Alyson Farzad-Phillips

Alyson Farzad-Phillips

Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

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Professor Alyson Farzad-Phillips is a justice-oriented scholar who rhetorically analyzes anti-racist, feminist, and intersectional forms of social change and activism. Recently, she studies college student protest rhetorics, particularly in relation to race, place/space, and public memory. Her latest project focuses on how students leverage counter-memory to shape the spaces and places on campus towards anti-racist ends.

Professor Farzad-Phillips has specialized in service-learning, civic engagement, and diversity & inclusion practices. She previously worked as a diversity practitioner at Vanderbilt University, where she developed her mentoring skillset, critical knowledge of diverse populations, and inclusive practices both in and outside the classroom. At the University of Maryland, she designed an approach to teaching public speaking that encouraged democratic participation by asking students to partner with community organizations and solve local social issues. At Furman, she plans to leverage her past experiences and expertise to create high-impact learning experiences, such as CEL courses and May X and/or Study Away opportunities. Overall, she hopes students leave her classes with the ability to draw deeper connections, write and speak with more confidence, and actively challenge systems of inequality.

Alyson has published in journals such as Women Studies in Communication, Southern Communication Journal, and Communication Teacher. She has taught courses such as Communication & Gender and Strategic Discourse. At Furman, she teaches public speaking and rhetorical criticism.

Alyson Farzad-Phillips joined the Furman Communication Studies faculty in Fall 2021. Prior to this, she completed her doctoral research in Rhetoric and Political Culture at the University of Maryland.

Honors & Awards

  • Feminist Scholar of the Year, Organization for Research on Women and Communication (ORWAC), 2021
  • Outstanding Graduate Assistant, University of Maryland, 2018
  • Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Maryland Teaching and Learning Transformation Center, 2019-2020
  • Do Good Faculty Fellow, University of Maryland Do Good Institute, 2017–2019
  • African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities (AADHum) Scholar, University of Maryland, 2017-2018.


  • M.A. in Communication, University of Maryland, 2019
  • M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration, Vanderbilt University, 2016
  • B.A. in Communication, University of Georgia, 2013
  • B.A. in Journalism, University of Georgia, 2013.

Research Interests

  • Activism and social justice
  • Race and anti-racism
  • Place/space
  • Public memory
  • Public address


  • Drew Ashby-King, Jeannette Iannacone, Victoria Ledford, Alyson Farzad-Phillips, Matthew Salzano, and Lindsey Anderson (2021). Expanding and Constraining Critical Communication Pedagogy in the Introductory Communication Course: A Critique of Assessment Rubrics, Communication Teacher, DOI 10.1080/17404622.2021.1975789
  • Alyson Farzad-Phillips (2020). Huddles or Hurdles? Spatial Barriers to Collective Gathering in the Aftermath of the Women’s March, Women's Studies in Communication, 43:3, 247-270, DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2020.1747127