Rachel  Dean-Ruzicka Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Rachel Dean-Ruzicka

Georgia Institute of Technology

I am a Lecturer in the Literature, Media, and Communication department at Georgia Tech, where I focus on teaching at-risk student athletes. My primary interests are in how power and privilege play out in various popular culture texts, with a particular focus on young adult literature. I live in Midtown, Atlanta with my husband and an ever-growing collection of fake cacti.


I received my PhD from the American Culture Studies program at Bowling Green State University in 2011. While in Bowling Green I wrote and published on film, television, and comics before settling on young adult literature as my primary field of study. After my PhD I worked as a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgia Tech (2011-2014), a visiting assistant professor and adjunct at several schools in Georgia (2014-2016), and finally came home to Georgia Tech to be a Lecturer of Writing and Communication.

I am the author of *Tolerance Discourse and Young Adult Holocaust Literature: Engaging Difference and Identity,* a text which interrogates the ubiquity of tolerance discourse in multicultural education. In addition I have published work on power and privilege in popular culture in the collection *Female Rebellion in Young Adult Dystopian Fiction* (Ashgage, 2014), and the journals *Children's Literature in Education*, *ImageText*, *Quarterly Review of Film and Video*, and *The Journal of Hate Studies*.

I live with my husband in Midtown, Atlanta where I dream of eventually having enough time to get a cat, whom I will name Laszlo. In recent years I've managed to travel to places as far flung as Seale, Alabama and Seville, Spain. Trust me, neither are to be missed. When not traveling I love to read (naturally), watch anything to do with murder, and spend time drinking wine and laughing with my friends.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Cultural Studies, Young Adult Literature, Media Studies

Personal Interests

    Books, board games, true crime, fake crime, art.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Tolerance Discourse; Dean-Ruzuicka - 1st Edition book cover


Children's Literature in Education

Representing “The Great Devouring:” Romani Characters in Young Adult Holocaust L

Published: Sep 01, 2014 by Children's Literature in Education
Authors: Rachel Dean-Ruzicka
Subjects: History, Literature

This article discusses the representation of Roma–Sinti (“gypsy”) characters in young adult literature about the Holocaust. It analyzes three primary texts: Jerry Spinelli’s Milkweed (2003), Erich Hackl’s Farewell Sidonia (1991), and Alexander Ramati’s And the Violins Stopped Playing (1985). I call for a critical evaluation of texts featuring Roma–Sinti characters in order to encourage cosmopolitan engagement with another culture.

ImageText: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies

Mourning and Melancholia in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Published: Oct 01, 2013 by ImageText: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies
Authors: Rachel Dean-Ruzicka
Subjects: Literature, Gender & Sexuality, Media and Cultural Studies

By unpacking the way that mourning and melancholia affect Bruce and Alison Bechdel we can get a richer understanding of the possibilities inherent in the text. Recognizing what is at stake and evaluating identify formation through the lens of melancholia and postmemory help readers to examine, and ultimately challenge, social structures that deny non-hetero-normative practices in American culture.

Quarterly Review of Film and Video

Themes of Privilege and Whiteness in the Films of Wes Anderson

Published: Oct 23, 2012 by Quarterly Review of Film and Video
Authors: Rachel Dean-Ruzicka
Subjects: Media and Cultural Studies

Article discusses the way whiteness functions in Anderson's first five films: BOTTLE ROCKET (1996), RUSHMORE (1998), THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001), THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU (2004), and THE DARJEELING LIMITED (2007).

Journal of Hate Studies

Combating Hate Through Young Adult Holocaust Literature

Published: Oct 01, 2012 by Journal of Hate Studies
Authors: Rachel Dean-Ruzicka
Subjects: Education, Literature

This essay argues that to discourage hate and violence, we must criticize underlying values that evoke them. Young adult fiction that deals with white supremacist characters creates an interesting lens for evaluating how neo-Nazis can be seen as standing at the very limits of tolerance, as well as how texts with neo-Nazi characters can be used as tools to assess values that are not worth living by.