Bryan J. McCann
Assistant Professor - Rhetoric & Cultural Studies
Office: 227 Coates Hall
My teaching and scholarship draw heavily on my involvement with community organizing efforts concerning the prison-industrial complex, organized labor, and other social justice issues. In addition to appearing on local newscasts and the national program Democracy Now!, I have written articles about the death penalty for the online periodicals AlterNet and Jurist.
I also gave a TEDx talk in 2014 on race and criminal justice.
Area of Interest
Rhetorical theory and criticism, cultural studies, Marxist and Post-Marxist thought,
race and racism, gender and sexuality, social movements/communication activism, rhetoric
and violence, critical affect studies, prison-industrial complex, hip-hop studies
Awards & Honors
Northwest Communication Association Human Rights Award (2008); National Communication Association Donald P. Cushman Memorial Award (2009); Western States Communication Association B. Aubrey Fisher Outstanding Journal Article Award (2014); National Communication Association Critical and Cultural Studies Division New Investigator Award (2014); National Communication Association Karl. R. Wallace Memorial Award (2017)
The Mark of Criminality: Rhetoric, Race, and Gangsta Rap in the War-on-Crime Era. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2017.
Peer Reviewed Articles
“‘Strictly an Act of Street Violence’: Intimate Publicity and Affective Divestment in the New Orleans Mother’s Day Shooting.” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 14 (2017): 334-50. (Co-authored with Ashley Noel Mack). Link to full text.
“Proletarian Blackface: Appropriation and Class Struggle in Mike Judge’s Office Space.” Communication, Culture, & Critique 9 (2016): 362-78. Link to full text.
“‘Chrysler Pulled the Trigger’: The Affective Politics of Insanity and Black Rage at the Trial of James Johnson, Jr.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 46 (2016): 131-55. Link to full text.
"On Whose Ground? Racialized Violence and the Prerogative of "Self-Defense" in the Trayvon Martin Case." Western Journal of Communication 78 (2014): 480-99. (Recepient of B. Aubrey Fisher Outstanding Journal Article Award, Western States Communication Association). Link to full text.
"Entering the Darkness: Rhetorics of Transformation and Gendered Violence in Patty Jenkins's Monster." Women's Studies in Communication 37 (2014): 1-21 (Lead article). Link to full text.
"Redemption in the Radical and Neoliberal Imaginations: The Saga of Stanley "Tookie" Williams," Communication, Culture, and Critique 7 (2014): 92-111. Link to full text.
"Affect, Black Rage, and False Alternatives in the Hip-Hop Nation," Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 13 (2013): 408-18. Link to full text.
"Contesting the Mark of Criminality: Race, Place, and the Prerogative of Violence in N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton," Critical Studies in Media Communication 29 (2012): 367-86. Link to full text.
“Turning Silence into Speech and Action: Prison Activism and the Pedagogy of Empowered Citizenship,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 8 (2011): 331-52 (Lead article). Co-authored with Stephen John Hartnett and Jennifer K. Wood. Link to full text.
“Genocide as Representative Anecdote: Crack Cocaine, the CIA, and the Nation of Islam in Gary Webb’s ‘Dark Alliance,’” Western Journal of Communication 74 (2010): 396-416. Link to full text.
“Therapeutic and Material <Victim>hood: Ideology and the Struggle for Meaning in the Illinois Death Penalty Controversy,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 4 (2007): 382-401. Link to full text.
“Fighting the Prison-Industrial Complex: A Call to Communication and Cultural Studies Scholars to Change the World,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 4 (2007): 402-20. Group authored piece with fellow members of the Prison Communication, Activism, Research, and Education (PCARE) writing collective. Link to full text.
Book Chapters, Invited Articles, etc.
“PCARE @10: Reflecting on a Decade of Prison Communication, Activism, Research, and Education, while Looking Ahead to New Challenges and Opportunities.” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 14 (2017): 288-310. (Group-authored piece with fellow members of the Prison Communication, Activism, Research, and Education (PCARE) writing collective for which I had primary editorial responsibilities). Link to full text.
“Speaking in Times of Terror: Discovering Radical Context and Difficult Questions in Forensics Competition.” Texas Speech Communication Journal 40 (2016): 8-17. (Lead article). Link to full text.
“Holding Each Other Better: Discussing State Violence, Healing, and Community with BreakOut!” QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking 3 (2016): 98-116. Link to full text.
"'A Fate Worse than Death': Reform, Abolition, and Life without Parole in Anti-Death Penalty Discourse," in Working for Justice: A Handbook of Prison Education and Activism, eds. Stephen John Hartnett, Eleanor Novek, Jennifer K. Wood (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2013), 187-202. Link to full text.
“Queering Expertise: Counterpublics, Social Change, and the Corporeal Dilemmas of LGBTQ Equality,” Social Epistemology 25 (2011), 249-62. Link to full text.
“Saving Kenneth Foster: Speaking with Others in the Belly of the Beast,” in Communication Activism, Volume 3: Struggling for Social Justice Amidst Difference, eds. Lawrence R. Frey and Kevin M. Carragee (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, Forthcoming), 263-90. Co-authored with Jennifer Asenas, Kathleen Feyh, and Dana Cloud. Link to full text.
“The Kairos of the Vanguard,” Conference Proceedings of the Alta Conference on Argumentation, 2007, 147-57. Co-authored with Dana L. Cloud and Kathleen E. Feyh. Link to full text.