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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
Preferred Pronouns: she, her
(814) 863-8678
208 Burrowes Building
Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

Debra Hawhee

Summer 2022 Office Hours

I am leading an education abroad program in Athens, Greece this semester, and because of the 7-hour time difference and the ever-shifting nature of the program itinerary, I am not able to schedule meetings. I do plan to have occasional "popup" office hours, so if you would like to be included on those announcements, please email me to let me know. Otherwise, I will return at the beginning of May.

Curriculum Vitae


PhD, Penn State University (2000)
MA, University of Tennessee (1994)
BA, University of Tennessee (1991)

Professional Bio

Debra Hawhee 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 with a special focus on sensation and feeling. She is completing a book about how feeling, information, knowledges constitute each other in the context of new climate rhetorics. Her most recent 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. In 2020, she was named a Fellow of the Rhetoric Society of America. 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 and from 2018-2021 served as editor of the international journal Rhetorica. 

Areas of Specialization

Rhetoric and Composition

histories and theories of rhetoric (ancient and contemporary), climate rhetoric,  historiography, nonrational rhetorics (e.g., bodily rhetorics, material rhetorics, sensory rhetorics, animals and rhetoric).