Kathleen McConnell

Kathleen McConnell

Kathleen F. McConnell
Professor of Rhetorical Studies 
Editor-in-Chief, Review of Communication

My scholarship combines rhetorical criticism with critical university studies. I write about academic life, professionalism, academic labor conditions, histories of higher education, and media representations of the college experience. In Advocating Heightened Education: Seeing and Inventing Academic Possibilities (Lexington Books, 2020), I address reform efforts aimed at detaching education from its campus infrastructure. I argue that higher education's bulky and incommensurable institutions serve a critical modality. Their diversity of form retains the possibility of divergent and transformative educational futures. I illustrate my argument with ethnographic and archival studies of two unusual campuses, The Evergreen State College and California State University, Monterey Bay. 

My current research aims to revitalize civic traditions within vocational education and to articulate other critical educational forms for a disappearing commons. A second project looks at the founding of the first feminist art program at Fresno State College (now California State University, Fresno). 

Ph.D., Rhetoric and Public Culture, Indiana University
M.A., Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University
B.A., The Evergreen State College 


Preferred: kathleen.mcconnell@sjsu.edu


Preferred: (408) 924-5374