Bachelor's Degree: Arizona State University, Political Science (2007)
Bachelor's Degree: Arizona State University, Women’s & Gender Studies (2007)
Master's Degree: The University of Texas at Austin, Communication Studies (2009)
PhD: The University of Texas at Austin, Communication Studies (2013)
Dr. Ashley Noel Mack
Assistant Professor, Rhetoric & Cultural Studies
Affiliate faculty, Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Affiliate faculty, African & African American Studies
I approach the study of rhetoric from a critical/cultural perspective informed by intersectionality, historical materialism, feminisms, and queer theory. I am interested in how discourses produce common sense investments that mobilize and mystify power relationships at the intersection of race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, and nationhood.
Specifically, I examine how the forms and logic of radical (feminist, queer, and anti-racist) U.S. social movements become re-captured, re-circulated, and/or deployed in mediated space in ways that often work against the interests of those very movements by reaffirming cis-sexist, white supremacist, colonial, heteronormative, and/or patriarchal logics. This work often involves looking at mediated discourses of and about advocacy movements seeking social change, analyzing popular culture discourses that express the logics and ethos of social justice, and tracing the relationship between the networked circulation of these discourses and their role in rationalizing and/or resisting broader neoliberal ethics in the public sphere.
My book, American Moms: Twenty-First Century White Hegemonic Motherhood in the United States, is under-contract with University of Alabama Press. In this project, I examine how contemporary hegemonic motherhood mobilizes in digital space through mediums like Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and “mommy blogs.” I chart how the maternal body has operated as a chief site of discursive political struggle across history and culture, how American feminist social movement logics of self-determination and choice are deployed in modern digital discourses about mothering, and how women frame their identities as mothers and citizens through social media in the neoliberal era. I put forth that hegemonic motherhood is a useful term to describe the dynamic, intertextual, and symbolic process through which dominant ideologies of motherhood are maintained in culture and revised throughout history. Modern mothering practices that are marked as more culturally valuable are derived from white, middle to upper class, cisgender, monogamous, and heterosexual experiences and as a result are more readily available to the privileged. Therefore, the maintenance of cultural hierarchies of motherhood also reinforces class-based, racial, sexual, and gendered hierarchies in the U.S.
In addition to being an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies, I am also an affiliate faculty member in African & African American Studies as well as Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.
I teach undergraduate classes in argumentation & debate, gender/sexuality & communication, rape culture, feminist/queer theory, rhetoric of social movements, and rhetorical criticism. I teach graduate courses such as feminist & queer critique, rhetoric & ideology, and rhetorical criticism.
Castillo, Ryan & Ashley N. Mack. “Isn’t that Bromantic? Rearticulating Male Emotionality in Hollywood’s BromCom Film.” In Gender in a Transitional Era, Amanda R. Martinez & Lucy J. Miller, eds. (Lanham, M : Lexington Books, 2014)
Mack, Ashley Noel. “Destabilizing Science From the Right: The Rhetoric of Heterosexual Victimhood in the World Health Organization’s 2008 HIV/AIDS Controversy.” Journal of Homosexuality 60:8 (August 2013): 1164-1180. Link to Article
Mack, Ashley Noel. “On Drawing Knives and Experience: The Rise of the Ekphrastic Text in Bravo’s Top Chef.” In The Politics of Style and The Style of Politics, Barry Brummett, ed (Lanham, M : Lexington Books, 2011). Link to Article