Throughout three-and-a-half years of study at DePaul University in Chicago, where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, I leaped to a career in electoral politics. Through undergrad, and afterward, I worked and interned on several campaigns, ranging from congressional candidates, ballot initiatives, and eventually political consulting. I tried my hands at organizing, fundraising, phone-banking, script-writing, and door-knocking. Yet I always found myself drawn to one particular aspect of all of these roles: language, language, and language.
Through the 2016 election cycle, I became disillusioned and distressed by the rise of the far-right in American politics and the seeming inability (or unwillingness) of elite institutions to confront it. With the ascent and triumph of the Trump movement, it became clear that something was fundamentally wrong with the way that we wrote, spoke, and thought about the world. Instead of being illuminating, or clarifying, the ways that we analyzed current events seemed increasingly prone to falling into cliche and mindlessness. We yelled about history without a clear sense of it. We cried about ‘normalcy’ without considering, perhaps, that normal had never been good enough. Many of us fell into linguistic traps, and in doing so ceded rhetorical agency to those that deliberately sought to undermine the unifying means of words and our cultural discourse.
All of this, along with my contentious personal experience with political rhetoric, is why my core intellectual interest now is analyzing the fluid, complicated relationship between language and politics. Included in this is how moral norms and beliefs are manipulated by political actors, media and economic institutions, and even governments in the form of marketing and propaganda. My research and analysis will be varied, but I wish to focus primarily on the American system; not only is the U.S. incredibly rich ground for this analysis, but there’s also a degree of immediacy and urgency when it comes to understanding propaganda in the United States.
Along with my research and eventually published work, this site will also be a venue for some of my analysis of current events. Through my blog, I hope to bring my broader research aims to the seemingly manic present. At the least, I wish to shine a light on the slow degradation of words and their meaning. And hopefully, with time, we can do more than just critique and analyze, and even envision a way for cultural discourse to be more meaningful, deliberate, and genuinely free.
I hope that you enjoy this site and my work! If you have any questions or feedback, or especially disagree with me, please write me an email! I love all forms of feedback. Even the angry tirades.
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