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I am a PhD candidate in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, writing a dissertation directed by Jordynn Jack. I have twice served as Assistant Director of the UNC Writing Program (2017-2018 and 2019-2020), and I was Assistant Director of the Writing in the Disciplines Program in spring 2021. Prior to UNC, I earned a BA in English from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

outside Comet Ping Pong,
of Pizzagate notoriety, in October 2019

I study social media rhetoric and the politics of misinformation, with an emphasis on contemporary conspiracy rhetoric. I am finishing my dissertation, “The Rhetoric of Conspiracism in User-Centered Democracy,” which analyzes how conspiracy theories flourish on social media platforms and the rhetorical consequences thereof. An article manuscript based on my dissertation research is currently under review, and I am eager to publish more work in this vein. I am grateful to have received multiple fellowships to support my work, including a 2018-2019 Digital Dissertation Fellowship from Carolina Digital Humanities.

While I enjoy doing research, teaching is my primary passion. My pedagogy has recently been recognized with a Student Undergraduate Teaching and Staff Award (SUTASA), a campus-wide teaching honor for excellence in undergraduate instruction. I have taught a variety of courses at UNC, including business writing, digital and multimedia composition, popular genres, and many sections of first-year writing. I have also enjoyed teaching summer courses for Uplift PLUS, a program for high-achieving high school seniors from marginalized groups in academia.


teasterb@live.unc.edu | 404 Greenlaw Hall | Curriculum Vitae