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Rhetoric, Culture, Engagement

  • Portrait of E Cram.

    E Cram

    Assistant Professor

    Jointly appointed between Communication Studies and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, E Cram earned a PhD in Communication and Culture at Indiana University in 2015, with concentrations in Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, and Rhetoric and Public Culture. Dr. Cram’s scholarship examines the social production of nature through sexuality, health, disability, race, and settler colonialism, working in turn through disciplinary intersections of cultural studies, queer & trans studies and the environmental/energy humanities. Their current book project, Violent Inheritance: Sexuality, Land, and the Making of the North American West (under contract with the University of California Press) examines the convergence between histories of sexuality, land use, violence and environmental memory. Their essays have appeared in The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, among others, in addition to Queering the Countryside: New Directions in Rural Queer Studies (New York University Press, 2016). Dr. Cram is the 2014 recipient of the Stephen Lucas Debut Publication Award from the National Communication Association.


    In the department, Dr. Cram teaches undergraduate courses and graduate seminars in: gender, sexuality, and space; movements, protest, and resistance; rhetoric and the body; queer geographies; place, power, and public culture.

  • NFO Headshot

    Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz

    F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor

    Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz joined the faculty after completing her Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Duke University. 

    Fixmer-Oraiz's first book project, Homeland Maternity: US Security Culture and the New Reproductive Regime (University of Illinois Press, 2019), traces discursive alignments between motherhood and nation in homeland security culture. Taking a range of cultural sites and practices into account, she examines the recent history of US reproductive politics and the rhetorical challenges facing advocates for reproductive justice. She has published articles on rhetoric and reproduction, the commercial surrogacy industry, and third-wave feminism, as well as book chapters on the public debates surrounding birth control and communication activism pedagogy. She is currently collaborating with Sharon Yam at the University of Kentucky on a new book that explores how feminist reproductive health care providers and reproductive justice and rights advocates are crafting new vocabularies and practices to address the complexities of gender in pregnancy, childbirth, and family formation. 

    Her research appears in journals and edited volumes, including Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. She serves on the editorial board of Quarterly Journal of Speech and Women’s Studies in Communication and is the co-author of the textbook Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture with Julia T. Wood.

    Fixmer-Oraiz teaches courses in rhetorical theory and criticism, gender and sexuality studies, social movements and feminisms. She encourages connections between theory and practice, the community and the classroom, through service-learning and experiential education, and is involved in various community-based reproductive justice initiatives.

  • Jiyeon Kang

    Jiyeon Kang

    Associate Professor

    Jiyeon Kang’s academic interests include online activism, youth culture, vernacular rhetoric, and globalization.

    Her research focuses on conceptualizing the democratic potential of the Internet, with a specific interest in the communicative dynamics and cultural norms that have emerged in the contexts of youth-driven social movements and online communities. Her forthcoming book Igniting the Internet: Youth and Activism in Postauthoritarian South Korea examines a decade of Internet activism in South Korea by combining rhetorical analysis of online communities with ethnographic interviews. The book attends to the political significance of the Internet as not only an extension of existing politics but also a new social space in which the circulation of multisensory texts invites users to act upon their previously unarticulated yet shared desires and grievances. It also draws attention to long-term changes in political sensibilities even after the period of activism has passed. She has additionally published articles on vernacular discourse on the web, collective agency, unintended political effects, and memories of Internet-born activism.

    Kang’s upcoming projects explore “new civilities” on the Internet, referring not simply to politeness but to the transforming social and ethical norms of coexistence. Her article-length project examines how a marginalized group maintains its distinct style in the digital environment, resisting attempts to dismiss it as emotional, rude, or disrespectful. She is concurrently working on a collaborative book-length project with Nancy Abelmann and Xia Zhang on the novel and varied civilities at play in the online communities of international undergraduate students in the U.S., China, and South Korea.

  • David Supp-Montgomerie

    David Supp-Montgomerie

    Lecturer and Director, Iowa Program for Public Life

    Dr. David Supp-Montgomerie is a Lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies and Director of the Iowa Program for Public Life. He received his Ph.D. in Communication Studies and earned a certificate in Cultural Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to Iowa, he was a Teaching Fellow at Quest University Canada in British Columbia. His research focuses on practices of public culture. His current research examines the role of rhetoric in U.S. public and political culture and addresses the ethical and political demands that citizens face when communicating deliberatively in public. He is particularly interested in the effects of apparent artificialness in democratic speech and the precarity of sincerity as an ethical baseline for communication.

    Through his work directing the Iowa Program for Public Life (IPPL), Supp-Montgomerie trains students to partner with community organizations to support healthy deliberation about state and local issues. The goal is to create the capacity for citizens to shape their collective future together. Students can take courses, such as “Solving Public Problems,” join the IPPL’s Student Associate Program, or complete a nonprofit strategic communication internship.

    David teaches on the broad themes that orient students to communication and culture, as well as the specific theoretical and practical tools involved in rhetoric, media, and ethics. These have included: rhetorical theory and criticism; political communication and deliberation; ancient Greek literature, philosophy, and culture; and public and professional communication skills. In all of his classes he seeks to create affirming and intellectually rigorous classrooms focused on nurturing students’ civic and scholarly voices.