David Powers Corwin

David Powers Corwin

David Powers Corwin


LGBTQ Studies, feminist and queer theory, television studies, friendship studies and rhetoric, critical trauma studies and rhetoric, ecofeminism/ Appalachia

David holds a joint faculty appointment in the School of Integrative Studies and Women and Gender Studies where they teach courses that focus on feminist and queer theory, gender and sexuality in popular culture, friendship studies, and ecofeminist approaches to Appalachia. They also strive to make any course they teach writing intensive and use principles from the field of writing and rhetoric in their assignment design, feedback, and overall pedagogy. They currently serve as associate director for Women and Gender Studies. 

David holds a B.A. in English and Humanities from Milligan University and an MAIS in Women and Gender Studies, an MA in English literature, and a Ph.D. in Writing and Rhetoric--all from Mason. 

They began their role at Mason in 2013 where they served as the graduate assistant for the Women and Gender Studies Center. In addition to this role, they served in LGBTQ Resources from 2014-2015 as a graduate assistant and in 2016 was hired on full time as the program coordinator for Women and Gender Studies. Beginning in 2019, David was hired on as full time faculty and in 2021 transitioned to a joint appointment with the School of Integrative Studies and Women and Gender Studies.

Current Research

Their current research focuses on rhetoric of traumas through the creation of friendships in television. Currently, they are focusing on representations of trauma in 13 Reasons Why, Private Practice, and The End of the F***ing World and how the spectator is conditioned to identify with the main character's trauma while ignoring and even chastising the trauma of other characters. Furthermore, friendships created during these instances become central not only to the plot, but more importantly to what rhetorics of trauma that TV perpetuates. This rhetoric is then what much of our public understanding of friendships is based upon, which calls for a more nuanced of understanding of friendships as relationships that can cause, but also help survivors heal from their traumatic experiences. 


Selected Publications

Lafrance, Michelle; Caravella, Elizabeth; Polk, Thomas; Wooton, Lacey; Johnson, Sarah;     Russo, Robyn;Corwin, David; “Fingerprinting Feminist Empirical  Methodologies: An Analysis of Research Trends in Four Composition Journals between 2007 and  2016,” College Composition and Communication vol 72, no 4, 2021. 

Corwin, David and Hattery, Angela; “Taking it Virtual: A Model for Successful Co-Curricular Student Experiences in Women and Gender Studies During COVID-19” About Campus  (Accepted)  

Courses Taught

CHSS 101: Introduction to CHSS-LLC

CHSS 490: Undergraduate Teaching Practicum 

ENGH 101: Composition

INTS 202: Public Speaking and Critical Thinking Skills

INTS 347: Gender Representation in Popular Culture

WMST 100: Global Representations of Women 

WMST 200: Introduction to Women and Gender Studies 

WMST 208: Introduction to LGBTQ Studies 

WMST 300: Masculinities in the Media and Literature

WMST 300: Race, Gender, and the Late Twentieth Century

WMST 300: Gender, Sexuality, and Friendships

WMST 318: Race, Gender, Sexuality, and the Environment 

WMST 330: Feminist Theories of Gender, Sexuality, and Race

WMST 375: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and TV

WMST 402: Queer Theory 




B.A. Milligan University

M.A. George Mason University 

MAIS George Mason University 

Ph.D. in Writing and Rhetoric, George Mason University 

Recent Presentations


  • 2022: Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico- “Teaching About Friendships in the Popular Culture Classroom”
  • 2021: National Women’s Studies Association (virtual due to COVID-19)- “Maintenance and Support Take a Village: Women and Gender Studies Program Administration from Multiple Disciplinary Perspectives” Co-presenters: Leah Adams and Wendi Manuel-Scott
  • 2021 Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Confrence, (Virtual due to COVID-19)- “Toward a Rhetoric of Trauma and Friendships: A Feminist Rhetorical Analysis of Shonda Rhimes’s Private Practice 
  • 2019 College Composition and Communication, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania “Can TV be a Form of Social Justice?: Integrating Television into the Writing Classroom” 
  • 2019 Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico “Who Owns the Narrative?: Gender, Friendship and Narrative Capital in 13 Reasons Why”
  • 2018 College Composition and Communication, Kansas City, Missouri "The Feminist (Un) Consciousness of Writing Studies: An Analysis of a Decade of Research Trends in Four Major Writing Studies Journals" Co-presenter with Robyn Russo, Thomas Polk, and Lacey Wooton 
  • 2018 Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico "This is Man: The Rhetoric of Silence and Masculinity in This is Us
  • 2017 Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico "The Queerness of Straight Masculinity in Dawson's Creek" 
  • 2016 Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico  Lucy Audley’s Deadly Secrets: Power, Violence, and Masculinity in Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret
  • 2015 Gender, Race, and Transformation Conference, Pacific University, Portland, Oregon Have We Improved Upon Positive Racial Representation in Television? African American and Asian American Representation in Grey’s Anatomy
  • 2015 Southwest Popular/American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, “Queering Spira: Gender, Power, and Defeat in Final Fantasy X