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Allison Niebauer

Allison Niebauer

Center for Democratic Deliberation Dissertation Fellow

316 Sparks Building


  1. B.A., Wheaton College, 2009
  2. M.A., Pennsylvania University, 2016


Allison Niebauer is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State.  Her areas of research include memory studies, collective trauma, moral repair, and rhetorics of religion. Broadly, she is interested in how shared expectations for treatment within a community are formed, and how those expectations influence communal beliefs about acceptable mechanisms of repair when expectations are violated. Her dissertation focuses on a specific instance of communal harm--that of clergy sex abuse in the Johnstown-Altoona Catholic Diocese. Using a mixed-methods approach, it examines narratives of harm from the perspective of different stakeholders within the community and how these narratives have been mobilized to seek and justify different forms of repair. The goal of her scholarship is to help academics, practitioners, and communities better understand the communicative relationship between harm and repair in the hopes of fostering better responses to large group trauma.