I’m an American writer currently based in Vienna, Austria. I’m passionate about telling the stories of people and places that are often overlooked. I’m especially interested in historical women, folk traditions, artists, and off-beat entrepreneurs.

When not working for corporate clients, I travel and write fiction. In 2017, I’ll set my next chapter in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.



  • Founder of Writing Roughshod, a history blog dedicated to highlighting the journeys of American women throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Contributor to an online “alumni encyclopedia” for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, coming soon.
  • Assistant editor on The Communication Crisis in America, And How to Fix It, available now.
  • Master’s thesis on urban/rural tensions in Wisconsin and the effect of those tensions on the coverage of political elections in local newspapers across the state.
  • Statewide outreach on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Read a selection of stories and an email newsletter aimed at Wisconsin state legislators and community opinion leaders.
  • Guest edited an issue of Badger Insider magazine. Coordinated content, art, and print production.
  • Regular freelancer for On Wisconsin magazine and former writer for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


I hold a master of arts degree in journalism and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • “Politically motivated selective exposure and perceived media bias.” Revise and resubmit at Communication Research. By M. Barnidge, A.C. Gunther, J. Kim, Y. Hong, M. Perryman, S.K. Tay, and S. Knisely.
  • “A news negotiation of a state’s history: Collective memory of the 2011 Wisconsin protests.” Journalism Studies (2014): 1-18. By S. Robinson, S. Knisely, and M. Schwartz.
  • “Division in Dairyland: Community structure, social identity and news frames during the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election.” Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013. By S. Knisely.
  • “Darth Vader in Dairyland: Constructing political out-groups via digital cartoons.” Paper presented at Communication Crossroads: A Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013. By S. Knisely.

Featured photo: Elias Beach, Skiathos/Sandra Knisely

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