Michigan State University
Michigan State University
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Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Department of Writing
Rhetoric & American Cultures

Meet Jacqueline Rhodes


Professor Jacqueline Rhodes

One new face around the WRAC Department this year is Dr. Jackie Rhodes, who came to MSU from a faculty position at California State University San Bernardino. At Cal State, Dr. Rhodes spent time teaching first year composition, graduate courses in rhetorical theory and technology, queer theory, and composition theory. Describing her transition, she says, “When I came here, I wasn’t unhappy with my old job, but I was looking for something new and more challenging, and WRAC is that.”

Currently, Dr. Rhodes teaches WRA 260 (Rhetoric, Persuasion, and Culture) and WRA 491 (Advanced Visual Rhetoric). Next fall, she will teach WRA 260 and WRA 805 (Rhetoric Theory and History). 

In addition to her teaching duties, she is working on multiple projects and has several articles set to be published this year. Her scholarly work explores rhetoric, materiality, and technology and bridges feminist, gender, and LGBTQ studies. She also works creatively on multimedia installations, videos, and websites. “I tend to be very busy with my research, cause I get a kick out of it,” she says. One current articles analyzes the SlutWalk movement, which protests rape culture by calling for an end to slut shaming as an excuse for sexual violence. In her article, Dr. Rhodes explores the critiques of the movement in the context of racism. 

Dr. Rhodes is also writing an autobiographical chapter in a collection titled Women’s Professional Lives in Rhetoric and Composition. The chapter touches on ideas of gender-queer identity and focuses on perseverance in the face of professional and personal challenges such as chronic depression. “[The piece] tells the story of how I came to be, where I am, and explores the idea of resilience—being able to bounce back or bounce through things,” she says. 

Dr. Rhodes has a longtime collaboration with Dr. Jonathan Alexander, a humanities professor at University of California, Irvine. They are currently editing a collection for Routledge titled The Routledge Companion to Digital Rhetoric and Writing. “We have somewhere between 30 to 35 authors working with us,” she explains. Each author (or set of authors) writes a chapter about different subtopics within the larger field of digital rhetoric, so readers can quickly familiarize themselves with the field. Rhodes and Alexander's last two collaborations, Techne: Queer Meditations on Writing the Self, and Sexual Rhetorics, have been honored with the 2016 and 2017 Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship.

Dr. Rhodes loves many things about her new home, but her favorite thing might surprise a few people. “Believe it or not, I like the snow,” she reports. “I remember from growing up [in Montana] that you could have a neighbor you just absolutely hated, because of a fence dispute or something like that, but if you saw them off the road in the winter you would stop and help them, because you had to get beyond personal resentments for the greater good. And I think that is true of winter people—that perfect strangers will stop and help you.”

Written for WRAC by Rachel Nanzer