Prof. Aaron McKain, Ph.D., M.S.L
Director of English, Digital Media, and Communication Arts
Associate Professor of Digital Media
North Central University

Education

June 2012             Ohio State University
                               Ph.D., English (Rhetoric and Composition)
 

                               Dissertation:
                               “Fear and Loathing in the New Media Era : How to Realign our Rhetorical Judgments for the Post-Postmodern, Digital Media Age”
 

June 2012             Ohio State University
                               Master’s in the Study of Law (M.S.L.)

 

June 2004             Ohio State University

                                M.A., English

 

Dec. 1998               University of Nebraska

                                B.A., Political Science

                                B.A., English

                                Graduated with distinction, Phi Beta Kappa

 

 

Professional Experience
 

Director, Division of English, Digital Media, and Communication Arts
Associate Professor of Digital Media

North Central University, 2018-present

  • Designing and teachings classes in rhetoric, professional communication, public relations, critical digital media studies, digital production, and law.Responsible for student advising, department and university administration, and research agenda.
     

Executive Director
Institute for Digital Humanity, 2018-present

  • Coordinating advocacy, research, and grant funding on digital ethics issues.


Visiting Scholar
Indiana University's Kelley School of Business,  2019-present

  • Research and consultation on digital ethics curricula and public advocacy.

 

Curricular Consultant and Designer
Anti-Defamation League, 2019-present

  • Leading teams of students, lawyers, and teachers to develop national high school curriculum on algorithmic ethics, law, and civics.
     

Assistant Professor of English

Hamline University, 2011-2018

  • Designed and taught classes in rhetoric, critical digital media studies, literary and cultural theory, and professional communication.

  • Responsible for student advising, departmental and university service, and maintaining research agenda.
     

Speechwriter/Communications Specialist
Office of the President, Ohio State University, 2007–2009

  •     Helped set and shape communications agenda for E. Gordon Gee, President of Ohio State University.  Coordinated messaging strategy with senior       administrative and PR staff to connect with Ohio State’s four core constituents: students, faculty, government officials (city, state, federal), and Ohio     taxpayers.

  •     Responsible for speeches, talking points, op-eds, and articles in multiple mediums (tv, radio, social-networking) and for live audiences ranging  
        from 8 to 80,000.

  •     Developed three key message areas: (1) the economic impact of Ohio State on the state of Ohio; (2) the power and potential of humanities                       research; and (3) the importance of expanding educational access to under-represented students.

 

Author and Education Technology Consultant, McGraw-Hill, 2008-2011

  •      Created and piloted a textbook, software, and pedagogy (Commonplace) to teach rhetoric and composition via an inter-university, peer-review              network.  To date, adopted by over 350 classrooms, and 15,000 students, across four universities.  
     

Graduate Teaching Associate, Ohio State, 2002-2007

  • Taught graduate and undergraduate classes in rhetoric, composition, digital media, law, film, critical theory, college pedagogy, and popular culture.

 

Assistant Editor, Narrative: Journal of the Int. Society for Narrative Studies, 2004-2005

  • Responsible for reviewing, proofing, and copyediting journal submissions.  Also helped coordinate 2005 NEH Summer Seminar in Narrative Theory.
     

Project Director, Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, 1999-2001

  • Worked with Nebraska Legal Services, Neb. Bar Association, and non-profits to promote statewide partnerships in technology and poverty law advocacy.
     

Coordinator, Nebraskans for Peace Political Action Committee, 1998

  • Managed and marshalled PAC resources on behalf of gubernatorial candidate; served as member of political campaign staff; mobilized voters on tax issues.

 

Publications: Academic and Public

 

“Rhetorically Predicting a First Amendment Right to Negotiation After Janus.”  With Thomas  Freeman and Destynie Sewell.  William And Mary Business
     Law Review.  Forthcoming in 2020.

