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Mudiwa Pettus

Mudiwa Pettus

English Graduate Assistant

Africana Research Center Dissertation Fellow

4 Burrowes Building

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

Office Hours:

  • Spring 2019: not teaching


  1. M.A., English, emphasis in Rhetoric & Composition, The Pennsylvania State University
  2. B.A., English, emphasis in Literature, Claflin University, summa cum laude

Professional Bio

Mudiwa Pettus is a dual-title Ph.D. candidate in English and African American & Diaspora Studies. Her research is located at the intersections of rhetoric/rhetorical education, poetics, historiography, public intellectualism, and racial politics, with a focus on the Post-Reconstruction/Pre-Harlem Renaissance era. In her dissertation, Black Protest Rhetoric in the Age of Booker T. Washington, she interweaves these interests by tracing the development of a collective African-American rhetorical consciousness through the oratorical career of Booker T. Washington. Examining a diverse collection of texts, including speeches, novels, editorials, obituaries, and poetry, she pursues two primary goals. The first is to establish Washington as a conscious theorist of language and democratic deliberation and the second goal is to uncover how African Americans, across gender, class, educational levels, and political allegiances, capitalized on Washington’s visibility as an orator to administer rhetorical education to black learners. She will defend her dissertation in May 2019.