Prof. Willard’s research focuses on environmental communication. She examines the rhetoric of landscapes as they are both read by and created by humans. Most recently she has been exploring how the transformation of blighted urban areas into farms and community gardens become symbolic sites of empowerment and reconnection with community and the land. She also conducts research that assists in the development of public campaigns that encourage pro-environmental behavior such as natural landscaping and support for restoration practices. Additionally, she examines how the rhetoric of popular culture and environmental rhetoric intersect, informing and influencing cultural practice.
Willard has published articles and book reviews in a variety of journals including Environmental Communication, Women’s Studies in Communication, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. A past recipient of DePaul’s Excellence in Teaching Award, she teaches courses in environmental studies, rhetorical studies, and sustainability. She has an affiliate faculty appointment with the Department of Environmental Science and Studies.
Selected Scholarly Activity
- Willard, B. (2014) "Reinhabiting the Land: From Vacant Lots to Garden Plots". In Besel, R. & Blau, J. (Eds.) Performance on Behalf of the Environment, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, pp. 93–113.
- Willard, B. (2011)." A garden in Eden". In Green, C. & Heneghan, L. (Eds.). Brute neighbors: Urban nature poems, essays and photographs. DePaul Humanities Center, DePaul Poetry Institute and DePaul Institute for Nature and Culture.
- Willard, B. (2007). "Rhetorical Landscapes as Epistemic: Revisiting Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac". Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, 1(2), pp. 218-235.
- Willard, B. (2005). Feminist interventions in biomedical discourse: An analysis of the rhetoric of integrative medicine. Women’s Studies in Communication, 28(1),115-148.
- Willard, B. & Winsten, K. (November, 2004). "Promoting native landscaping: Barriers and motivations for Chicagoland residents". Chicago Wilderness Journal.
- Willard, B. (2002) "The American story of meat: Discursive influences on cultural eating practices". Journal of Popular Culture, 36(1), 105-118.
- Willard, B. & Harp, S. (2005). Photographic Exhibit - Biography of Landscape: Reading the Landscape of Jackson Park. DePaul Art Museum, 9/05–11/05.
DePaul ENGAGE Award, 2012
- Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Communication, 2008