Benjamin LeMaster

Assistant Professor
Faculty
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
1205
Asst Professor
Faculty
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
1205

Biography

Benny LeMaster is a critical/cultural communication scholar. In particular, they identify as an intersectionality scholar and pedagogue who studies the performative, discursive, and material constitution of cultural difference as it manifests at both individual and systemic levels. With an intersectional focus on difference, they are interested in the performance of identity, non-normative modes of relationality, and mundane performances of self and/as culture. The methods that they most regularly utilize include both text-centered methods as well as performative and critical field methods such as autoethnography, critical and performance ethnography, critical rhetorical field methods, and arts-based approaches. The critical rhetorics that help shape their intersectional lens include: critical (mixed-)race, queer and queer of color, transfeminist, and critical disability/crip theories. Their teaching and service are co-constitutive of their research, and similarly reflect critical/cultural interests and approaches.

Their pronouns are they/them/their

Education

  • Ph.D. Communication Studies, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 2016
  • M.A. Communication Studies, California State University, Long Beach, 2010
  • B.A. Sociology and Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, California State University, Long Beach, 2007

Google Scholar

Research Interests

LeMaster identifies as an intersectionality scholar and pedagogue who studies the performative, discursive, and material constitution of cultural difference as it manifests at both individual and systemic levels. With an intersectional focus on difference, they are interested in the performance of identity, non-normative modes of relationality, and mundane performances of self and/as culture. The methods that they most regularly utilize include both text-centered methods as well as performative and critical field methods such as autoethnography, critical and performance ethnography, critical rhetorical field methods, and arts-based approaches. The critical rhetorics that help shape their intersectional lens include: critical (mixed-)race, queer and queer of color, transfeminist, and critical disability/crip theories.

Publications

LeMaster, Benny. “(Un)Becoming Ally: Trans at the Intersections of Difference.” Women and Language, vol. 41, no. 1, 2019, pp. 155-158.

LeMaster, Benny. “Embracing Failure: Improvisational Performance as Critical Intercultural Praxis.”
Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, vol. 4, no. 4, 2018, 1-21. http://liminalities.net/14-4/embracing.pdf

LeMaster, Benny. “Transing Dystopia: Constituting Trans Monstrosity, Performing Trans Rage in Torrey Peters’ Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones.Monsters and Monstrosity, special issue of Popular Culture Studies Journal, vol. 6, no. 2-3,
2018, 96-117.

LeMaster, Benny. “Star Gazing: Transing Gender Communication.” Communication Teacher, 2018. doi.org/10.1080/17404622.2018.1468029.

LeMaster, Benny (with Greg Hummel). “We, Bully: On Politicizing Compulsory Bullying.” Communication Education, vol. 67, no. 4, 2018, pp. 520-527.

LeMaster, Benny. “ Notes on Trans Relationality.” QED: A Journal in LGBTQ Worldmaking vol. 4, no. 2, 2017, pp. 84-92.

LeMaster, Benny. “Unlearning the Violence of the Normative.” QED: A Journal in LGBTQ Worldmaking vol. 4, no. 2, 2017, pp. 123-30.

LeMaster, Benny. “Pedagogies of Failure: Queer Communication Pedagogy as Anti-Normative.” Theorizing Critical Intercultural Communication Pedagogy. Eds. A. Atay & S. Toyosaki. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017, 81-96.

LeMaster, Benny. “Discontents of Being and Becoming Fabulous on RuPaul’s Drag U: Queer Criticism in Neoliberal Times.” Women’s Studies in Communication vol. 38, no. 2, 2015, pp. 167-186.

LeMaster, Benny. “On Strike!: A Poetic Autoethnography of Labor.” Departures in Critical Qualitative Research vol. 4, no. 2, 2015, pp. 83-95.

LeMaster, Benny. “Telling Multiracial Tales: An Autoethnography of Coming Out Home.” Qualitative Inquiry vol. 20, no. 1, 2014, pp. 51-60.

LeMaster, Benny. “Circles.” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies vol. 10, no. 2, 2014, n.p.

LeMaster, Benny. “Queer Imag(in)ing: Liminality as Resistance in Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In.” Communication and Cultural/Critical Studies vol. 8, no. 2, 2011, pp. 103-123.

