Rachel Presley

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Writing Studies .
214 NCCE

315 Pillsbury Dr SE

Rachel Presley is an Assistant Professor of Rhetorical Theory in the Department of Writing Studies and the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota. As a critical rhetorician with training in cultural studies and political philosophy, her primary research interests engage issues of social movement and resistance rhetorics, (trans)national citizenship and belonging, and postcolonial/decolonial/anticolonial theory. Her scholarship makes use of rhetorical criticism, historiography, critical qualitative methods, and sound studies to assess the ways in which marginality is both represented and resisted, especially from pan-Indigenous perspectives. At the U, she has taught courses such as “Rhetorical Theory for Writing Studies,”“Intercultural Communication,”“Language Borderlands,” and “Sounds of Social Justice."

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Rhetoric & Public Culture, Ohio University, Athens, OH, 2019.
  • M.A.: Communication & Rhetorical Studies, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 2015.
  • B.A.: English, Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, PA, 2013.


  • Rhetorical theory and criticism
  • Rhetorics of technology and digital studies
  • Postcolonial, decolonial, and anticolonial studies
  • Activist and social justice rhetorics
Courses Taught
  • WRIT 3701W: Rhetorical Theory for Writing Studies
  • COMM 1917: Sounds of Social Justice
  • COMM 3451W: Intercultural Communication
  • COMM 4404W: Language Borderlands
  • Presley, Rachel. "Embodied Liminality and Gendered State Violence: Artivist Expressions in the MMIW Movement." Journal of International Women's Studies 21, no. 7 (2020): 87-105.
  • Presley, Rachel. "Toward a Trans Sovereignty: Why We Need Indigenous Rhetorics to Decolonize Gender and Sexuality." Peitho: Journal of the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric & Composition 22, no. 4 (2020): https://cfshrc.org/article/toward-a-trans-sovereignty-why-we-need-indigenous-rhetorics-to-decolonize-gender-and-sexuality/
  • Patton, Noah and Rachel Presley. "Twenty Years of Community Building: Reflections on/and Rhetorical Ecologies." Reflections: A Journal of Community-Engaged Writing and Rhetoric 20, no. 1 (2020): https://reflectionsjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/V20.N1.Patton.pdf
  • Presley, Rachel. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Rhetorical Strategies for Environmental Protection and Tribal Resistance in the Dakota Access Pipeline Movement.” In Decolonizing Native American Rhetoric: Communicating Self-Determination, edited by Casey Kelly and Jason Black, 285-302. New York: Peter Lang, 2018.
  • Presley, Rachel, and Jason Crane. “Sonic Colonizations, Sound Coalitions: Analyzing the Aural Landscape of Standing Rock’s No-DAPL Movement.”Argumentation and Advocacy 54, no. 4 (2018): 305-322.
  • Presley, Rachel, and Alane Presswood. “Pink, Brown, and Read All Over: Representation at the 2017 Women’s March on Washington.”Cultural Studies < > Critical Methodologies 18, no. 1 (2018): 61-71.