Alyssa Samek is a doctoral candidate in rhetoric and political culture in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland, College Park. She holds a graduate certificate in women’s studies from the University of Maryland and Colorado State University. Alyssa received her master of arts in speech communication from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. She earned her bachelor of arts in communication studies and English from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Alyssa’s research program blends her interests in rhetoric, gender, and sexuality with the study of American public address, social movement activism, media, and political culture. Her dissertation project combines these in an analysis of 1970s lesbian-feminist public discourse in the United States. Her work has appeared in Communication Quarterly and Feminist Media Studies.
Her interest in Bridezillas developed after she saw a teaser for the television show during a Golden Girls marathon on the WE network. After hearing friends, family, and students verbalize expectations of “monstrosity” for brides-to-be, she felt inspired to watch the show and examine it more closely. She is particularly indebted to the thoughtful feedback of many friends and colleagues, especially Dawn Marie McIntosh, Karma Chavez, Terri Donofrio, Mara Hobler, Kathy Plate, and Alena Amato Ruggerio.