debate the "fat tax," farm subsidies, global food inequities, and the merits of organic food. I ask whether or not we might be able to find a way to remove food from these political quagmires, to use it as a symbolic and material basis for forming better functioning democracies on a local community level in a way that has positive global ramifications for environmental and social justice concerns.
National Communication Association (NCA)
Rhetoric Society of America (RSA)
International Environmental Communication Association (IECA)
Central States Communication Association (CSCA)
Presentations, Exhibitions, Performances and Published Work:
- A Call for Polycultural Arguments: Critiquing the Monoculture Rhetoric of the Local Food Movement.” Argumentation and Advocacy. 50(2): 104-119.
- Prody, J. and Inabinet, B. Sustainable Advocacy: Speaking for and Before an Intergenerational Audience.” In Voices on the Environment, Eds. Dr. Jennifer Peeples and Dr. Stephen Depoe, Palgrave: 88-109.
- “Constituting Inclusivity at the Expense of Inclusiveness: The Economic Realities of Local Food.” Disturbing Arguments: Selected Papers Volume of the 2013 Alta Conference, Ed. Catherine Palcewski, 298-303.
- "What is Environmental Communication?" Environmental Communication Division Podcast. http://www.envirocomm.org/podcasts/
Regularly Taught Courses:
- PCA 111 Rhetoric & Public Speaking
- PCA 127 Introduction to Communication Studies
- PCA 334 Environmental Communication
- PCA 336 Rhetoric & Citizenship
- PCA Special Topics: Research Methods
- Environmental Communication, Food Rhetoric, Feminist Rhetoric, and Citizenship