Carnegie Mellon University

Richard Branscomb

Richard Branscomb

Ph.D. Student

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Area of Study

PhD in Rhetoric


My scholarship centers on how rhetors construct and propagate conspiratorial narratives to form coalitions and, in severe cases, rationalize extremist violence. My dissertation project traces the narrativized links between white supremacism, gun rights advocacy, and far-right vigilantism to examine the rhetorical formation of political factions within an ostensibly democratic polity. The cases of this dissertation bring together historical and digital archives to analyze the discourses of far-right civilian militias in the 1990s, the National Rifle Association of America’s contemporary political advertising, and the manifestos of white supremacist terrorists in the twenty-first century. Overall, this work examines the digital and embodied dynamics of violent world-building, and it explores rhetorical possibilities of mitigating epistemic divisions.

I hold an M.A. in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric & Composition from the University of Utah and a B.A. in English from Utah Valley University.

Publications and Conference Presentations