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Michele Kennerly

Michele Kennerly

Associate Professor, Communication Arts & Sciences / Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies (by courtesy)

223 Sparks Building
University Park , PA 16802

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. B.A., Austin College, 2004
  2. M.A., University of Pittsburgh, 2006
  3. Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2010

on sabbatical until June 30, 2021

Michele Kennerly specializes in ancient Greek and Roman textual cultures, their transmission, and their reception, part of a broader interest in infra/structures that create and perpetuate "the classical." Her first book, Editorial Bodies: Perfection and Rejection in Ancient Rhetoric and Poetics, won the 2019 Everett Lee Hunt Award (see an open-access review of it here). She has co-edited two volumes, Ancient Rhetorics & Digital Networks (with Damien Smith Pfister; 2018) and Information: Keywords (with Samuel Frederick and Jonathan E. Abel; 2021), and edited a third, A New Handbook of Rhetoric: Inverting the Classical Vocabulary (2021). Her article-length work has appeared in various outlets, including the public Classics journal Eidolon. She serves as President of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric, on the council of the International Society for the History of Rhetoricand as co-editor of Rhetoric + Digitality, a new book series from the University of Alabama Press.


Current Graduate Student Advisees:

Caroline Koons (ABD). “Composing American Harmony,” her in-progress dissertation project, traces how song has been used at three points in U.S. American history to manage tensions in the social world between unity and multiplicity, parts and wholes. On the one hand, she is studying the particularities of music as a mode of public address and redress, and, on the other hand, she is attending to how “harmony” is explicitly invoked in the songs she’s studying. The three core chapters cover: 1) broadside ballads during the revolutionary period; 2) concerts organized by immigrants during the centennial; 3) prison protest songs during the civil rights movement. keywords: sonic rhetoric, public address, rhetorical theory.  

Jen Buchan (PhD student) studies representations of artificial intelligence (AI) in speculative fiction from antiquity to the present, focusing on the ways AI is gendered. keywords: rhetorical theory, classical reception, gender, race, disability, artificial intelligence, speculative fiction. 

Kelly Williams Nagel (PhD student) examines the roles public art, imagination, and urban planning have in creating and disrupting communities. In particular, she is interested in the ideological components of visual rhetoric. keywords: visual rhetoric, public culture, imagination, urban planning, gentrification.