Ashli Q. Stokes

Ashli Q. Stokes

Full Professor


  • B.A., Virginia Tech University, 1996
  • M.A., Wake Forest University, 1998
  • Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2004

Areas of Interest

  • Rhetoric and Public Communication
  • Southern Food and Culture
  • Food Studies
  • Identity and Culture
  • Organizational Rhetoric, Corporate Communication, and Social Responsibility


Dr. Ashli Quesinberry Stokes (PhD, University of Georgia) is a Professor of Communication Studies and the former Director of the Center for the Study of the New South at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A 20-21 Fulbright Scholar, her research about communicating identity in the Southern food movement has been described as “a call to action.” She recently edited City Places, Country Spaces: Rhetorical Explorations of the Urban/Rural Divide (Peter Lang), and co-authored Consuming Identity: The Role of Food in Redefining the South with Wendy Atkins-Sayre. Her research exploring intersections between identity, activism, and regions has been featured in leading academic outlets such as the Southern Communication Journal, Public Relations Inquiry, Journal of Public Interest Communications, and Journal of Public Relations Research and includes four books, while she also contributes to local and national media, such as the Smithsonian/Zocalo Public Square, Academic Minute, and NPR. Recipient of the National Communication Association Public Relations Division PRIDE Award for public relations pedagogy and the Janice Hocker Rushing Early Career Research Award from the Southern States Communication Association, Stokes has also received external funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council and other agencies to support her research. Stokes teaches courses on Southern foodways, rhetoric, and public advocacy.


  • Journal of Public Relations Research
  • Public Relations Review
  • Public Relations Inquiry
  • Journal of Public Interest Communications
  • Journal of Communication Management
  • Southern Communication Journal

Teaching Courses

  • Consuming Southern Foodways
  • Organizational Rhetoric
  • Public Advocacy
  • The Rhetoric of Foodways
  • Appalachian Foodways

Research Projects

  • Working on a cross-cultural food studies project in Edinburgh, Scotland, as part of a 20-21 Fulbright Scholarship
  • Working on a manuscript about Appalachian food, rhetoric, and identity
  • Bringing foodways pedagogies into the communication studies classroom
  • Analyzing how food rhetoric helps redefine the South’s identity
  • Assessing corporate social responsibility initiatives
  • Exploring how activist groups employ public relations techniques
  • Analyzing food and nutrition public advocacy campaigns

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