The Rhetoric, Culture, Engagement specialization focuses on rhetoric as world-making by attending to the discursive intersections between materiality, culture, and power in an ever-changing world. The program is designed to cultivate rhetorical critics who are sensitive to the inventional currents of rhetorical theory and praxis, with particular interest in modes of public engagement.

The program is designed to give candidates a mature grasp of the varied specialties and perspectives embraced by the field and to develop research competence essential to a life of productive scholarship. Cognate work of interest to rhetoricians can be found in the other two graduate programs in the department. In addition, work in related departments—American Studies, Anthropology, Cinema and Comparative Literature, English, History, Journalism and Mass Communication, Political Science, POROI, Sociology, and Women’s Studies—complements RPA course offerings. The Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry (POROI) offers a certificate program, allowing doctoral students to specialize in the study of how academic fields use argumentative and linguistic strategies to generate and control knowledge.

Current graduate courses in Rhetoric, Culture, Engagement include:

  • Introduction to Rhetorical Studies
  • Criticism and Public Culture
  • Body Rhetorics
  • Feminist Rhetoric
  • Rhetoric, Race, and Racism
  • Place and Public Culture
  • The Public Sphere
  • Critical Approaches to Digital Culture

Faculty Specializing in this Area

E Cram

E Cram, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz

Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz, Ph.D.

F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor
Jiyeon Kang

Jiyeon Kang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
David Supp-Montgomerie

David Supp-Montgomerie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Instruction
Director, Iowa Program for Public Life