Graduate Alumni Interview: Stephanie Phillips

Stephanie Phillips,

PhD English, rhetoric and composition concentration
Fall 2020


Headshot of Stephanie Phillips smiling into camera

Stephanie Phillips is an American writer known for comics and graphic novels such as HARLEY QUINN, BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, SENSATIONAL WONDER WOMAN, SUPERMAN, TAARNA, and THE BUTCHER OF PARIS. Her stories and comics have appeared with DC Comics, AfterShock Comics, Dark Horse, Oni Press, Top Cow/Image Comics, Heavy Metal, Black Mask Studios, A Wave Blue World, and more. Stephanie is currently the writer for the ongoing Harley Quinn series at DC Comics with artist Riley Rossmo.

Stephanie also holds a PhD in rhetoric and composition and an MA in English from the University of South Florida. She has taught writing and communication courses at the University at Buffalo, the University of South Florida, and the University of Tampa.

What is your position now?

I am a full-time writer working for DC Comics on titles like Harley Quinn, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and more. I’ve also written for Rick & Morty and worked with companies like Amazon, Image Comics, AfterShock Comics, and Dark Horse on creator-owned content.

Why did you come to the USF graduate program?

I went to USF to pursue a PhD in rhetoric and composition.

What was a unique opportunity you had at USF?

It was a privilege to learn from top scholars in the field, such as Dr. Meredith Johnson, and gain insight into the field from an expert. I also had the opportunity to take on administrative positions, such as assisting the FYC program as a junior program administrator, and assisting the graduate program as an assistant to the graduate director. I chose USF for the opportunities to work with incredible scholars and gain practical experience as a writer, scholar, and administrator.

How did USF prepare you for your current position?

My research focused primarily on visual communication, which allowed me to think about my current work in comics and film from a unique perspective. I am able to approach visual storytelling in new ways thanks to my work on visual rhetoric.

What advice would you give to new graduate students in the program?

USF offers a ton of great opportunities to graduate students in teaching and administrative positions. Utilize those opportunities to teach diverse courses and learn about the different facets of the field from as many different scholars as possible. These experiences helped shape my research agenda and career goals along the way.