Skip to main content

Reed O. Van Schenck

  • Graduate Student


  • B.A. - Wake Forest University, History, Summa Cum Laude
  • M.A. - University of Pittsburgh, Communication and Rhetoric

Areas of Interest

Reactionary rhetoric, digital media, rhetorical materialism, Marxism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, critical whiteness studies



November 6, 2020 - 3:00pm: Agora Virtual Speaker Series: Graduate Student Pre-Conference Presentations Part 2


Reed Van Schenck Awarded Data Fluencies Grant

Reed Van Schenck was selected by the Social Science Research Council to receive a Data Fluencies dissertation grant with funding from the Mellon Institute and Simon Frasier University's Digital Democracies Institute. The Data Fluencies grant provides financial support to dissertation projects which mobilize new knowledge about data, information, and digital technology to foster more just and equitable futures. 

Reed's dissertation in progress, The Reactionary Web: Digital Media and the Reconstitution of White Supremacist Networks, analyzes the decline of the Alt-Right and its reconstruction despite platform governance and content moderation. Their research applies the insights of communication studies and rhetoric to understand how far-right digital networks have adapted to new regulatory mores on the Internet. Studying artifacts like API documentation and terms of service alongside user-generated content, Reed's dissertation breaks new ground in applying communication studies to bridge digital culture with infrastructure.

Reed's research has also been recently published in Media, Culture & Society. "Deplatforming the people" applies media populist theory to analyze the suspension and re-emergence of the Groypers, a white nationalist network based in the United States. On the backdrop of Elon Musk's buyout of Twitter, Reed found that the private ownership model of platform governance disproportionately empowers white male supremacist actors on the Internet.