Faculty

Kathryn Olson

Kathryn M. Olson
PhD, Northwestern University

Professor Olson studies the rhetoric of social controversies and movements as well as more traditional political communication. Her special interests include the formation of new communities through rhetoric and analyzing everyday, nearly transparent rhetorical choices that reinforce or challenge existing power structures. Professor Olson is the Rhetorical Leadership Program director and the Department of Communication chair.
Communication Faculty page
Video Introduction to Dr. Olson

John Jordan

John W. Jordan
PhD, University of Georgia

Professor Jordan researches the intersection between rhetoric and technology in strategic communication situations, as well as how people are motivated through rhetorical language to make and understand decisions that may initially seem counter-intuitive or even impossible. His specific research focuses on e-commerce strategies, online community dynamics, presidential interpretations of national technology goals, and public dissemination of messages about technology.
Communication Faculty page
Video Introduction to John Jordan

Leslie Harris

Leslie J. Harris
PhD, Northwestern University

Professor Harris studies rhetoric in public culture, especially as it pertains to representations of gender. Her specific research focus is on nineteenth-century representations of motherhood and family in legal, political, and social contexts. Professor Harris’ background is in rhetorical criticism, rhetorical history, and argument theory.
Communication Faculty page
Video Introduction to Leslie J. Harris

 

Sara Vanderhaagen

Sara Vanderhaagen
PhD, Northwestern University

Professor Vanderhaagen’s research focuses on how members of the public use rhetoric to argue about and reshape stories about the past. She is especially interested in how public discourse about the past is affected by the dynamics of race, gender, age, and agency. Her broader areas of interest include African American rhetoric, public discourse about race and gender, rhetorical theory and rhetorical criticism.
Communication Faculty page