Julie “Madrone” Kalil Schutten, PhD
Blg COM 16 Rm #349
- Critical Rhetoric
- Environmental Communication
- Gender/Feminist/Queer Studies
Research and teaching interests
My research focuses on the intersections between environmental communication, new social movements and gender/feminist studies. Most recently I have been engaged in projects that explore the participation of extra-human citizens in policy making. My recent article “Internatural Activists and the ‘Blackfish Effect’ Contemplating Captive Orcas’ Protest Rhetoric through a Coherence Frame” looks at the documentary film Blackfish (2013; www.blackfishmovie.com). The film follows Tilikum, a captive SeaWorld prisoner-orca responsible for the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau and two others. Blackfish has had a profound effect on public perceptions of orca captivity creating the “Blackfish Effect.” Our critical analysis of the film engages Plec’s (2013) internatural communication categories of complicity, implication, and coherence. My co-author and I argue that the film illustrates the flawed hierarchy within the binary/dualistic system. In deconstructing a dualism, we must recognize the physical power and actions of captive orcas that could be seen as a form of protest rhetoric. The case example of orcas in captivity as a whole illustrates that regarding orcas as unique actors with intelligible behaviors offers a way of understanding how to listen to the more-than-human world.
Another recent publication project called “‘Killer’ Metaphors and the Wisdom of Captive Orcas” speculates that captive orcas embody three principle metaphors: Prisoner, Activist, and Martyr. These metaphors help us to imagine the kinds of rhetorical thinking necessary for a deeper understanding of the costs of human behavior as well as the potential for creating new visions and modes of witnessing. By witnessing orcas-as-prisoners, humans begin to see marine parks anew, as prisons, understanding their own complicity in the imprisonment of animal activists. Captive orca metaphors help to convey the actions of other-than-humans as rhetorically important and politically motivated.
In past projects that shaped the early years of my career I spent time exploring the tensions experienced by social movements comprised of hidden populations. Much of this research has shaped my theoretical thinking today. The Neo-Pagan movement (specifically contemporary witches) is an illustrative case that I used to explore these tensions.
Beyond theorizing new social movements with hidden populations, the study of Neo-Paganism has implications for the environmental movement. Neo-Paganism intersects within the discourses of spiritual ecofeminism (a blending of the ecology/environmental movement and feminist movement) and environmental communication as it works to illustrate the cyclical connections between humans and other-than-humans, thereby encouraging environmental stewardship ethics.
As a teacher I strongly believe that dialogue leads to awareness and awareness leads to pro-active change by members of society. I am interested in promoting critical reflection, not regurgitation. By allowing a multitude of voices to be heard in the classroom, diversity and learning are strengthened.
- CST 424/524 Gender and Communication
- WGS 410/510 Gendering Nature
- CST 600 Communication Theory
- COM 200 Communication Theory
- COM 301 Race, Gender, in the Media
- CST 111 Fundamentals of Public Speaking
- CST 151 Interpersonal Communication
- CST 312 Interviewing
- CST 321 Nonverbal Communication
- CST 365 Communication in Contemporary Affairs
- CST 370 Rhetorics of Nature and Environmentalism
- CST 424 Gender and Communication
- CST 498C Senior Seminar
Representative research and creative activity
Julie “Madrone” Kalil Schutten & Caitlyn Burford (2017). “Killer” Metaphors and the Wisdom of Captive Orcas, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 47:3, 257-263, DOI: 10.1080/02773945.2017.1309911
Burford, C. and Schutten, J.K. (2017). Internatural Activists and the “Blackfish Effect”: Contemplating Captive Orcas’ Protest Rhetoric through a Coherence Frame. Frontiers in Communication. 1:16. doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2016.00016
Rich, C., Schutten, J. K., & Rogers, R. A. (2012). ‘Don’t Drop the Soap’: Organizing Sexualities in the Repeal of the U.S. Military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy. Communication Monographs, 79, 269-291.
Schutten, J. K. & Rogers, R. A. (2011). Magick as an alternative symbolic: Enacting transhuman dialogue. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, 5, 261-280.
Schutten, J. K. (2011). Environmental sustainability: Witnessing, embodiment and the grotesque. Journal of Advanced Composition, 31, 338-349.
Schutten, J.K. (2010). Environmental sustainability: Witnessing, embodiment and the grotesque. Journal of Advanced Composition (in press).
Endres, D., Callister, D.C., Garrison, A., Senda-Cook, S., & Schutten, J.K. (2009). Step what up? Rhetorical framing and dialectical tensions in Salt Lake City’s Step It Up events. In D. Endres, L. Sprain, and T.R. Peterson (Eds.) Social movement to address climate change: Local steps for global action (pp. 117-146). Amherst, NY: Cambria Press.
Sprain, L., Peterson, N., Vickery, M., & Schutten, J.K. (2009). Environmentalism 2.0: New Forms of social activism. In D. Endres, L. Sprain, and T.R. Peterson (Eds.) Social movement to address climate change: Local steps for global action (pp. 117-146). Amherst, NY: Cambria Press.
Schutten, J. K. (2008). Chewing on the Grizzly Man: Getting to the meat of the matter. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, 2, 193-211.
Schutten, J. K. (2008). Coming out of the coven: Contemporary witches, hidden populations, and new social movements. Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller.
Schutten, J. K. (2007). Environment /human dialogics: Toward a queering of nature. In L.S. Volkening, D. Wolfe, E. Plec, W. Griswold & K. DeLuca (Eds.). Proceedings of the 8th biennial conference on communication and the environment: Wilderness, advocacy, & the media (pp. 116-127). Athens, GA: Department of Speech Communication, University of Georgia.
Schutten, J. K. (2006). Invoking Practical Magic: New social movements, hidden populations and the public screen. Western Journal of Communication, 4, 331-354.
Rogers, R. A. & Schutten, J. K. (2004). The gender of water and the pleasure of alienation: A critical analysis of visiting Hoover Dam. The Communication Review, 7, 259-283.
Links of interest
Ecofeminist activist, Starhawk’s “Tangled Web”
Environmental Communication Network
“Our Actions Will Define Us”
Step it Up! Reduce Carbon Emissions 80% by 2050
Environmental Communication Interest Group WSCA
PhD, University of Utah, 2007
MA, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1999
BA, Northern Arizona University, 1997