Dr. Rhana Gittens Wheeler headshot

Oglethorpe Faculty

Rhana Gittens Wheeler

Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Director of the Rich Foundation Urban Leadership Program
Program Coordinator: African American Studies
Chief Inclusive Excellence Officer
Office: Robinson 102
[email protected]

B.S., Journalism, University of Florida
M.B.A., University of Florida
Ph.D., Communication, Georgia State University

Rhana Gittens Wheeler is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Oglethorpe University. Originally from Lauderdale Lakes, Florida she earned her bachelors in journalism and MBA from University of Florida before completing her Ph.D. at Georgia State University. She is a critical rhetoric and critical cultural studies scholar who researches identity, public memory, space and place, and media representation. She has presented her research with the National Communication Association, National Council for Black Studies, and Rhetoric Society of America conferences.

Honors and Awards:

  • Strategic Initiative Grant. Oglethorpe University, 2023
  • Provost’s Dissertation Fellowship. Georgia State University, 2020
  • Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies. Department of Communication Georgia State University, 2019
  • Graduate Assistantship, Writing Across the Curriculum Consultant, 2018-2019
  • Graduate Assistantship, Department of Communication Georgia State University, 2016-2020
  • National Communication Association Doctoral Honors Seminar, Bowling Green State University. Bowling Green, OH, 2017


  • Gittens, R. A. (2018). “What If I Am a Woman?”: Black Feminist Rhetorical Strategies of Intersectional Identification and Resistance in Maria Stewart’s Texts. Southern Communication Journal, 83(4), 1–12.
  • Handley, D.G., Gallagher, V., DeVasto, D., Mridula, M. & Gittens, R.A. (2020). “Unearthing deep roots: Tapping rhetoric’s generative power for community and urban development projects,” The Review of Communication, 20(2), 135-143.
  • Gittens, R.A. (2021) “Atlanta’s Pink Trap House: Reimagining the Black Public Sphere as an Aesthetic Community,” Theory and Events Journal.

Books under contract:
“Cultural Gentrification of the Black Mecca.” (University Press of Mississippi)

Conference Presentations: 

  • “Cultural Gentrification of the Civil Rights Movement: Evaluating the Romantic Lyrics over a Blue Beat in Atlanta’s Public Space.” 2023 National Council for Black Studies Conference (March 2023). Gainesville, FL
  • “Calling Out ‘Jim Crow 2.0’: Eloquent Rage as Black Feminist Rhetorical Response to White Rage.” 2021 National Communication Association 107th Annual Convention (November 2021). Seattle, WA
  • “Stacey Abrams and Afrofuturist Aesthetic Space: Wakanda Forever Trope as a Black Symbolic Response to Denied Place.” 2019 National Communication Association 105th Annual Convention (November 2019). Baltimore, MD
  • “Atlanta’s Pink Trap House: Reimagining the Black Public Sphere as an Aesthetic Community.” 2018 National Communication Association 105th Annual Convention (November 2018). Salt Lake City, UT.
  • “Ellisonian Rhetoric: A Postcolonial Theory of Symbolic Action.” 2018 Rhetoric Society of America Conference (May 2018). Minneapolis, MN
  • “<Property>, “Citizenship”, and the Political Sphere: Ideographs Manufacturing Consent for White Racial Domination of Atlanta.” National Council for Black Studies Conference 2018 (March 2018). Atlanta, GA
  • “What if I Am a Woman?” Black Feminist Rhetorical Strategies for Identity and Resistance in Maria W. Stewart’s Texts. National Communication Association 103rd Annual Convention (November 2017). Dallas, TX.

Courses Taught:

  • COM 120 – Introduction to Media Studies
  • COM/ART/WGS 460 – Space, Place, and Public Memory
  • COM 480 – Persuasion and Social Movements
  • COM/AAS 340 – African American Discourses and Criticism