These are pieces I published professionally during my time in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse MA and Women and Gender Studies certificate programs at DePaul University. Between January 2021 and September 2022 I pitched these pieces, in part, because my rhetorical studies encouraged me to look at my niche subjects as an expert in my field.

Krystel McNeil and Rae Gray in "Spay" at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble.

The Drama of Addiction

In this piece for the Chicago Reader, I looked at two shows with similar rhetorics around addiction behavior and contrasted them. By looking at work with intersectional, rhetorical lenses, we get a better understanding of what is being said outright and what is subconscious. Primarily I used the idea of media framing bias to explore how these two shows are foils of one another–and why that kind of dichotomy is bad for audiences.

TikTok’s Magical Algorithm is Helping Users Understand Their Sexuality

After discovering more about myself because of TikTok, this story felt like a natural continuation. So, I leaned into what I’ve learned about feminist research practices to embrace my personal connection to the subject rather than ignore it. I interviewed sexuality experts as well as queer creators about how algorithms know us so well–sometimes even better than we know ourselves.

A woman laying down and looking at her phone.
A collage of fictional characters who identify with asexuality or are otherwise aligned with characters who do.

Why Aren’t There More Asexual Characters on TV?

The WGS program at DePaul, along with feminist rhetoric courses in the WRD program showed me how vital storytelling is–particularly the notion of counterstory or telling stories that aren’t wrapped up in despair or grief which can be difficult in the LGBTQIA+ community. More importantly that speaking to our truths is one of the bravest things we can do. In that same vein, I wanted to pursue a piece on asexual representation for a wide audience because it is largely misunderstood as well as mis/underrepresented.

Grateful for the New Disney Look

As a lifelong Disney fan, even in undergrad, I was unafraid to dissect work I had always loved. But, in this case, I was able to instead write about being grateful to Disney Parks for doing away with their sexist, misogynistic, and otherwise deeply problematic costuming policies. That approach was only possible through empowerment led by the lenses of intersectional feminist rhetorics.

An image of Disney Parks cast members in new costumes after the company changed their costume policies.
Kate Fry and Amanda Drinkall in Writers Theatre’s “Wife of a Salesman."

Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Men Need Not Apply: A Review of “Wife of a Salesman” at Writers Theatre

Before entering graduate school, I wasn’t shy about my opinions as a theater critic which is ideal for a theater critic. I was, however, more reserved about my feelings around rhetoric or discourse being presented to me. As I make clear in my review of “Wife of a Salesman” above, I’m no longer afraid to make a statement like this one thanks to queer theorists like Cathy Cohen and Judith Butler.

So now all my readers get to know that Arthur Miller couldn’t write female characters.