Carnegie Mellon University

Calvin Pollak

Calvin Pollak

Ph.D. Student

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


I hold a BA in Professional Writing and Philosophy from CMU. My research focuses on public discourse about national security policy, government transparency, and major news controversies. In my dissertation, I am investigating how debates over the National Security Agency’s (NSA) data collection policies shifted in response to Edward Snowden’s leaks of secret NSA documents in 2013. To do so, I am working with large collections of press releases and commentaries published by nonprofit organizations, think-tanks, and government agencies before and after Snowden's leaks. As I apply automatic coding, statistics, and humanistic close reading to these texts, I am studying how to combine Digital Humanities methods with more traditional approaches from Rhetoric and Discourse Analysis.