“The Art of EMF Science: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Post-Digital Health Advocacy.”  With Steven Pederson and the Institute for Aesthetic Advocacy.
     PostHuman: New Media Art 2020.  CICA Press, 2020.
 

“As Technology Evolves, So Does the Practice of Law (and So Must Attorneys).  With Thomas Freeman.  Nebraska Lawyer Magazine.  July/August 2019.


“The Future of Collective Bargaining: Rhetorically Predicting a First Amendment Right to Negotiation.”  With Thomas Freeman and Destynie Sewell.   
     2019 Proceedings of the Midwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business. 
 

“What About Cynthia: A Case Study Exploring Corporate Fiduciary Duties and Social Responsibility.”  With Thomas Freeman.  Business and Professional
     Ethics Journal.  Forthcoming in 2020.   


“Free Speech in Post-Digital America.”  Editor.  With The Institute for Digital Humanity and the Institute for Aesthetic Advocacy.  Hennepin County Library. 
     September 2019.

“I Want to Party With You Cowboy: Stephen Colbert and Campaign 2016’s Aesthetic Logic of Truthiness.”  In Julie Webber-Collins, Ed.  Comedy Confronts
     Neoliberalism.  Lexington University Press, 2018.  (Forthcoming.)

 

“How to Write a Poem that Costs You $175k Plus the Lady,” Missouri Review, Miller Audio Prize for Humor (runner up), Summer 2018.     

 

““Fear and Loathing in the New Media Era : How to Realign our Rhetorical Judgments for the Post-Postmodern, Digital Media Age.”  Dissertation.  Ohio
     State University, 2012.  (Released to the public by my University.  Actively cited.)

 

“The Rhetoric of Narrative: What the Law as Narrative Movement Can Teach the Rest of the Narrative Turn.” In Deborah Journet, Ed.  Narrative Acts: 
     Rhetoric, Race and Identity, Knowledge.  Hampton Press, 2011.
 

“Rhetoric.” In Peter Logan, Ed. Blackwell Encyclopedia of the Novel.  Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

 

“New Media, New English.” In Cheryl E. Ball and James Kalmbach, Eds. Reading and Writing New Media. With Jason Palmeri, Cormac Slevin, and Scott
     Lloyd DeWitt. Hampton Press, 2009.

 

Commonplace: A User’s Guide to Persuasion (in an Age that Desperately Needs One). With Michael Harker and Scott Lloyd DeWitt.  McGraw-Hill, 2008. 

 

“Are We the Rockstars We’ve Been Waiting For?” PopMatters. 3 Nov. 2008.

 

“Huckabee’s Family Guy Values.” Alternet. 21 Jan. 2008.

 

“Re-Learning How to Argue.”  Audio essay.  In Cynthia L. Selfe, Ed. Multimodal Composition: Resources for Teachers.  Hampton Press, 2007. 

 

“Made Actual Through Pain.”  Video essay. With Michael Harker and Cormac Slevin.  In Cynthia L. Selfe, Ed. Multimodal Composition: Resources for
     Teachers.  Hampton Press, 2007. 

“Not Necessarily Not the News: Remediation, Gatekeeping, and The Daily Show.” Journal of American Culture 28.4 (Dec 2005): 415-430.

Public Advocacy:
Media Appearances, Funded Community Workshops, and Invited Talks

 

“Internet Security and Cyberbullying Prevention Workshop.”  Little Earth Native Community.  Minneapolis, MN.  April 2019.

 

“Why Isn’t There Social Media Forgiveness?”  Interview.  Breaking the News.  NBC. KARE-11, Minneapolis:  13 September 2018.  Television.

 

“Remembrance of Things Past Fuels Recent Run of Reboots, Relaunches, Remakes.” Interview with Ross Raihala.  Pioneer Press.  21 April 2018.    

 

“How To Protect Your Personal Info on Facebook.”  Interview.  Breaking the News.  NBC. KARE-11, Minneapolis:  21 March 2018.  Television.

