Wayne State University

Scott A. Mitchell



My scholarly interest engages the intersection of critical/cultural studies, rhetoric, and public memory. I study how groups of people use collective memories to inform their ideological frameworks and how social, cultural, and historical memory promotes unification or division between communities. Another dynamic of my research is studies of space and place, particularly in the context of city-spaces and how rhetoric functions in a social context to shape spatial boundaries. My dissertation is a study of material sites of memory located throughout Detroit, Michigan that operate as vessels of civil rights memories and spaces of reflection. This project primarily focuses on the manner in which contemporary Detroit aims to reinvent or revive itself, but questions how the memories of racialized injustice influence these current efforts to move forward. 

In addition to my current work on Detroit, I have written projects on other Civil Rights iconography, such as memorials of Rosa Parks and the recent controversies surrounding Confederate monuments in cities like New Orleans and the University of Texas campus. My research also focuses on subjects of popular culture, where I have written projects on policy, films, video games, and in the case of my Master's thesis, Hip Hop Music. While I primarily consider myself a rhetorical critic, I have used qualitative and historiographic methods in my research and plan to continue applying diverse methods in future projects. 

I am currently a Thomas C. Rumble research fellow, but served as the Department of Communication's Assistant Basic Course Director from 2015-2017. Along with my work as assistant course director, I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant, where I taught courses in public speaking, theory, and business communications.


Academic Interests

Critical/Cultural studies, Popular Media, Public Memory, Rhetorical Criticism, Urban Studies

Awards & Honors

Thomas C. Rumble Fellowship (2017)

Top 4 Paper: Central States Communication Assocation: Rhetorical Theory and Criticism Division (2017)

Top 4 Paper: Central States Communication Assocation: Intercultural Communication Division (2016)

Degrees and Certifications

Ph.D: Communication Studies, Wayne State University (2014-present)

MS: Communication Studies, Illinois State University (2012-2014)

BS: Communication Studies/Public Relations, Illinois State University (2008-2012)

Courses Taught

COM 1010: Oral Communication

COM 2170: Persuasive Communication

COM 3300: Business and Professional Presentations

COM 3400: Theories of Communication