David Powers Corwin

David Powers Corwin

David Powers Corwin

Assistant Professor

LGBTQ+ Studies; friendship studies; television studies; trauma rhetoric; Appalachian Studies; gender and sexuality in higher education

David is an assistant professor in the School of Integrative Studies and teaches courses for Women and Gender Studies, the Composition program, and the Honors College. Most of their courses focus on gender and sexuality in popular culture, friendship studies, rhetoric, and LGBTQ+ studies. They also strive to make any course they teach writing intensive and use principles from the field of writing and rhetoric in their assignment design, feedback, and overall pedagogy. 

David holds a B.A. in English and Humanities from Milligan University, and an MAIS in Women and Gender Studies, an MA in English literature, and a Ph.D. in Writing and Rhetoric--all from Mason. They also hold a graduate certificate in Qualitative Research Methods from Mason where they have coursework in case study, self-study, and grounded theory. 

They began at Mason in 2013 and before they joined SIS, they had a variety of roles in Women and Gender Studies. They began as the graduate assistant for the Women and Gender Studies Center. In addition to this role, they served in LGBTQ Resources from 2014-2015 as a graduate assistant . From 2016-2023, they served as program coordinator, associate director, and director of undergraduate programs for Women and Gender Studies. Across these roles, they led the effort to develop the minor in LGBTQ Studies, were part of the team that developed the Integrative Studies major concentration in Women and Gender Studies, moved WMST 208: Introduction to LGBTQ Studies to the Mason Core, developed a new peer to peer student leadership model, and co-developed with students the Intersectionality 101 training module. 

They were the 2017 winner of the Mary Roper Award a co-recipient of the the  University's Patriot Pathbreakers Award (with the COVID-19 Emergency Fund Team), a 2019 recipient of University Life's Outstanding Service Award and in 2022 was the recipient of the Spirit of the King Faculty Award. Also, in 2022, an award was named in their honor for their teaching and curriculum efforts in LGBTQ Studies, the Dr. David Powers Corwin Award for Teaching and Scholarship.


Current Research

Their current research focuses on the following:

  • an ongoing grounded theory study of traumatic friendship experiences
  • rhetorics of trauma and friendships in the Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford hearing and media coverage 
  • masculinity and Christian hegemony in Elizabeth Gaskell's Ruth
  • the rhetoric of demagoguery in the Michael Kimmel sexual harassment allegation and its media coverage 
  • sexuality and friendships in Michael Cunningham's novels
  • the scholarship of teaching and learning as it relates to the teaching of friendships, rhetoric, feminist pedagogy, and self-study  

Selected Publications

Lafrance, Michelle; Caravella, Elizabeth; Polk, Thomas; Wooton, Lacey; Johnson, Sarah; Russo, Robyn; Corwin, David; “Fingerprinting Feminist Empirical  Methodologies: An Analysis of Research Trends in Four Composition Journals between 2007 and  2016,” College Composition and Communication vol 72, no 4, 2021. 

Powers Corwin, David, and Angela Hattery. “Taking It Virtual: A Model for Successful Co-Curricular Student Experiences in Women and Gender Studies During COVID-19.” About Campus, vol. 27, no. 2, May 2022, pp. 13–17

Powers Corwin, David, Klemmer, Casey and Westermeyer, Victoria, “Peer to Peer Leadership Models in Women and Gender Studies Centers: Bridging Academic and Student Affairs through Student Leadership Opportunities ”Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education vol 16. no 4. 2023, pp 315-318

Powers Corwin, David and Mason Badra, Holly Oxford Bibliography: “The Role of Gender Equity Centers on University Campuses” (accepted)

Powers Corwin, David, Klemmer, Casey, Timpane, Julia "Teaching Oral Communication and Critical Thinking Skills Through Friendships" Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy (accepted) 


Courses Taught

CHSS 101: Introduction to CHSS-LLC

CHSS 490: Undergraduate Teaching Practicum 

ENGH 101: Composition

HE 792: LGBTQ+ Perspectives in Higher Education 

HNRS 130: Gender, Sexuality, and 1990s Culture

INTS 202: Public Speaking and Critical Thinking Skills

INTS 310/WMST 320/WMST 550: Violence, Gender, and Sexuality

INTS 319/575: Contemporary Youth Studies

INTS 347: Gender Representation in Popular Culture

INTS 400/575: Temptress: Sexuality and Power 

INTS 434: Research for Social Change 

INTS 491: Senior Capstone

WMST 100: Global Representations of Women 

WMST 200: Introduction to Women and Gender Studies 

WMST 208: Introduction to LGBTQ Studies 

WMST 300: Gender, Sexuality, and Friendships

WMST 318: Race, Gender, Sexuality, and the Environment 

WMST 330: Feminist Theories of Gender, Sexuality, and Race

WMST 375/INTS 374/INTS 575/WMST 550: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and TV

WMST 402: Queer Theory 

WMST 412/WMST 550: Race, Class, and LGBTQ Communities 




B.A. in English and Humanities, Milligan University

M.A. in English, George Mason University 

MAIS in Women and Gender Studies, George Mason University 

Ph.D. in Writing and Rhetoric, George Mason University 

Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods, George Mason University. 

Recent Presentations


  • 2024: -Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico“In Support of "Nasty Women" Politics: How Second Wave Feminism Foreshadowed Alt-Right Women Politicians”
  • 2023: Appalachian Studies Association Conference, Ohio University- “Teaching Appalachian Studies to Non-Appalachian Students”
  • 2023: Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico: "Can Friendship be a Sexuality?: Intimacies Among Friends in Michael Cunningham’s Novels"
  • 2022: Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico- “Teaching About Friendships in the Popular Culture Classroom”
  • 2021: National Women’s Studies Association (virtual due to COVID-19)- “Maintenance and Support Take a Village: Women and Gender Studies Program Administration from Multiple Disciplinary Perspectives” Co-presenters: Leah Adams and Wendi Manuel-Scott
  • 2021 Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, (Virtual due to COVID-19)- “Toward a Rhetoric of Trauma and Friendships: A Feminist Rhetorical Analysis of Shonda Rhimes’s Private Practice 
  • 2019 College Composition and Communication, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania “Can TV be a Form of Social Justice?: Integrating Television into the Writing Classroom” 
  • 2019 Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico “Who Owns the Narrative?: Gender, Friendship and Narrative Capital in 13 Reasons Why”
  • 2018 College Composition and Communication, Kansas City, Missouri "The Feminist (Un) Consciousness of Writing Studies: An Analysis of a Decade of Research Trends in Four Major Writing Studies Journals" Co-presenter with Robyn Russo, Thomas Polk, and Lacey Wooton 
  • 2018 Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico "This is Man: The Rhetoric of Silence and Masculinity in This is Us
  • 2017 Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico "The Queerness of Straight Masculinity in Dawson's Creek" 
  • 2016 Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico  Lucy Audley’s Deadly Secrets: Power, Violence, and Masculinity in Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret
  • 2015 Gender, Race, and Transformation Conference, Pacific University, Portland, Oregon Have We Improved Upon Positive Racial Representation in Television? African American and Asian American Representation in Grey’s Anatomy
  • 2015 Southwest Popular/American Culture Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, “Queering Spira: Gender, Power, and Defeat in Final Fantasy X