Roberta Chevrette is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, whose work examines relationships among communication, identity, and social justice. Her research engages queer, feminist, and postcolonial frameworks to examine rhetorics of race, gender, sexuality, and nation within various media, social movements, and other cultural spaces.
Dr. Chevrette is the co-author of the book Dangerous Dames: Representing Female Empowerment in Postfeminist Media (with Drs. Heather Hundley and Hillary A. Jones). Published in 2020, this book interrogates contemporary representations of a specific type of dangerous women: the postfeminist hero who is smart, sexy, and proficient with weaponry and technology. Using rhetorical criticism and critical theory, the book contributes to a robust existing conversation about postfeminist media through its examination of a range of contemporary texts, including Kill Bill, Volumes I and II; The Hunger Games; Wonder Woman; Atomic Blonde; Proud Mary; The Bionic Woman; Deus Ex; Dark Matter; and Caprica.
Dr. Chevrette’s award-winning scholarship appears in numerous book chapters and journals including Communication Monographs, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Communication Theory, Feminist Formations, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies. Chevrette also recently co-edited a special forum with Dr. Ashley Hall from Illinois State University, titled “‘Check Yo’ Stuff’ Allies: A Forum on the Challenges of Coalition Building in Precarious Times.” Together, contributing authors “consider contemporary challenges toward building productive coalitions across racial and other forms of difference, critiquing and reconceptualizing how allyship can assist historically marginalized groups in transforming structures and systems” (Hall, 2021, p. 133).
At MTSU, Chevrette teaches a range of interdisciplinary courses in communication and women’s and gender studies including Women in the Media, Critical Methods in Communication, Intercultural Communication, Introduction to Women’s Studies, and Public Speaking. By connecting theory with lived experience, her teaching guides students to become aware of, and critically examine, how language, symbols, and ideologies shape cultural and communicative structures and practices. Chevrette also works collaboratively with faculty in the Communication Studies Department and across campus to promote inclusive teaching, and to design JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) events to serve students and work for justice for historically marginalized group members on campus and within our greater communities.
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