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Palmetto College

Faculty and Staff

Melody Lehn, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor of Speech Communication
Affiliate Faculty, Women's and Gender Studies
Department: Extended University
Palmetto College
Phone: 803-777-2209
Fax: 803-777-9357

901 Sumter Street, 620
Byrnes Building
Columbia, SC 29208

Melody Lehn


As a student and teacher of rhetoric and public address, I am professionally committed to investigating the ways that rhetoric imagines and sustains our democratic practices, with a specific emphasis on the intersections of gender, politics, and communication.

My research primarily focuses on the rhetorical activities of U.S. first ladies. I have presented my research at state, regional, and national conferences in the communication discipline, and I have published journal articles and book chapters on Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Ann Romney, and Hillary Clinton. Presently, I am working on a book manuscript about Pat Nixon tentatively titled "Ambassador of Goodwill: Pat Nixon and the Art of Personal Diplomacy" and am co-editor of a book titled "Was Blind But Now I See: Rhetoric, Race, Religion, and the Charleston Shootings" with Sean Patrick O'Rourke (Professor of Rhetoric and American Studies at Sewanee: The University of the South).

At the University of Memphis (where I earned my Ph.D. in 2013) and the University of South Carolina-Extended University, I have taught courses in public communication, honors public speaking, argumentation and debate, business and professional speaking, and organizational communication.

Currently, I serve as secretary of the Rhetoric and Public Address division for the Southern States Communication Association (SSCA), the chair of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric Interest Group for SSCA, and the editor of the Carolinas Communication Annual, the state journal of the Carolinas Communication Association.