Whitney Phillips

Whitney Phillips

Whitney M. Phillips

Assistant Professor of Literary Studies and Writing
Department of Liberal Studies

Contact Information


B.A., Humboldt State University
M.F.A., Emerson College
Ph.D., University of Oregon


Whitney Phillips is an Assistant Professor of Literary Studies and Writing, and holds a PhD in English with a folklore structured emphasis (digital culture focus). She is the author of This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture, and the co-author of The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online with Ryan M. Milner of the College of Charleston. Across her books, numerous journal articles and book chapters, and popular press pieces in outlets like The New York TimesThe Atlantic, and Slate, Dr. Phillips' work explores antagonism and identity-based harassment; the reciprocal relationship between public expression, corporate and state institutions, and technological affordances; political memes and other forms of ambivalent civic participation; and digital ethics, including journalistic ethics and the ethics of everyday social media use.

Teaching & Research Interests

Since she arrived at Mercer University in 2015, Dr. Phillips has taught a range of media, communication, and folklore-informed literature and liberal studies courses, from Cross-Cultural Monster Narratives to American Folklore to Propaganda and Media Literacy. Across these courses, recurring topics include how folklore influences and is influenced by institutional forces; how emerging technologies impact communication practices; and how intersectional identity affects everything from interpersonal relationships to popular culture to politics.