Courses

Summer 2020
Course Number Course Title
COM 692 Research
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
COM 442 Identity, Perf, Human Comm
COM 499 Individualized Instruction
COM 691 Seminar
COM 792 Research
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
COM 442 Identity, Perf, Human Comm
COM 607 Contemporary Rhetorical Method
COM 792 Research
Summer 2019
Course Number Course Title
COM 692 Research
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
COM 323 Comm Approach Popular Culture
COM 442 Identity, Perf, Human Comm
COM 499 Individualized Instruction
COM 690 Reading and Conference
COM 692 Research
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
COM 442 Identity, Perf, Human Comm

Presentations

"Star Gazing: Transing Gender Communication," Feminist and Queer Pedagogies Faculty Workshop. College of Wooster, 2018

Intervening in Body Talk: Body Positivity and Criticality, Project Humanities, ASU, 2019

The Violence of Cissexism," Department of Communication Studies, CSULB, 2017

"Violence and Trans Communities, Department of Communication Studies, CSULB, 2017

Ethics in Community Performance Work, Department of Theatre Arts, CSULB, 2017

"Performance Ethnography and Healing from Trauma, Department of Communication Studies, CSULB, 2016

Reimagining Coming Out, Office of Multicultural Affairs, CSULB, 2016

"Performing Persona," Queer and Trans Rock Camp, Long Beach, CA, 2016

Intersectional Popular Culture, Queer and Trans Rock Camp, Long Beach, CA, 2016

Gender, Communication, and Power, Department of Communication Studies, Mt. San Antonio College, 2016

Remembering 49& more; honoring space, Office of Multicultural Affairs, CSULB, 2016

The Autoethnographic and Praxis-Oriented Ethnographic Approach, Department of Communication Studies, CSULB, 2016

Content Analysis and Feminist Research Methods, Department of Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, CSULB, 2015

Exclusionary Politics and Evolutionary Psychology, interACT Performance Troupe, CSULB, 2015

What Queer is, what Queer does, Queer and Trans Rock Camp, Long Beach, CA, 2015

Making Disney Cast Members, Department of Communication Studies, SIUC, 2014

Embracing the Improvisational," LGBTQ Resource Center, SIUC, 2014

"Religion and Spirituality in Queer Communities, Isnt It Queer, WDBX Community Radio, Carbondale, IL, 2013

Mediating Queer Communities, Isnt It Queer, WDBX Community Radio, Carbondale, IL, 2013

Behind the Scenes of the Disneyland Resort, Department of Communication Studies, SIUC, 2012

Creating Disney Magic, Department of Communication Studies, SIUC, 2011

"Becoming Disney Cast Member, Department of History, Vanguard University, 2011

"Homophobia and Transphobia in Higher Education, interACT Performance Troupe, CSULB, 2011

"Upon our Return: Dialoguing Queer Liberation, Crafting Alliances," Office of Multicultural Affairs, CSULB, 2010

Male Feminisms, Department of Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, CSU Fullerton, 2009

Challenging Definitions of Gender Roles, Sociology Summit, CSULB, 2007

Intersecting Transgender and Gay Male Identities,  Western Regional Conference, Delta Lambda Phi, 2007

Honors/Awards

Top Four Paper, Embracing Failure: Improvisational Performance as Critical Intercultural Praxis," International and Intercultural Communication, WSCA, 2017

Top Four Paper, Performing Temporal Uncertainty: Intersectionality and Queer Temporality," Ethnography Division, NCA, 2016

Top Four Paper, Performing Ambiguity: Intersectionality and Queer Failure, International and Intercultural Communication, NCA, 2016

Top Paper, On the Limits of Possibility: Ontological Ruminations on Difference and Becoming," International and Intercultural Communication Interest Group, WSCA, 2014

Top Four Paper, Becoming Midwest Genderqueer: Queer Performance Criticism in Neoliberal Times," Performance Studies Interest Group, WSCA, 2014

John T. Warren Excellence in Graduate Student Research/Creative Activity, Department of Communication Studies, SIUC, 2014

Top Graduate Research Presentation, Department of Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, SIUC, 2014

Top Four Paper, A Genderqueer Phenomenology," Performance Studies Interest Group, WSCA, 2013

Top Performance, On Strike: An Autoethnographic Performance of Labor," Performance Studies Interest Group, WSCA, 2013

Top Four Paper, Schooling at RuPauls Drag U: The Normalization of Drag and Other Implications for a Queer Feminist Politic," Performance Studies Interest Group, Southern States Communication Association, 2013

Top Performance, The Rain and the Leaves," Performance Studies Interest Group, Southern States Communication Association, 2013

Graduate and Professional Student Council Service Award, Graduate and Professional Student Council, SIUC, 2013

Ronald J. Pelias Graduate Service Award, Department of Communication Studies, SIUC, 2013

Top Four Paper, Talking Back to Queer Theory: Moving Toward an Anti-Racist, Embodied Framework, GLBTQ Communication Studies Division, NCA, 2012

Top Debut Paper, Crafting an Ex-Gay Gender: The (Re)Construction of Community," International and Intercultural Communication, WSCA, 2011

Editorships

Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research, 2014-15

Special Issue Editor

LeMaster, Benny (with Amber Johnson). Unlearning Gender: Toward a Critical Communication Trans Pedagogy. Communication Teacher, forthcoming.

LeMaster, Benny. Queer of Color Criticism and Communication Studies. Kaleidoscope, vol. 14, 2015.

Professional Associations

  • International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
  • National Communication Association (NCA)
  • Western States Communication Association (WSCA)