I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. My dissertation project focuses on feminist social movements in the United States and their media practices, with special attention to digital media, local, grassroots media projects, and popular culture. In each case, I consider the possibilities and limitations of an activist praxis oriented toward particular mediascapes against the backdrop of an increasingly precarious political context While my research largely revolves around contemporary activist campaigns and organizations, I also aim to contextualize today's feminist tactics within a decades-long history of feminist engagements with media, discourse, and expression.
Contemporary feminist activism is becoming increasingly mediated. Drawing on a media sociology approach, I aim to learn from practitioners, themselves, 1) why this central orientation toward media has come to operate as a key organizing principle for U.S. feminists and 2) how this turn toward mediated engagement has affected the shape and reach of feminist politics. My dissertation research is rooted in interviews with feminist media makers, including zinesters and bloggers, textual analyses of feminist media texts, from hashtags to street art, and participant observations within a network of grassroots feminist collectives based in Philadelphia, my home city. Through these participatory methods, I combine my academic research with activist work. My research has been published in Communication, Culture & Critique, Feminist Media Studies, New Media & Society, among others.
At Penn, I have taught undergraduate courses on Media, Activism, and Social Movements, Communication and Popular Culture, and Communication Behavior. With my advisor, Guobin Yang, I co-founded the Media Activism Research Collective, an interdisciplinary network of students, faculty, and activists working at the intersection of social movements and media. Off campus, I am an organizer for Philadelphia's March to End Rape Culture, an annual protest event that seeks to raise awareness about sexual violence and create a supportive community for survivors.
I hold an M.A. in communication from the Annenberg School and a B.A. in media and communication studies, English, and gender and women's studies from Ursinus College.