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Debra Hawhee

Debra Hawhee

McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation

Senior Scholar, McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Professor of English and of Communication Arts and Sciences

208 S Burrowes Building

Mailing address:
430 Burrowes Building

University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-8678

Office Hours:

  • Office hours Tuesdays 1:30-2:30 (appointments only)

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. PhD, Penn State University (2000)
  2. MA, University of Tennessee (1994)
  3. BA, University of Tennessee (1991)

Professional Bio

Debra Hawhee is the editor of Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric. She studies and teaches histories and theories of rhetoric, broadly defined as the art of effective communication. She has written about bodily and material theories of rhetoric, ancient and modern. Her latest book, Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw: Animals, Language, Sensation, completed with the aid of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2014-2015), received the Rhetoric Society of America's book award in 2018. She is author of Moving Bodies: Kenneth Burke at the Edges of Language, which received the 2010 Diamond Anniversary Book Award from the National Communication Association, as well as Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and Athletics in Ancient Greece, also completed with the support of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is co-author, with Sharon Crowley, of Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, now in its fifth edition. Her research has been recognized with the 2017 Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award from the National Communication Association and the 2017 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division of the NCA. She has published articles in Rhetorica, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Quarterly Journal of Speech, College English, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, and College Composition and Communication.

Areas of Specialization

Rhetoric and Composition
histories and theories of rhetoric (ancient and modern), historiography, nonrational rhetorics (e.g., bodily rhetorics, material rhetorics, animals and rhetoric), Aristotle, Kenneth Burke.