 

“Post Emmys Cameo, Spicer Says He Regrets Battles Over Trump’s Inauguration Size.”Interview.  Breaking the News.  NBC.  KARE-11, Minneapolis: 18 September 2017.Television.

“Breaking Down the Election Speeches.” Live On-Air Interview.  KARE-11 Evening News. NBC.  KARE-11, Minneapolis: 9 November 2016.  Television.

“How do Those Political Speeches Come to Life?” Interview.  Breaking the News.  NBC. KARE-11, Minneaoplis: 27 July 2016.  Television.

 

“What is Plagiarism?” Interview.  Breaking the News.  NBC.  KARE-11, Minneapolis: 20 July 2016.   Television.

.

Art Exhibitions:
Juried, Curated, and Grant-Funded

 

“Cellular Home Invasion II.”  Solo Museum Exhibition.  With Allision Baker.  Gallery 610. Menomonie, WI.  April 2020.

 

“Medical Unreliability and Sick Girl Theory.”  Curated Cross-Cultural Art Exchange.  With Allison Baker, the Institute for Digital Humanity, and the Institute
    for Aesthetic Advocacy.  St. Cloud Zine Fest.  St. Cloud, MN.  February 2020.

 

“Sad Girls and Hopeful Women.”  Curated Cross-Cultural Art Exchange.  With Allison Baker, the Institute for Digital Humanity, and the Institute for Aesthetic
     Advocacy.  Twin Cities Zine Fest.  Minneapolis, MN.  September 2020.

 

“Cellular Home Invasion.”  Solo Museum Exhibition.  Czong Institute for ContemporaryArt.  Seoul, South Korea.  May 2019.

“Sad Girls and Hopeful Women.”  Curated Cross-Cultural Art Exchange.  With Allison Baker, the Institute for Digital Humanity, and the Institute for Aesthetic
      Advocacy.  Hamline University Open Studios.  St. Paul, MN.  December 2019.

 

“Feminist Aesthetic Criticism.”  With Allison Baker.  Video Installation.  Bad Video Art Festival.  Moscow, Russia.  July 2018.
 

“The Institute for Aesthetic Advocacy.”  With Allison Baker.  Video Installation.  Pop’s Movie Night.  Detroit, MI.  August 2018.

“Scientific Home Invasion.”  With Allison Baker.  Installation.  Pop’s Packing.  Detroit, MI. June 2018.

 

“Sonance: An Interdisciplinary Discussion Concerning the Affects of Human Noise on Other

     Animals.”  Sound Performance and Art Residency.  With Josh Gumiela and Matt Sumera. University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. 
     Minneapolis, MN.  November 2017.

“Love Everlasting,” invited multimedia performance, with Michael Gallope, Jason McGrath, Matt Sumera, and Travis Workman, Italian Film Society of
     Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN, February 2016. 

“dronesTruck: Operation Scarewaves,” Grant-funded multimedia installation, Saint Paul, MN.  October 2015.

“Endlessly Repeating Endlessly,” juried multimedia performance, with Michael Gallope, Josh Gumiela, Jason McGrath, Matt Sumera, and Travis Workman, 
     Northern Lights arts festival, Minneapolis, MN, June 2015. 
 

“dronesTruck,” Juried multimedia installation, with Josh Gumiela, Hamline-Midway Arts Festival, St. Paul, MN, June 2015.


 

Conference Presentations, Invited Talks, and Competitive Workshops
 

“What Would Jesus Program?”  Rhetoric Society of America.  Portland, OR.  May 2020.

 

“Cellular Home Invasion: Public Art As Rhetorical Intervention in Scientific Debates On EMF Health Effects.”  With Allison Baker and the Institute for
     Aesthetic Advocacy.  Portland, OR.  May 2020.

