I joined the University Writing Program in 2018 after completing my PhD in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. My pedagogy centers on questions of racial/social justice, social change, critical media studies, rhetoric, intersectionality, and democratic and civic engagement, all of which is informed by my doctoral training, personal commitments, and scholarship. In my classes, I invite students to challenge their preconceived conceptions of the world by engaging expert and other critical/activist perspectives on the above themes through different modalities of critical thinking, discussion, reading, writing, presentations, reflection, and revision. As such, the readings and texts I assign primarily center the voices and perspectives of BIPOC and other marginalized scholars, authors, and activists as I encourage a classroom space grounded in accountability, humility, empathy, and “rhetorical listening” (Ratcliffe). With these themes and perspectives in mind, students will conduct cross-disciplinary humanities-based research to make informed, critical arguments in written or presentation form while continuously revising their work for improvement and by joining and contributing to academic conversations through integrating credible sources in ethical ways. Together, students and I will consider what it means to live in this unprecedented moment of heightened inequality, inequities, and precarity, mis- and dis-information, intensified restrictions of civil liberties and human rights, and ascendent fascism across the globe… and how one might help bring about a better possible future for all.
Matthew Houdek is a transdisciplinary communication studies critic and theorist whose research and teaching interests include Black studies, rhetorical studies, breathing and suffocation, Black feminist and WoC theory/thought, whiteness studies, temporality, memory studies, critical media studies, intertextuality, abolition, critical university studies, writing studies, epistemologies of the south, decoloniality, political ontology, and more. His essays have appeared in such journals as Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Women’s Studies in Communication, Rhetoric, Politics, & Culture, the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Communication, among others. He is currently working on a book project tentatively titled "Black Breath and End of the World: Abolition, Suffocation, and the Democracy to Come." He lives in Rochester with his wife/partner, Holland, who is a metals artist and assistant professor at Nazareth College.
Matthew Houdek, “In the aftertimes, breathe: Rhetorical technologies of suffocation and an abolitionist praxis of (breathing in) relation.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 108, No. 1 (2022): 48-74
Matthew Houdek and Ersula J. Ore, “Cultivating otherwise worlds and breathable futures,” Rhetoric, Politics & Culture 1, No. 1 (2021): 85-95
Matthew Houdek, “Metaphors to live and die by,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 24, No. 1-2 (2021): 269-290
Matthew Houdek, “Recontextualizing responsibility for justice: The lynching trope, racialized temporalities, and cultivating breathable futures.” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 18, No. 2 (2021): 139-162
Matthew Houdek and Kendall R. Phillips, “Rhetoric and the temporal turn: Race, gender, temporalities.” Introduction to the special issue. Women’s Studies in Communication 43, No. 4 (2020): 369-383
Ersula J. Ore and Matthew Houdek, “Lynching in times of suffocation: Toward a spatiotemporal politics of breathing.” Women’s Studies in Communication 43, No. 4 (2020): 443-458
Matthew Houdek, "Racial sedimentation and the common sense of racialized violence: The case of black church burnings." Quarterly Journal of Speech 104, No. 3 (2018): 279-306
Matthew Houdek, "The imperative of race for rhetorical studies: Toward divesting from disciplinary and institutionalized whiteness." Introduction to the “Race and Rhetoric” forum. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 15, No. 4 (2018): 292-299
In the News
November 9, 2022
RIT’s College of Liberal Arts receives grant to enhance philosophy and communication offerings
RIT’s College of Liberal Arts plans to introduce new and revamped philosophy and communication curricula to help students across the university enhance their expressive and analytic communication skills. This was made possible by a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Teagle Foundation.