about re:verb

re:verb is a podcast focused on how rhetoric, communication, and language shape contemporary politics and culture. 

Contemporary issues have complex human dimensions. Humanist perspectives help us understand those dimensions and chart a way forward. re:verb is a platform for amplifying and circulating voices from humanities fields to talk about current events, historic issues, and ideas. 

re:verb is partially inspired and informed by its predecessor The Silver Tongue , a blog that published "rhetorical criticism for the engaged citizen." Former Silver Tongue editor Doug Cloud shares his thoughts on rhetoric and its possibilities for the public in our first episode. 


our editorial team

Alex Helberg, Co-Executive Producer


Alex is a Ph.D. candidate in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University. He is interested how language-use in local spaces can affect broader hegemonic social change, particularly as it applies to food justice movements.

Top 3 Current Podcast Favorites:

  • Citations Needed

  • The Dollop

  • 99% Invisible


Calvin Pollak, Co-Executive Producer

Calvin is also a candidate for CMU’s Ph.D. in Rhetoric. His research explores how public discourses about intelligence-gathering and other national security policies have changed in the wake of the Snowden/NSA leaks.

Top 3 Current Podcast Favorites:

  • Champagne Sharks

  • Office Hours with Tim Heidecker

  • Delete Your Account


Ryan Mitchell, Producer


Ryan is a Rhetoric Ph.D. candidate at Carnegie Mellon. In his dissertation, Ryan charts the ways in which gay men living during the earliest years of the AIDS epidemic deployed ad hoc visions of an AIDS-era gay intimacy as a strategy to redraw the boundaries of expertise, citizenship, and advocacy.

Top 3 Current Podcast Favorites:

  • Ear Hustle

  • How Did This Get Made?

  • Criminal

Colleen Storm, Editor

Colleen is a Masters in Rhetoric student at CMU. Her rhetorical interests include public and political discourse on urban education and the representation of students of color. Colleen enjoys long walks to the coffee shop, stand-up comedy, and the Foo Fighters. She lives for "name that tune" at Wednesday night trivia.

Top 3 Current Podcast Favorites:

  • My Favorite Murder

  • Lexicon Valley

  • Ear Hustle

Sophie Wodzak, Editor

Sophie Wodzak teaches writing at CMU. She is interested in the ways in which digital media have altered how we produce and consume news, and how misinformation can influence public opinion.

Top 3 Current Podcast Favorites:

  • Citations Needed

  • Season of the Bitch

  • The Blurst of Times

Caitlan Rossi, Editor

Caitlan is pursuing a Masters in Professional Writing at CMU. She is also a freelance writer, with poetry published in The Louiseville Review, Yellow Chair Review, and Westchester Review. Recently transplanted from New York to Pittsburgh, Caitlan is discovering the charms of Shadyside, where she is always looking for the right word.

Top 3 Current Podcast Favorites:

  • Slow Burn

  • Bowery Boys

  • Serial, Season 1, Forever.


Editors Emeritus:

Derek Handley

Ana Cooke

Audrey Strohm



re:verb editorial team