“Make Them Bake Cake?  In the Wake of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Which Religious Activities Are Protected Expression Under the First Amendment and
     Protected from Discrimination Laws?”  With Tom Freeman and Daniel Schneider.  Midwest Business Administrative Association/Midwest Academy of
     Legal Studies in Business Joint Conference.  Chicago, IL.  March 2020.

“Racist Robots: A Visual Primer on Understanding Algorithmic Bias.”  With Tom Freeman and Dan Schneider.  Midwest Business Administrative
     Association/Midwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business Joint Conference.  Chicago, IL.  March 2020.

“Rhetoric Versus the Robots II: The Ethics of Algorithmic Unreliability.”  International Society for the Study of Narrative.  New Orleans, LA.  March 2020.

 

“The Right to Speak, Bake, or Film…or Not…Which Activities are Protected Expression Under the First Amendment?” With Thomas Freeman.  Huber Hurst
     Research Seminar in Business Law and Ethics.  Gainsville, FL.  January 2020.

“Rhetoric Versus the Robots: Mapping the Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Algorithmic Discrimination.”   Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and
     Society at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.  Bloomington, IN.  November 2019.

“Privacy 3.0: Using Narrative Theory to Navigate Legal, Corporate, and Community Debates on Algorithmic Ethics.”  With Thomas Freeman.  Law and
     Ethics of Big Data Conference at Washington and Lee School of Law.  Lexington, VA.  April 2019.

“Unsound Methods?” Panel and Multimedia Performance, with Cory Holding, Matt Sumera, Josh Gumiela, and Allison Baker, Rhetoric Society of America,
     Minneapolis, MN, May 2018.


Sound Studies, Workshop, Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute, Bloomington, IN, May 2017.

 

“Shouting Fire: Originalism and Antonin Scalia,” Jiggery-Pokery and Applesauce? The Impact and Legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia, Hamline University  
     Center for Justice and Law, Saint Paul, MN, February 2016.

“#Objectivity: Unlikable Narrative Justice,” Beyond Ferguson: Critical Conversations, Hamline University, Saint Paul, MN, January 2015.

 

“Campaign Narrative, The End: A New Story for the Narrative Model of Rhetorical Agency,” Rhetoric Society of America, San Antonio, TX, May 2014.
 

“The New New Journalism: The Post-Postmodern Aesthetics of Narrative As Rhetoric,” The International Society for the Study of Narrative, Boston, MA,
     March 2014.

Rogue Publics, Workshop, Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute, Lawrence KS, June 2013.

“Audience 3.0: A New Rhetorical Ethics (and Aesthetics) for a Post-Remix Era,” Rhetoric Society of America, Philadelphia, PA, May 2012.

 

“The Gentle Art of Accepting Enemies: New Media and the Rhetorical Aesthetics of Audience Exclusion,” The International Society for the Study of
     Narrative, St. Louis, MO, April 2011.

“Playing Out Remix,” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Louisville, KY, March 2010.

“End the Gaffe (And How Narrative Theory Let’s Us Do It),” The International Society for The Study of Narrative, Birmingham, UK, June 2009.

“2008: The Year We Re-Made Contact (or, Why Did Postmodernism End?)," Project Narrative Presents: Prophets in Their Own Century, Columbus, OH,
     January 2009.
 

“I’m Not There Anymore: The Return of Identity in the Post-Remix Age,” Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition, Louisville, KY, October
     2008.

 “Ethos in a Remediated Age: Context, Character, and Community,” Rhetoric Society of America, Seattle, WA, May 2008.

 

“Evaluating the ‘Narrative Turn’” Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum, Columbus, OH, April 2007.

 

“Shouting ‘Fire’ in the Writing Classroom: Rhetoric, Law, and Composition,” Conference on College Composition and Communication, New York, NY, March
     2007.

“‘Alive and well and living in Washington’: Narrativity, Casebook Logic, and Legal Pedagogy,” The International Society for the Study of Narrative,
     Washington, D.C., March 2007.

