Ailea Merriam-Pigg

Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture


she/her/hers, they/their/theirs


6164 Vilas Hall

At The Heart Of Gold


“Casting as a Rhetorical Act: Color-Purposeful Casting and Hamilton’s Anti-White Casting Call”; in Rise Up: The Revolutionary Rhetoric of Hamilton, 2022

Metagaming Attention: Defining the Metagame Through the Economy of Attention on Twitch; Popular Culture Studies Journal, 2021

From Applied Research to Participatory Action, Part I: Beyond the “Bucket Theory” of Community-Based Leadership; Practicing Anthropology, 2021

(Spanish Version) De la Investigación Aplicada a la Acción Participativa, Parte I : Más Allá de la “teorÍa del Balde” del Liderazgo Comunitario; Practicing Anthropology, 2021

Driver Picks the Music. Shotgun Shuts His Cakehole; In Media Res, 2020

A Study in Hoomanism: Understanding Meaning in Geeky Philanthropy and Cyberanthropology; MA Project (San Jose State University), 2017

“‘No One Mourns the Wicked’: Evolving Perspectives on the Wicked Witch of the West”; in I Want to Do Bad Things: Modern Interpretations of Evil, 2014

Non-Academic articles written for Geek & Sundry are now archived with Nerdist.

Ailea has also written non-academic articles for Nerdy but Flirty.

Courses Taught

CA 100 (Fall 2022, Fall 2021 and Fall 2018, TA)- Introduction to Speech Composition

CA 155 (Spring 2021, TA)- Introduction to Digital Media Production

CA 200 (Fall 2023, Summer 2022 and Fall 2021, Lecturer; Spring 2020, TA)- Introduction to Digital Communication

CA 260 (Fall 2019, TA)- Communication and Human Behavior

CA 262 (Spring 2019, TA)- Theory of Argumentation and Debate

CA 360 (Spring 2023 and Fall 2022, TA)- Introduction to Rhetoric in Politics and Culture

CA 370 (Fall 2020, TA)- Great Speakers and Speeches

CA 371 (Summer 2021, Lecturer; Summer 2020 and 2019, Grader; Spring 2019, Grader)- Communication and Conflict Resolution

CA 373 (Summer 2023, Lecturer; Summer 2020 and 2019, Grader; Spring 2019, Grader)- Intercultural Communication and Rhetoric

Professional Positions

Future Faculty Partner Co-Chair for UW Teaching Academy, UW-Madison (2023-current)

Vice Chair Elect for Game Studies Division, National Communication Association (2022-current)

Student Representative for Disability Issues Caucus, National Communication Association (2022-current)

Graduate Student Representative for Graduate Student Organization, UW-Madison (2022-2023)

Graduate Student Representative for Comic Studies Special Interest Group, Society for Cinema and Media Studies (2020-2023)

Graduate Student Representative for Game Studies Division, National Communication Association (2021-2022)

Secretary, Badger Rhetoric, UW-Madison (2019-2021)

Audio Editor, Playback, UW-Madison (2018-2019)

Awards and Fellowships

Charles Chester Pearce Award (Spring 2023)

Weaver Excellence Award, UW-Madison (Spring 2022)

Lauer/Corbett Award, Rhetoric Society of America (Spring 2022)

Elliott Dissertation Scholarship, UW-Madison (Spring 2022)

Graduate School Fellowship, UW-Madison (Spring 2022)

Top Overall Paper Award, Game Studies Division, National Communication Association (Fall 2021)

Frankenburger Award, UW-Madison (Spring 2021)

Helen K. Herman Award, UW-Madison (Spring 2020)

CommB TA Fellow, UW-Madison (Spring 2020)