Rebecca Frost


PhD Candidate


Dissertation: Successful True Crime: Serial Killers, Victims, Gendered Bodies, and the Hunt

As a genre, true crime exploded into popularity in the 1980s and has since established itself as formulaic in its presentation of serial killers and their victims. My work investigates these representations in order to ask what they mean for the social treatment of victims and perpetrators in general, as well as asking why true crime is so popular. I propose that the answer lies in the hunt, which functions to engage the reader in the investigation while allowing for pleasure through distancing and othering that allows the reader to retain a sense of safety.

Rebecca’s research interests include narrative theory, genre theory, and media violence. Her current project focuses on American crime narratives, from Puritan execution sermons of the 1600s to contemporary true crime. She is especially interested in the representations of criminals and victims and the ways in which they evolve or endure.

Teaching: As a doctoral student and candidate, I have had the pleasure of teaching Composition (UN2001), Honors Composition (UN1015), Transitional Writing (ESL 0491), and Advanced Grammar (ESL 0440).

Department Activities: In addition to teaching, I have served as the department’s GSG representative and as the composition coordinator.

Student Life: I live with my husband and our cats in Hancock. Outside of academics I am a participant in National Novel Writing Month and the year-round creative writing group that has sprung from NaNoWriMo.


  • PCA/ACA National Conference 2014—A Different Breed: Serial Killers in Works by Stephen King
  • OSCLG Conference 2013—Ann Rule: Writing at the Intersection of True Crime and Feminism
  • WAP Conference 2013—Serial Killers and the "Less-Dead": Working-Class Women as Invisible Victims
  • CWPA 2013, with Kartla Kitalong and Gary Kaunonen—Beyond the Horizon: Normalizing “Flat” or Horizontal Bureaucracy as a Means to Democratize Writing Programs
  • PCA/ACA National Conference 2013—About Jeff: How My Friend Dahmer Explores the Genre of True Crime
  • CWPA 2012, with Karla Kitalong and Kevin Cassell—Writing Across the Curriculum Revisited: A Double-Edged Sword
  • Southwest Texas PCA/ACA 2012—Women of Whitechapel: A Historical Analysis of Jack the Ripper's Victims