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Debra Hawhee

Debra Hawhee

Director of Graduate Studies

McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation

Senior Scholar, McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Professor of English and of Communication Arts and Sciences

435 Burrowes Building
University Park , PA 16802

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-3069

Office Hours:

  • SPRING 2018:
  • Mondays: 10:30-noon
  • Thursdays: 10-11:30
  • Appointments within and outside of these specified hours are available by request. To schedule, please contact Cheryl Mohr at

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 studies and teaches histories and theories of rhetoric with a particular focus on rhetoric's less-than-rational elements. 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), was published in 2017 by The University of Chicago Press. 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. She is co-author, with Sharon Crowley, of Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, now in its fifth edition. Her research has been recognized most recently 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.