Kathleen McConnell

Kathleen McConnell

Kathleen F. McConnell
Professor of Rhetoric and Communication Studies 

Kathleen teaches classes in advocacy, rhetoric, argumentation, and special topics courses on the tropes that rotate the college experience. Her monograph, Advocating Heightened Education: Seeing and Inventing Academic Possibilities (Lexington Books, 2020), challenges reform efforts that seek to detach education from its campus infrastructure. Drawing on ethnographic and archival details from two unusual campuses, she illustrates how higher education's bulky institutions serve a critical modality while their diversity of form retains the possibility of divergent and transformative educational futures. 

Her current research looks to the future of non-degree, career technical education in topics like drinking water systems and supply chains. She draws on queer, feminist, antiracist discussions of design and affect to explore how learning to repair infrastructure can reconfigure "obligations and practices of worlding and care" (Berlant, 2016). 

Past projects
2020–2022, Editor-in-Chief, Review of Communication

2021 City Innovate STIR Labs partnership with the City of Detroit Office of Talent Development to design a career advancement program for city employees.

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