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Kirt H. Wilson

Kirt H. Wilson

President of the Rhetoric Society of America, Director of Graduate Studies, Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and African American Studies

220 Sparks Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-1985

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. B.A., Cedarville University, 1989
  2. M.A., Purdue University, 1991
  3. Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1995


Kirt H. Wilson is a scholar of political communication, rhetorical criticism, and contemporary theories of race and society. His research moves from African American public discourse to presidential rhetoric and from the political history of the Civil War era to the symbolic construction of memory in the late twentieth-century. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, he is the author of The Reconstruction Desegregation Debate: The Politics of Equality and the Rhetoric of Place published by Michigan State Press in 2002. He is also a co-editor of The Sage Handbook of Rhetorical Studies (2009) and Making the Case: Advocacy and Judgment in Public Argument (2012). Professor Wilson has won numerous awards from the National Communication Association including the New Investigator Award (2001) and the Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award (2002). His book The Reconstruction Desegregation Debate won NCA’s Winans-Wichelns Memorial Award and the Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award. Professor Wilson teaches Introduction to Communication (CAS 101), Political and Cultural Rhetoric of the 1960s (CAS 475), Rhetorical Criticism (CAS 411), Contemporary African American Communication (CAS 422), and graduate seminars in textual analysis, critical race theory, and social movements.