Carrie Rentschler

Prof. Carrie RentschlerAssociate Professor 
William Dawson Scholar of Feminist Media Studies (2010-2020)

The Feminist SNAP Archive


Professor Rentschler’s research examines feminist movement activism, social media, gender violence, technology studies, and the politics of care and witnessing. Her book project, Proximate Agency: Feminist Activism and the Redefinition of the Bystander, analyzes how the bystander has become an agent of feminist and anti-racist social change. Her other current research examines feminist social media activism, student activism against gender violence, and the quantified self in relation to diabetes technology. She is a lead researcher on a major SSHRC Partnership Grant about responses to gender violence on university campuses, and affiliate faculty member of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies.

Professor Rentschler’s research receives funding support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Fonds Québécoise de la Recherche sur la Société et Culture, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Media@McGill, the William Dawson Scholar fund and grants from McGill University.


Professor Rentschler teaches undergraduate courses on feminist media studies, affect theory, and media activism. Her graduate seminars examine emergent media, the politics of dissent, media studies of affect, spectatorship and mediated witnessing, new forms of social collectivity, feminist media studies, feminist theories and methods, and cultural studies approaches to media research. She supervises graduate students and postdoctoral scholars across these research areas, and regularly accepts 1-2 MA and/or PhD graduate students/year in the Communication Studies graduate program.

Select Publications


Girlhood and the Politics of Place, with co-editor Claudia Mitchell (New York: Berghahn Press), 2016.

Second Wounds: Victims’ Rights and the Media in the U.S. (Durham, NC: Duke University Press), 2011.

Journal Issues

“Doing Feminism: Event, Archive, Techné.” Co-editor with Samantha Thrift, Feminist Theory, 16:3 (2015).

“Cultural Studies and the Re-Description of Girlhood in Crisis.” Co-editor with Claudia Mitchell, Girlhood Studies 7:1 (2014).


“Transmitting Insulin: The Design, Look and Performance of Insulin Delivery Devices as Communication Technologies” (co-authored with Benjamin Nothwehr), Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 7:1 (2021), 1-36.

“Feminist Protocols: Auditing Urban Infrastructures and Reporting Gender Violence in the City,” Roundtable contribution on urban porosity in Mediapolis: A Journal of Cities and Culture, 5:1 (2020). Special section edited by Sabine Haenni. 

“Activist Media and Distributional Aesthetics in the City,” Roundtable contribution on urban porosity in Mediapolis: A Journal of Cities and Culture, 5:1 (2020). Special section edited by Sabine Haenni. 

“Historicizing Student Activism against Rape Culture on Campus: A Case Study of McGill University” (with Arianne Kent and Ayesha Vemuri), Proceedings for the Canadian Symposium on Sexual Violence in Post-Secondary Education Institutions (2019): 78-82.

“#MeToo and Student Activism against Sexual Violence,” Communication, Culture & Critique Special Forum “#MeToo: Sexual Harassment in Academe,” 11 (2018): 503-507.

“Bystander Intervention, Social Media Testimony and the Anti-Carceral Politics of Care,” Feminist Media Studies, special issue “Affective Encounters” 17:4 (2017): 565-584. 

“Filmic Witness to the 1964 Kitty Genovese Murder," Urban History 43:4 (2016) special issue “Visual Culture and Urban History."

“Doing Feminism in the Network: Networked Laughter and the Binders Full of Women Meme,” co-authored with Samantha Thrift, Feminist Theory 16(3), 2015, 329-359.

“Rape Culture and the Feminist Politics of Social Media," Girlhood Studies 7:1 (2014), 65-82.

“Distributed Activism: Domestic Violence and Feminist Media Infrastructure in the Fax Age,” Communication, Culture & Critique 8:2 (2014), 182-198.

“#safetytipsforladies: Feminist Twitter Takedowns of Victim Blaming,” Feminist Media Studies 15:2 (2014), 353-356.

“On S’En Câlisse, La Loi Speciale: The Music Festival that Wasn’t,” Wi: Journal of Mobile Media, (2012).

“An Urban Physiognomy of the 1964 Kitty Genovese Murder,” Space & Culture 14:3 (2011), 310-329.

“The Physiognomic Turn,” International Journal of Communication 4 (2010), 1-6.

“Trauma Training and the Reparative Work of Journalism,” Cultural Studies 24:4 (2010), 447-477.

Book Chapters

“Mediating Responsibility: Visualizing Bystander Participation in Sexual Violence” in Law and the Visible, edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey (University of Massachusetts Press, 2021), 65-92.

“Making Culture and Doing Feminism.” Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Feminism, Routledge, co-edited by Tasha Oren and Andrea Press (2019).

“Culture is a Weapon: The Digital Media Activism of Third World Majority.” In Thenmozhi Soundararajan and Kara Keeling, eds. From Third Cinema to Media Justice: Third World Majority and the Promise of Third Cinema. Scalar book and digital archive (2019).

“Hollaback: Harassment Prevention Apps and Networked Witnessing.” In Appified, co-edited by Jeremy Morris and Sarah Murray, University of Michigan Press (2018), 136-146.

“Affect.” In Keywords in Media Studies, New York University Press, co-edited by Jonathan Gray and Laurie Ouelette (2017), 12-14. 

“The Significance of Place in Girlhood Studies” (co-authored with Claudia Mitchell). In Girlhood and the Politics of Place, ed. Claudia Mitchell and Carrie Rentschler. Berghahn Press (2016), 1-18.

“Technologies of Bystanding: Learning to See Like a Bystander.” In Shaping Inquiry in Culture, Communication and Media Studies, ed. Sharrona Pearl. Routledge (2015), 15-40.

​“From Danger to Trauma: Affective Labor and the Journalistic Discourse of Witness.” In Media Witnessing: Testimony in the Age of Mass Communication, ed. Paul Frosh and Amit Pinchevski.  Palgrave Macmillan (2009), 152-175.

Other Publications

Supporting the Whole Campus Community: Working with People Who Have Caused Harm, Practitioner tool co-authored by Anderson, L., Avelar, C., Cook, A., Hagen, E., Mather, G., Mendoza, J., Rentschler, C., Rico, K., Robertson, L., & Wolgemuth, S. (2021). Courage to Act: Addressing and Preventing Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions in Canada.

Creating Media Tools to Address Campus Rape Culture: A Curriculum Guide. (2020), with co-authors Shanly Dixon, Eric Craven, and Jennifer Drummond. A handbook for teaching developed for CEGEP courses. Funded through SSHRC PDG “Bridging with STEAM/M” and adopted for use at Vanier College and Dawson College, Montreal.

“Creating Media Tools to Address Campus Rape Culture” (2020). Podcast with Eric Craven, Director of Digital Literacy Programs, Atwater Library, Montreal. Forthcoming at

“Some Guidelines and Principles of Survivor-Centred Research: A Toolkit” (2020), with co-authors Arianne Kent, Ayesha Vemuri, and Benjamin Nothwehr. Published with the support of SSHRC-funded IMPACTS: Collaborations to Address Rape Culture on Campus.

“Toolkit: Principles and Tips for Achieving Ethical Relationships of Collaboration in Researching Sexual Violence” (2020), primary author Ayesha Vemuri. Published with the support of SSHRC-funded IMPACTS: Collaborations to Address Rape Culture on Campus.

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