Curriculum Vitae

Rachel A. Rys


Ph.D. Candidate in Feminist Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, expected June 2019

Departmental Concentration: Productive and Reproductive Labors

Dissertation: “Reading the Margins: The Politics and Processes of Feminist Comics-Based Research.”


Designated Doctoral Emphasis: Writing Studies

Graduate Certificate: Certificate in College and University Teaching

M.A. Feminist Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2014

Departmental Emphasis: Genders and Sexualities

Thesis: “Individual Liability and Structural Injustice: Constructing Responsibility and Punishment in Poverty Discourse”

B.A. Linguistics and Gender Studies, Northwestern University, 2010

Thesis: “The Category ‘Queer’: On Building an Infidel Heteroglossia in the Global Genderscape”

2012-19           Five-Year Chancellor’s Fellowship, UC Santa Barbara

2018                 Doctoral Travel Grant, UC Santa Barbara

2016                 Summer Institute Scholarship, Center for Cartoon Studies


2016                Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award in Feminist Studies Recipient

2016                GSA Excellence in Teaching Award Nominee

2015                Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award Nominee

2014                Certificate in Summer Teaching for Associates

2013                Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award Nominee


Refereed Journals


“Powerful Marginality: Feminist Scholarship through Comics.” Journal of Multimodal Rhetoric 3 (1): n.p. 

Book Chapters


“‘Just Emotions’: The Politics of Race, Language, and Affect in the Graduate Sociolinguistic Justice Classroom.” Bucholtz, Mary, Dolores Inés Casillas, and Jin Sook Lee (eds.). 2018. Feeling It: Language, Race, and Affect in Latinx Youth Learning. New York: Routledge.


Manuscripts in Preparation

“Public Pedagogy and Graphic Argumentation in Feminist Pedagogical
Webcomics.” Manuscript in preparation.

“Queer Expectations: Academic, Popular, and Public Responses to Meg-John
Barker and Julia Scheele’s Queer: A Graphic History.” Manuscript in preparation.


Instructor of Record Positions

Writing Program, UC Santa Barbara, 2017-2018

2018             Academic Writing (First-Year Composition)

2018             Academic Writing (First-Year Composition)

2017             Academic Writing (First-Year Composition)

Feminist Studies Department, UC Santa Barbara, 2014-2017

2017             Feminist Theories for Precarious Times

2016             Gender, Race, and Place: The Politics of Sexual Citizenship

2016             Doing Feminist Activism in the Age of Social Media

2015             Sexuality and the State

2014             The Politics of Reproduction and Reproductive Technologies


Teaching Assistant Positions

Feminist Studies Department Online, UC Santa Barbara, 2017

2017             Introduction to Feminist Studies (Online)

Feminist Studies Department, UC Santa Barbara, 2013-2016

2017             Sex, Love, and Romance

2016             Introduction to Feminist Studies

2015             Sex, Love, and Romance

2015             Women, Representation, and Cultural Production

2014             Women, Development, and Globalization

2014             Sex, Love, and Romance

2014             Introduction to Feminist Studies

2013             Introduction to Feminist Studies


Learning Resources Center, Santa Barbara City College, 2015-2018

2015-18        Writing Center Tutor

2016             Online Writing Tutor


2017-18        Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UC Santa Barbara

Graduate Teaching Fellow for a correspondence humanities course with
incarcerated individuals in six Central California prisons

2017          Civic Education Project, Northwestern University

Residential service-learning summer program for Grade 11 and 12 students discussing poverty and inequality


Letters and Sciences Informational Technology, UC Santa Barbara

2018-19     Instructional Design Assistant

Provided specialized consultation with faculty about integrating appropriate
instructional technology and navigating the campus learning management system

Office of Instructional Development, UC Santa Barbara

2018          Pedagogy Workshop Specialist

Designed and facilitated interactive, campus-wide orientation and workshops for
graduate instructors and teaching assistants across all disciplines

2018          Summer Teaching Institute for Associates Facilitator

Provided ongoing feedback and mentorship about syllabus and course
development for a certificate program for first-time graduate instructors

2017-18     Teaching Assistant Pedagogical Advisor

Consulted with teaching assistants from all disciplines about recorded classroom sessions, designed and facilitated campus-wide workshops on common pedagogical concerns, and co-organized first annual interdisciplinary teaching symposium

2017          Summer Teaching Institute for Associates Facilitator

Provided ongoing feedback and mentorship about syllabus and course
development for a certificate program for first-time graduate instructors

2016-17     Teaching Assistant Video Consultant

Reviewed recorded classroom sessions and consulted with Teaching Assistants across all disciplines to develop pedagogical skills and teaching confidence

