M.A., Ohio University
(Fall 2016 Cohort)
Specializations: Political rhetoric, partisanship, identity, southeastern U.S. rhetoric
Carson S. Kay (M.A., Ohio University; B.S., Berry College) is a doctoral candidate and rhetorical scholar in the School of Communication Studies.
Her research agenda centers on the rhetorical messages surrounding U.S. political partisanship, especially messages emerging in the southeastern states. She contemplates the nuances regarding sociocultural identities and representations. Many of her projects focus on the cultural appropriateness of identity representations (i.e., monuments, plantations), the navigation of political rhetorics online (i.e., spectacles of social media, virtual tours), and the social construction of political identity across contexts (i.e., political expression in the workplace, online, in the classroom, and in public dialogues). Additionally, Carson contemplates the ways power is negotiated in collegiate forensics in order to conceptualize the interplay of agency, difference, and equality/equity within the activity. Recently, she has become interested in the discourses and rhetorical stories that contribute to how American citizens navigate political difference. Her work has been published in Speaker & Gavel, American Behavioral Scientist, and Winning Orations, with forthcoming work set to appear in the Carolinas Communication Annual, the National Forensic Journal, and a special edited collection on interactive nostalgia.
Carson teaches undergraduate courses in cross-cultural communication, argument analysis and advocacy, and public speaking. Backed by nearly 15 years of competitive public speaking experience, Kay has coached collegiate forensics and mentored 4-H high school students participating in communication contests. She specializes in prepared public address and speech-writing, guiding students in developing their research, writing, and presentation skills.
Additionally, Carson has received several awards for her scholarship and service, including the 2019 Outstanding Doctoral Student Award, 2019 Peter Raposo Servant Leadership Award, and the 2019 Graduate Student Leadership Award from the School of Communication Studies, as well as the 2017 Excellence in Service to Students Award from the Ohio University Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.