Caitlin Bruce, PhD

1411 Cathedral of Learning
Virtual Office Hours: Wednesdays 1pm- 2:30pm and by appointment
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PhD, Northwestern University


Associate Professor

Caitlin Bruce's research is in the area of visual studies, affect studies, and critical theory. She is currently investigating the relationships between public art in urban spaces in transition within a transnational milieu. Largely focusing on graffiti and muralism, Bruce argues that such public art creates spaces for encounter between different publics, and between publics and central, peripheral, or marginal spaces. Her research takes her to Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Paris, Perpignan, León Guanajuato, and Mexico City. She is currently working on a manuscript on transnational public art.



Painting Publics: Transnational Graffiti Scenes as Spaces for Encounter,
Temple University Press. March 2019. eISBN: 978-1-4399-1446-5

“River of Words as Space for Encounter: Contested Meaning in Rhetorical Convergence Zones,”
Quarterly Journal of Speech, Published online September 23, 2019.

“Crossing Borders, Building Solidarity: Affective Labor in Shaping Coalitional Murals” (co-authored
with Elise Homan), Women’s Studies in Communication, (2018)

 “Public art, affect, and radical negativity: the wall of daydreaming and man’s inhumanity to man,”
Subjectivity, (2017): 1-19, doi:10.1057/s41286-017-0023-0.

"Challenging National Borders and Local Genre Forms: Declaration of Immigration as Volatile Cultural Text", Public Art Dialogue, 2016. 

"Tour 13: From Precarity to Ephemerality," Geohumanities, 2016.

"“How Philly Moves”: from urban branding to kinesthetic sympathy through an aesthetic of blur", Text and Performance Quarterly, 2016.

“Texturing Space, Emplacing Gender: Claudia Mendez’s “Constructing History, Constructing Identities”, In Conversation and Commentary Forum. Women’s Studies in Communication 39, No. 2 (2016): 147-152, DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2016.1176793 .

“Challenging National Borders and Local Genre Forms: Declaration of Immigration as Volatile Cultural Text”. Public Art Dialogue: Special Issue on Borders and Boundaries, Accepted/Forthcoming.

"Episode III: Enjoy Poverty: An Aesthetic Virus of Political Discomfort." Communication, Culture & Critique (2015). DOI: 10.1111/cccr.12109

"The Balaclava as Affect Generator: Free Pussy Riot Protests and Transnational Iconicity." Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 12, no. 1 (2015): 42-62.

“The Controversy at Rockefeller Center: Phantom Publics, Aesthetic Barbarians” In a special issue of Advances in the History of Rhetoric:
Rhetoric and Its Masses." Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2014.

“Modalities of Publicity: Leon's City of Murals Project” in Inopinatum.
The unexpected impertinence of Urban Creativity, edited by Luca Borriello, Christian Ruggiero, Salerno, Italy: ArtiGraficheBoccia, 2013.

“Public Surfaces Beyond the Great Wall: Communication and Graffiti Culture in China”- Invisible Culture, University of Rochester Electronic Journal- Issue 15, Fall, 2010.

Courses Taught

  • Public Speaking (COMMRC 0520)
  • Seminar in Rhetoric & Culture: The Rhetoric of Space and Place (COMMRC 1103)
  • Visual Rhetoric (COMMRC 1160)
  • Seminar in Rhetoric & Culture: Affect & Rhetoric (COMMRC 3306)
  • Visual Communication