Dr. Sarah Kornfield

Assistant Professor of Communication
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Sarah Kornfield joined the Department of Communication, where she teaches courses in rhetoric and media studies, in 2015. She previously taught at Wheaton College and Vanderbilt University.

Her research primarily focuses on the rhetorical methods through which gender is performed and constructed in U.S. television.

Areas of expertise

  • Critical research methods — How to interrogate a piece of public culture, working to make sense of how it functions in our society
  • Rhetorical theory — Historical and contemporary understandings of how humans publicly communicate
  • U.S. television culture — The history, industry, narratives and audience perspectives of that magic box in the living rooms of 96.7 percent of American homes
  • Feminist theory — The understanding of how gender functions in society


  • Ph.D., communication arts and sciences and women's studies, The Pennsylvania State University, 2012
  • M.A., communication, Texas A&M University, 2009
  • B.A., communication and English literature, Wheaton College, 2007

Selected Publications

  • “Mass Media Migration: Investigating the Activities, Motivations, and Predictors of Migration Behaviors Across Entertainment Media,” with Drew Shade and Mary Beth Oliver, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, in press
  • “Pregnant Discourse: ‘Having it all’ while Domestic and Disabled,” Women’s Studies in Communication, 2014
  • “The E-man-ci-pation of Jeannie: Feminist Doppelgangers on U.S. Television,” Communication, Culture, and Critique, 2012
  • “Japanese Anime Heroines as Role Models for U.S. Youth: Implications for Cross-cultural Entertainment Effects,” with Srividya Ramasubramanian, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 2012
  • “Cross-Cultural Cross-Dressing: Japanese Graphic Novels Perform Gender in U.S.,” Critical Studies in Media Communication, 2011
  • “I Wish I Could be Like Her: Japanese Anime Heroines as Role Models,” with Srividya Ramasubramanian, Communication Currents, 2012

Outside the college

Outside of her teaching and research, Sarah runs half marathons, cherishes her precious chihuahua, bakes massive chocolate croissants, eats cheese like it comprises its own food group and enjoys life with her beloved husband, Matt, and their son, Jake.

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Dr. Sarah Kornfield

Phone Number616.395.7596

Martha Miller Center 257 Columbia Avenue Holland, MI 49423
Communication Department
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