Rubén Casas

English: Creative Writing
Chapman University
Chapman University
Creative Writing
Oregon State University
English: Rhetoric and Composition
University of Wisconsin-Madison

I research, write about, and teach courses that relate visual-material rhetorical theory to cities and urban life in general, and to public space and public life in particular.

Scholarly Interests

Visual-material Rhetorics
Public Space
Civic and Community Engagement

Current Research

How Dislocation Impacts Civic Engagement in Parks and Greenspaces
Casas (School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences) & Yerena (School of Urban Studies)

This project seeks to understand the impact of dislocation, a term used here to capture the experiences of people impacted by long commute times, on civic engagement. The PIs posit that long commute times correlate with decreased civic engagement as people have less time to encounter others in public space. In this project, they ask: how does dislocation impact whether, when, and how people use neighborhood parks and green spaces to engage with others in the community? Currently, many U.S. households experience dislocation as commute times have grown generally across the U.S. in the past 20 years. As people spend more time commuting they spend less time on leisure. This redistribution of time impacts the use of parks and green spaces even in regions in which there are abundant and high-quality ones. This project will measure just how much of an impact dislocation has on park use in the Central District of Tacoma, Washington.