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Meet Shane Peterson, one of the ECL’s newest faculty members. Shane Peterson received his BA in English with minors in editing and creative writing from Brigham Young University and his PhD in language and rhetoric from the University of Washington in Seattle.

His research primarily centers on the rhetorics of crisis, apocalypse, and precarity, both historically and in contemporary settings. He is particularly interested in how the affective qualities of crisis rhetorics are embodied and enacted in American political spheres, scientific discourses, religious communities, and more public, everyday contexts. He is also interested in developing new pedagogies of crisis, namely on how to teach writing and research during ongoing periods of disruption and uncertainty.

Dr. Peterson’s most recent research projects involve working on a journal article about the rhetorics of anti-mask/anti-vaccine protests during the COVID-19 pandemic (namely how related conspiracy theories that spread online translated into public action).

One feature that drew Dr. Peterson to UNC was the DLC’s Gaming Initiative, including the critical game studies. “I was excited about the possibility of teaching game theory courses and working with a digital literacy lab, especially at a public university with a rich history as long as UNC’s…I’m interested in teaching and research about the intersections between video games and environmentalism, specifically how games engage with questions related to human-driven climate change.”

A fun fact about Professor Peterson is that he used to work as a ghost writer. Unfortunately, according to Dr. Peterson, this job “is not as scary as it sounds.”

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Dr. Peterson!

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