Kathleen F. McConnell
Associate Chair, Department of Communication Studies
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 and academic life. 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, anti-racist discussions of design and affect to explore how learning to repair shared infrastructure can reconfigure "obligations and practices of worlding and care" (Berlant, 2016).
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: (408) 924-5374
- Advocating Heightened Education: Seeing and Inventing Academic Possibilities (Lexington Books, 2020).
- "Teaching and Learning in an Age of Precarity: Toward a Pedagogy of the Transitory" (Communication Education, 2019)
- "Fear of Etiolation in the Age of Professional Passion" (Text & Performance Quarterly, 2018).
- "Labored Speech: Reconsidering How Communication Studies Works" (The Review of Communication, 2018).