“The Rhetoric of Narrative--or, maybe, ‘The Narrative of Narrative,’” Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition, Louisville, KY, October
     2006.

“OurSpace: Resituating Civic Literacy in the University Curriculum,” LiteracyStudies@OSU, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, March 30, 2007.

 

“The Rhetoric of ‘Rhetoric’ in Rhetoric and Political Science,” Rhetoric Society of America, Memphis, TN, May 2006.

 

“New Media, New Curricula,” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, IL, April 2006.

 

“The ‘Dean Scream’ Didn’t Happen (And How it Did),” American Popular Culture Association, Atlanta, GA, April 2006.

 

“Narrative Temporality in News Stories,” The International Society for the Study of Narrative, Ottawa, Canada, April 2006.

 

“Finding Authorization to ‘lance the boil’: Context, Content, and Free Speech Zones,” Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities,
     Syracuse, NY, March 2006.

“’But…This is a Good Graph’: What a Political Science Classroom (and the Spanish- American War) Can Tell us About Interdisciplinarity, Grad Students, and
     the Rhetoric of Rhetoric (and Vice Versa),” EGO Spring Graduate Colloquium, Columbus, OH, May 2005.

“Is It Something or Nothing?  Narratologically Situating the Music of John Zorn’s Naked City,” Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum, Columbus, OH,
     April 2004.

 

Selected Grants, Awards, and Honors
 

March 2019        Provost Award for Community Outreach (North Central University)

 

March 2019        Minnesota Department of Health Grant

               

May 2017            Environmental Sustainability Grant (Hamline University)

 

April 2017           Center for Law and Justice Grant (Hamline University)

 

May 2015             Hanna Grant (Hamline University)

 

May 2014             Hanna and Humanities Grants (Hamline University)

 

May 2013             Hanna and Humanities Grants (Hamline University)
 

May 2006             Vera Carter Cooley Award (outstanding teaching of First Year Writing)
 

May 2003             Sheldon Sacks Award for Narrative Theory Research, Ohio State University
 

May 2001             Graduate Fellow, Department of English, Ohio State University

 

Professional Service


North Central University
Director of English, Communications, and Digital Media, 2019-
Curricular Design Committee, "God and Science," 2019
Executive Director, Institute for Digital Humanity, 2018-
Job Search Committee Chair, Assistant Professor of English, 2018
IRB Committee, 2018-
Cultural Diversity Committee, 2018-
Faculty Development Committee, 2018-

Hamline University:

Midway Murals Arts Collaboration Committee, 2016-2017

Co-Organizer, English Majors Conference for the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities,

St Paul, MN, April 2017

Faculty Institutional Relations Committee, Junior Faculty Representative, 2013-2016

Job Search Committee, Assistant Professor of English, 2016

Job Search Committee, Visiting Professor of English, 2015

Dean’s Office Task Force on Interdisciplinarity, 2014-15

Job Search Committee, Assistant Professor of Digital Media Arts, 2014

Committee to Develop “Professional Writing & Rhetoric” Minor and Concentration, 2012-15

Co-Organizer, English Majors Conference for the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities,

St Paul, MN, April 2013

Experiential Learning Working Group, 2012-2013

Juror, Summer Collaborative Research Grants, 2012

Job Search Committee, Assistant Professor of Digital Media Arts, 2012
Co-Organizer, “Amassed Medias,” English Majors Conference for the Associated Colleges of
                    the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, April 2012

Faculty Advisor, Digital Media Club, 2012


Ohio State University:
President’s Council on Sustainability, 2008-2009
Graduate Studies Committee, Elected Representative, 2006-2008

Graduate Studies Sub-Committee on Curricular Revision to Theory & Methods Course, 2006

Rhetoric and Composition Studies Committee on Revision to Rhetoric Ph.D. Exam, 2007
Graduate Student Peer Mentor, 2007