Department of English Language and Literature
|Department:||English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Sciences
|Resources:||English Language and Literature|
PhD, Northwestern University
MA, Central Michigan University
BA, Indiana University – Indianapolis
Areas of Specialization
Religion and Public Culture
Recently Taught Courses
ENGL 793: Rhetorical Theory and Practice: Medieval to Modern
ENGL/SPCH 387: Introduction to Rhetoric
SPCH 260: Argumentation and Debate
SPCH 230: Business and Professional Speaking
SPCH 140: Fundamentals of Public Communication
SCHC 158: Honors Rhetoric
Graduate Dissertation Award in Communication Studies, Northwestern University, Department of Communication, 2011
Current Research Projects
My research brings together work in rhetorical criticism and political theory in order to explore the tensions between religious and secular speech and to illuminate practical questions of judgment and civic engagement. Most recently, I have been focused on the historical emergence of American Christian fundamentalist rhetoric and the political effects of homeland security narratives on American Muslim communities.
• Rhetoric of the Protestant Sermon in America: The Pulpit at the Turn of the Millennium, co-edited with Eric C. Miller (Lexington Books, 2020). https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781793620767/Rhetoric-of-the-Protestant-Sermon-in-America-Pulpit-Discourse-at-the-Turn-of-the-Millennium
• Superchurch: The Rhetoric and Politics of American Fundamentalism (Michigan State University Press, 2015). https://msupress.org/9781611861594/superchurch
• “Memes, Condensation Symbols, and the Changing Landscape of Political Rhetoric,” Critical Studies in Media Communication (2021). https://doi-org.pallas2.tcl.sc.edu/10.1080/15295036.2021.1985729
• “Unresolved: Public Speaking Instruction Beyond Persuasion,” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 21, no. 4 (2021): 48-55. https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v21i4.33011
• “Is Trump Also Among the Fundamentalists? Religious Freedom and the Fight to Repeal the Johnson Amendment,” in The Rhetoric of Religious Freedom in the United States, edited by Eric C. Miller (Lexington Books, 2018), 201-15.
• “What Do We Mean By ‘Radicalization?’” Communication Currents 10, no. 2 (2015), https://www.natcom.org/communication-currents/what-do-we-mean-%E2%80%9Cradicalization%E2%80%9D
• “Figuring Radicalization: Congressional Narratives of Homeland Security and American Muslim Communities,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 12, no. 1 (2015): 102-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/14791420.2014.996168
• “Countersymbols and the Constitution of Resistance in American Fundamentalism, 1919-1922,” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 17, no. 3 (2014): 421-54. https://doi.org/10.14321/rhetpublaffa.17.3.0421
• “Calvin and Hobbes: Trinity, Authority, and Community,” Philosophy and Rhetoric 42, no. 2 (2009), 115-33. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25655346
• “Jonathan Edwards: ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’ (8 July 1741),” Voices of Democracy 1 (2006): 187-207. https://voicesofdemocracy.umd.edu/jonathan-edwards-sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-god-8-july-1741
• “Whose American Heritage? Christian Textbooks and Historical Transformation in the
1970s,” Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association,”
Seattle, Washington, November 2021.
• “Teaching the Pandemic: Speech and Community Building Through Bricolage,” Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association,” Seattle, Washington, November 2021.
• “The War on Refugee Terror: Traumatic Memes and the American Other,” Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association,” November 2020.
• “The Paradox of the Political Sermon,” Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association,” Salt Lake City, Utah, November 2018.
• “Plain Speech, Political Correctness, and the Rhetoric of ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism,’” Paper delivered at the Biannual Meeting of the Rhetoric Society of America, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2018.