Director of Undergraduate Studies
Isaac West is Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Director of Undergraduate Studies. He is also affiliate faculty with the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Professor West’s research focuses primarily on legal rhetorics and their role in constituting us as citizens of states, nations, and the world. His first book, Transforming Citizenships: Transgender Articulations of the Law (NYU Press, 2014), engages trans advocacy and activism to demonstrate how these citizenship claims can queer legal norms and conventions. Transforming Citizenships was a finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies. Professor West has also written related essays about centrality of gender and sexuality to our understanding of citizenship, including how bakers have employed religious freedom as a justification for not treating everyone equally, the ethics and appropriateness of employing “like race” analogies in queer advocacy, and how coming out narratives are produced and mean different things to different audiences.
Professor West is currently working on two major projects. The first project is a book-length study of true crime titled The Serial Effect: True Crime and Contemporary American Culture. The Serial Effect historicizes current practices in true crime entertainment to trace the evolution of its recurrent tropes and to identify emergent structures of feeling about criminal justice in the United States. As for the second project, Professor West is the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Queer Studies and Communication, which will be composed of 120+ essay-length entries outlining the past, present, and future of these fields of study. For more information on the encyclopedia, please consult the following call for papers. If you are interested in contributing to the volume, please contact Professor West directly via email.