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Asst. Clinical Professor of FIRE


Quick Facts:

  • Founding Research Leader of Visualizing Social Justice

  • PhD - Rhetoric & Political Culture (2019)

  • Former Lecturer in Digital Media, Public Speaking, Communication & Gender, and Rhetoric

  • WikiEdu Program Participant


Dr. Bruner is an Assistant Clinical Professor of the University of Maryland's First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE) program under the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Her research focuses on the intersections of rhetorical conceptions of justice, legal rhetorics, the Civil Rights era, and feminist rhetorics from the 1970s. She is also interested in the ways that  podcasting represents an old medium renewed and what influence our current information sharing practices exert on public memory efforts more generally.

Dr. Bruner currently leads the Visualizing Social Justice research stream, part of the Social Science Cluster of FIRE. She guides students to engage with both archival research and data visualizations to create public-facing, digital humanities materials about Civil Rights Era cold cases, among other social justice issues.


Research Interests

  • public memory 

  • legal rhetoric 

  • civil rights

  • rhetorical conception and theories of "justice" 


Select Publications

  • “Attempting to Right the Wrongs of the Past: Emmett Till as an Eponym for Justice” in Memory of Emmett Till Anthology, ed. Davis Houck (University of Mississippi Press), forthcoming

Works In Progress

  • “Consolidating Memory at Milestone Anniversaries: How Topeka Became the Stage for Brown v. Board”

  • “The Presence of the ‘Outside Agitator’: Stigma/Hero in the Summer of 1965”

  • “Heritage Tourism as Selective Memory: Galveston’s Elissa”

  • “Examining ‘White Lies’: Narrative Justice on Display in Podcasting” (Conceptual stage)


Professional Memberships

  • National Communication Association

  • Rhetoric Society of America

  • Eastern Communication Association


  • Ph.D. in Rhetoric & Political Culture, University of Maryland, 2019
    Dissertation: Constructing a Legacy: The Role of Anniversary Commemorations in Remembering Brown v. Board of Education. 

  • M.A. in Rhetoric, Baylor University, 2013
    Thesis: “Public memory, tourism, and Galveston’s selective heritage: a rhetorical analysis of the Elissa,” Jaclyn L. Bissell

  • B.S. in Communication & Rhetorical Studies, Magna Cum Laude, Syracuse University, 2010
    B.A. in Writing & Rhetoric, Syracuse University, 2010

Additional Information

Link to: Visualizing Social Justice

Link to: Curriculum Vitae

Teaching Statement

I am a writer at heart and firmly believe that we are each endowed with a voice - one which we have a responsibility to use to better the world around us. I use that voice in a way that upholds anti-racist pedagogical tenets: to teach undergraduates how to research, to consider how they interact with their world, and to empower them to use their own voice to go out into the world to make a difference in their current and future communities.

Link to: With Love & Struggle (podcast)

Link to: Maggie Haslam, "Students’ Podcast Amplifies Issues of Forgotten Feminist Magazine," Maryland Today, July 19, 2023,

Link to: "UMD Libraries Provides Launching Pad for Research-Driven Student Podcast," University of Maryland Libraries: News, September 28, 2023, // 

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