(Fall 2015 Cohort)
Specializations: critical/cultural studies; Indigenous studies; National identity; Visual rhetoric
M.A., Syracuse University
Rachel Presley earned her B.A. in English (with minors in Communication Arts and Rhetoric) from Washington & Jefferson College in May 2013 and her M.A. in Communication & Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University in May 2015. Much of Presley’s research interests focus on the construction of national identities and narratives in marginalized communities and the ways in which those rhetorics can work to counter postcolonial culture. In tandem with this area of study, her M.A. thesis combined aspects of visual culture and public memory to analyze the performative role of Indigenous and non-Indigenous actors, spectators, and citizens in the XXVII Summer Olympic Games’ Opening Ceremony. In sum, much of her work aims to deconstruct the fictions of belonging, in/exclusion, and citizenship in non-dominant communities through a variety of mediums (e.g. text, film, photography, oral narrative, etc.).
During her time at Syracuse, she served as a teaching assistant and instructor of record for a variety of courses including Media Literacy, Presentational Speaking, Communication Theory, Rhetorical Theory, and Communication Research Methods, and she looks forward to expanding
her pedagogical lens here at Ohio University.
Outside of her academic interests, Presley is an avid lover of punny humor and jokes found on Laffy Taffy wrappers. She closely follows all things popular culture and is always looking for a new show to watch on Netflix or Hulu Plus. She is quite excited to explore the surrounding Athens area and its charmingly eccentric restaurants, wineries, and locally-owned shops.