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Rachel Reynolds

Rachel Reynolds, PhD

Associate Professor
Graduate Faculty Member, Communication, Culture &
Department of Global Studies and Modern Languages
Department of Communication
Office: 3201 Arch Street, Suite 340, Room 354
Phone: 215.895.0498
Fax: 215.895.1333

Additional Sites: Childhood & Migration book


  • BA, Comparative Literature (Italian), University of Iowa, 1991
  • MA, Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1997
  • PhD, English and Linguistics, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2002

Curriculum Vitae:

Download (PDF)

Research Interests:

  • Sociolinguistics, Ethnography of Communication and Discourse Analysis
  • Violence Against Women in Mass Media
  • Political Economy of Migration – Brain Drain, Immigrants and Transnational Immigration
  • Semiotics including the Textual, the Visual and the Multimodal


I grew up in Chicago, which has long been an immigrant-receiving city, and one in which questions of race and ethnicity, inequality, geography, and access to power are always in the air. Over the course of my education, I came to approach the richness and challenges of American diversity through the study of language in interaction, the linguistic performance of group belonging, and intercultural dialog. In my early career, after fieldwork with African immigrants, I worked on developing new ideas about child and youth (im)migrants and human development.

Recently, I’ve joined a research project that looks at Violence Against Women as a global phenomenon. In particular, I am looking at streaming video on demand and how rape myths are or are not perpetuated in visual and textual discourses of popular culture.

Despite having two different research areas, I’m most engaged with trying to frame how the rich fabric and sophisticated discourses of American class, ethnic and gender difference can inform a progressive basis by which to approach the environmental and social challenges of the Anthropocene. Clearly, we need to change quickly, but out of what, and how?

Selected Publications:

  • El-Burki, Imaani and Reynolds, Rachel R. It’s no secret that Justin wants to be black: Comedy Central’s Justin Bieber Roast and Neoliberal Race Representation. In Defining Identity and the Changing Scope of Culture in the Digital Age, Alison Novak and Imaani El-Burki, Editors, IGI-Global, 2016.
  • Reynolds, R. R. Toward Understanding a Culture of Migration among Elite African Youth: Igbo College Students in the United States. In Kane, A. and Leedy, T. Migrations In and Out of Africa: Old Patterns and New Perspectives. Indiana University Press. 2013.
  • Everyday Ruptures: Children and Migration in Global Perspective. Cati Coe, Debbie Boehm, Julia Meredith Hess, Heather Rae Espinoza and Rachel R. Reynolds (Eds.). Vanderbilt University Press, 2011.
  • Heritage Language Learners in First-Year Foreign Language Courses: A Report of General Data Across Learner Subtypes. Rachel R. Reynolds, Kathryn Howard, and Julia Deak. Foreign Language Annals, Volume 42, No. 2, Summer 2009.
  • Igbo professional migratory orders, hometown associations and ethnicity in the USA. Global Networks. Volume 9(2): 209-226, April 2009.