I’m an Assistant Professor in Communication and African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College. I’m also an Assistant Professor (by courtesy) in the Boston College Law School. I was previously a faculty member in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University and Affiliate Faculty Member in the Center for Intellectual Property Research at the Maurer School of Law. I work in the areas of rhetoric and critical/cultural studies, with particular focus on issues of law, race, popular culture, and rhetorical agency. I teach classes on communication, rhetoric, race, and law. Most recently, I have been teaching Black Popular Culture and Race, Law & Media. I will be introducing a new course, entitled Reading Race at the Millennium, in fall 2015. I have taught a variety of courses in the past, including Rhetorical Criticism and Essentials of Argument.
I hold a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Washington. I completed my J.D. at Emory University School of Law and my LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law and Policy from the University of Washington School of Law before clerking for the now retired Chief Justice A. William Maupin of the Supreme Court of Nevada. I also hold a B.A. in International Relations, with specializations in Western European Studies and Environmental Economics, and B.S. in Psychology, with Honors, from James Madison College at Michigan State University.
My ongoing book project, entitled Created Differences: Intellectual Properties and the (Re)invention of Race and National Identity in Post-Racial America, investigates the role of rhetorics of copyrights, trademarks, and patents in racial formation in a purportedly “post-racial” America. I’m also interested in the relationship between legal rhetoric and race, and the increasingly restrictive nature of “intellectual properties.” I am also interested in policy issues surrounding intellectual properties, particularly copyright and fair use, as well, especially as they intersect with social justice issues.
My journal publications focus primarily on the intersections between rhetoric, race, and popular culture. I have taken up issues of representations of race in high fashion, the circulation of resistive rhetorics on Black Twitter, and the globalization of yoga.
I previously founded, managed, and served on the Board of Directors of the Washington Debate Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting debate in the State of Washington. You can read more about my work with that organization as well as my investment in civic engagement under Public Scholarship.
You can read about my latest (and poorly documented) culinary (mis)adventures and sometimes my academic musings at my blog, Quotable Potables.