Dr. Katrina M. Powell, PhD, is the founding director of the Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies and a professor of rhetoric and writing in the Department of English at Virginia Tech. She served as director of the Center for Rhetoric in Society at Virginia Tech from 2016-2021 where faculty and graduate students “investigate language use through rhetorical and narrative analysis to understand significant social problems.” She teaches courses in Rhetorics of Social Justice, Feminist Autobiography, and Research Methodologies.
Powell’s research focuses on displacement narratives and the ethical dimensions of archiving those narratives in alternative spaces. Her current project, Resettled: Beginning (Again) in Appalachia, is an oral history collection in which narrators describe their experiences relocating to and within the Appalachian region. Resettled is funded by Voice of Witness. More information about Dr. Powell can be found here.
Dr. Rebecca Hester, PhD is a founder of the Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies and an assistant professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society at Virginia Tech. Her recent research examines contemporary accounts of “biological danger” and the social, political, and scientific implications of preempting, preventing, and eradicating such danger. Her courses at Virginia Tech include “The Foundations of Social Medicine” and “Monsters, Zombies, and Cyborgs.” More information about Dr. Hester can be found here.