Michaela Frischherz, Ph.D.


Associate Chair and Associate Professor

michaela frischherz profile photo

Contact Info

PY 504K


Ph.D., University of Iowa, 2015

Areas of Expertise

Rhetorical theory and criticism
Feminist and queer critique
Sexuality studies


Dr. Michaela Frischherz earned her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa in 2015. She also holds a M.A. in Cultural Analysis from the Universiteit van Amsterdam and a B.A. in Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs from Miami University, Ohio. Michaela specializes in cultural and rhetorical theory/criticism with an emphasis on feminist and queer ways of knowing. Her research focuses on the meaning-making practices forged by women and other historically disenfranchised genders communicating pleasure and sex in various public spheres. Her latest article, published in QED: A Journal of Queer Worldmaking, explores the possibilities of pleasure in the time of COVID-19. Michaela teaches rhetorical theory and criticism, sexual communication, research methods, queer/lgbt communication studies, and a study abroad experience in Amsterdam, Netherlands. When she’s not studying the communicative dimensions of sex, Michaela enjoys spending time with her partner, two cats, two bunnies, and a dog named Holly.

Forthcoming Publications

Michaela Frischherz and Desirée Rowe, “Faking it, Finishing, and Ambivalence: Women’s Negotiations of (Sexual) Failure in Conversation,” Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, (2023), Forthcoming.


Desirée Rowe and Michaela Frischherz, “Focus Groups as Critical-Cultural Method within Communication Studies,” Western Journal of Communication, 86:5 (2022), 483-502.

Michaela Frischherz, “Pleasure and Queer Communication Studies,” in Oxford Encyclopedia of Queer Studies & Communication, eds. Isaac N. West and E Cram, 20 June, (2022), https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.1158

Michaela Frischherz, “Pleasure and Anxiety in the Time of COVID-19,” QED: A Journal of Queer Worldmaking, 7:3 (2020): 179-184. 

Michaela Frischherz, “Bodies and Pleasures in Feminist Publics: The Rhetorical Effectivities of Fifty Shades of Grey,” in Communication in Kink: Understanding the Influence of the Fifty Shades of Grey Phenomenon, ed. Jessica M.W. Kratzer (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2020), 155-176.

Michaela Frischherz, “Queer Adventures in the Forum and the Archive: Or, The Flood Made Immersion Possible,” Cultural Studies ó Critical Methodologies 20:2 (2020): 167-175.

Michaela Frischherz, “Listening to Orgasm: Hearing Pleasure’s Affects in the Normative Noise,” Argumentation and Advocacy 54:4 (2018): 270-286. Lead Article.   

Michaela Frischherz, “A Slowness to Judge the Acronym’s Orientations: Objectum-Sexuality and the Rhetorical Politics of Giving an Account,” Women & Language 41:1 (2018): 62-78.

Michaela Frischherz, “Cosmo Complaints:  Reparative Reading and the Possibility of Pleasure in Cosmopolitan Magazine,” Sexualities 21:4 (2018): 552-568.

Michaela Frischherz, “Affective Agency and Transformative Shame: The Voices Behind The Great Wall of Vagina,” Women’s Studies in Communication 38:3 (2015): 251-272.  Lead Article.

Isaac West, Michaela Frischherz, Allison Panther, and Richard Brophy, “Queer Worldmaking in the ‘It Gets Better’ Campaign,” QED: A Journal of GLTBQ Worldmaking, Inaugural Issue (2013): 49-86.