Lisa Barca’s research and teaching interests include rhetoric, feminist theory, animal ethics, veganism and animal rights, critical media studies, and the study and practice of mindfulness and meditation. Her writing appears in the peer-reviewed journals Comparative Literature and Critical Discourse Studies, literary anthologies for undergraduates including The Manifesto in Literature and The Literature of War, and popular publications such as Ms. Magazine. Her past academic awards include a Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities, a University of Chicago Franke Institute for the Humanities fellowship, and the Harvard University Extension School Reginald Phelps Prize for Academic Achievement.
Her current research analyzes the intersections of speciesism (the culturally-conditioned idea that other-than-human animals are undeserving of moral consideration) and other forms of discrimination, such as sexism, in news discourse, advertising, and other segments of popular and consumer culture. Her methodology is grounded in critical discourse analysis, an approach that integrates rhetoric, linguistics, and social science in order to examine and critique social inequality as perpetuated in everyday language and media.
Professor Barca earned her Ph.D. in romance languages and literatures from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation mapped the intersections of scientific themes and modernist conceptions of the “sacred” in a selection of nineteenth and twentieth-century poetry and philosophical texts in four languages (Italian, French, German, and English), with special attention to the representation of non-huuman animals. Before specializing in modern poetry, she researched and wrote on theatrical and political treatises by Italian Renaissance women writers.
Before joining Barrett, The Honors College, Professor Barca taught at the University of Chicago, the Maricopa and Pima community colleges, and at ASU on academic writing, world literature, interdisciplinary studies, Italian language and literature, and English as a Second Language. While at Chicago she was a Lecturer and Writing Instructor in the Humanities Core, where she also served as an Assistant Director of the Writing Program.