Workshops Taught Include:
Strategies for Teaching Controversial Topics
Effective and Efficient Commenting on Student Writing
Designing Written Assignments across the Curriculum
Developing Non-Traditional Assignments
Checking for Student Understanding
Setting the Tone on the First Day of the Quarter
Discipline-Specific Pedagogy: Using Threshold Concepts in the Classroom
Common Concerns of First Time TAs
Jumpstarting Discussion

Department of Feminist Studies, UC Santa Barbara

2014-16      Lead Teaching Assistant

Provided ongoing support and facilitated trainings related to feminist and
antiracist pedagogy for Feminist Studies Teaching Assistants

Workshops Taught Include:
Building Community Expectations in the Feminist Classroom,
Politics of Trigger Warnings: A Conversation with Faculty & TAs
Practical Solutions to Common Classroom Problems
Writing in the Feminist Studies Classroom
Course Design for First-Time Teaching Associates in Feminist Studies
Building a Feminist Studies TA Toolkit
Undergraduate Panel on Feminist and Antiracist Teaching


 2014            Program Assistant, Center for California Language and Culture

Managed program logistics and budget for the SKILLS (School Kids Investigating Language in Life and Society) university-community partnership focused on promoting multilingualism to local high school students

2013             Research Assistant, UCSB Department of Feminist Studies

Identified resources and edited reference list for book length academic manuscript and authored accompanying Instructor Guide for NYU Press

2011             Fellow, Peer Health Exchange

Administered IRB-approved program evaluation on health education in 100+ high school classrooms; conducted surveys and interviews with program participants


Conferences Co-Organized


Beyond Academia Conference, Programming Committee. University of California at Santa Barbara. Upcoming, March 2019.


1st Annual Graduate Teaching Symposium. University of California at Santa Barbara. May 2018.

Conference Presentations


“From the Margin to the Panel: Feminist Theory and Comics Pedagogy.” “The Futures of the Field: The 1st Annual Conference of the Comics Studies Society.” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. August 2018.

“Getting a B+ in Feminist Activism: Conflicting Affective and Administrative Investments in the Feminist Studies Classroom.” Affects and Effects: A Feminist Meta-Conference. University of California at Los Angeles. April 2018.


“Individual Liability and Structural Responsibility in Tennessee Poverty Discourse.” Feminist Studies Graduate Research Roundtable. University of California at Santa Barbara. February 2016.


“Neoliberal Audit Systems: Logics of Surveillance and Punishment in Tennessee Education and Welfare Policy.” National Women’s Studies Association. November 2015.

“Learning Precarity: Neoliberal Policies of Containment in K-12 Public Education.” National Women’s Studies Association. November 2015.

“Storms, Splits, Schisms, Drifts: The Political Grammar of Queer Marxism”

Roundtable on Marxism and Queer Theory. University of California at Santa Barbara. June 2015.


“‘Just’ Emotions: Negotiating Affect and Positionality in the Anti-Racist Classroom.” Crossroads Conference on Race, Language, and Power in Educational Contexts. University of California at Santa Barbara. October 2014.


“On Queering ‘Queer:’ The Political Utility of Excess.” New Directions in Sexuality Studies: A Graduate Workshop for New Sexuality Studies Research Focus Group. University of California at Santa Barbara, March 2013.


“Cyborg Politics in the Globalized Genderscape.” Poster presented at Undergraduate Research Symposium, Northwestern University, May 2010.

“Categorizing ‘Queer:’ Constructing an Infidel Heteroglossia in the Globalized Genderscape.” Midwestern Conference on Language, Literature, and Media, Northern Illinois University, April 2010.

Conference Moderator


“If Only One Thing: Being Explicit about Our Practical Priorities in Teaching” and “Teaching Careers at the Community College.” Graduate Teaching Symposium, University of California, Santa Barbara. May 2015.


“‘Money Breeds Money’: The Precarity of Poverty-Class Parents in the Academy.” National Women’s Studies Association. November 2015.

Campus Talks


“The Panel is Political: Comics, Representation, and Feminist Theory.”  Graduate Student Association, University of California at Santa Barbara, November 2017.


2018             Mentor at #FirstGen Welcome Event

2018             Editorial team for Starting Lines undergraduate publication

2017             WASC Institutional Assessment participant for Feminist Studies

2016-17       Lead Teaching Assistant for Feminist Studies

2014-15       Graduate Student Representative for Feminist Studies

2014-15       Lead Teaching Assistant for Feminist Studies


Comics Studies Society

National Women’s Studies Association


2013          KIPP Believe College Prep Middle School, New Orleans, LA

Operations Consultant

2012          Match Tutors, Inc., Lawrence, MA

Tutor Training Consultant and Recruiter

2010          Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ

TOEIC Speaking and Writing and TOEFL Bridge Item Writer and Grader

2009          Girls in the Game, Chicago, IL

Development and Programs Intern