Rachel Avon Whidden

imageAssociate Professor of Communication

Education

PhD Communication Studies, Emphasis: Rhetorical Studies, and Certification in the Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry  (POROI) University of Iowa, 2005.
MA  Communication, Wake Forest University, 2000.
BA Communication and History, Wake Forest University, 1998.

Specialization

Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
Argumentation Theory
Rhetoric of Science
History of Rhetoric

Interests

Discourses on miracles and the evolution of standards of proof.
History of Rhetoric
Rhetorics of expertise.
Communicating science in public
Integration of scholarship & service with teaching to strengthen student scholarship

Courses Taught

Communication 110: Introduction to Communication
Communication 212: Visual Rhetoric
Communication 250: Classical Rhetorical Tradition
Communication 253: Argumentation and Advocacy
Communication 255: Rhetorical Criticism
Communication 350: Topics: Rhetoric of Science
Communication 350: Topics: Rhetoric of Experience
Communication 385: The Public Sphere
Communication 387: Rhetoric of Law
Communication 420: Senior Seminar: Public Controversy
Communication 490: Senior Thesis

Student Collaboration

“Parental Expertise and the Silencing of Science in the Vaccine-Autism Controversy.” (Co-authored with Nicole Kosanke, Lake Forest College ’14).  Paper presented at the Seventeenth AFA/NCA Alta Conference on Argumentation, August 2011.

“Because I Said So”: Mother as the New Voice of Scientific Expertise.” (Co-authored with Jessica Kuchinski, Lake Forest College ’11). Paper presented at the Association for Rhetoric of Science and Technology Pre-Conference at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association. Chicago, IL, November 12-15, 2009.

“Good Parents Vaccinate: An Analysis of Merck’s Gardasil Campaign.”  (Co-authored with Taylor Tuscherer, Lake Forest College ’10.)  Paper presented at the Fifteenth AFA/NCA Alta Conference on Argumentation, August, 2007.

Selected Publications

Whidden, Rachel Avon.  Miraculous Rhetoric and the Modern Moment.  Brill Academic Publishers, International Series in the History of Rhetoric, under contract.  Expected publication 2012.

Whidden, Rachel Avon.  Book Review.  Rhetorics of Display. Ed. Lawrence Prelli.  Columbia:  University of South Carolina Press, 2006.  Quarterly Journal of Speech 94.4 (2010): 476-480.

Whidden, Rachel Avon.  “Science, Pseudoscience, and Junk Science.” In Keywords and Controversies in the Rhetoric of Science.  Eds. David Depew and Lisa Keränen. State College, PA: Strata Publishing, Forthcoming.

Whidden, Rachel Avon.  “When the Personal Becomes Public: Rethinking the Relationship Between Personal, Technical and Public Spheres of Argument.”  In Argumentation, the Law, and Justice: Proceedings of the Third Tokyo Conference on Argumentation.  Eds. T. Suzuki, T. Kato, and A. Kubota.  Tokyo:  Japan Debate Association,  2008: 266-270.

Whidden, Rachel Avon and Taylor Tuscherer.  “Good Parents Vaccinate.”  In Selected Papers from the Fifteenth NCA/AFA Conference on Argumentation.  Washington, D.C.: NCA, 2008.  Available on EBSCOHost.

Whidden, Rachel Avon.  “Making the Impossible Possible: Arguing Miracles From the Realm of Science.”  In Selected Papers from the Second Tokyo Conference on Argumentation.  Tokyo, Japan: Japan Debate Association, 2004.

Whidden, Rachel Avon.  “Manufacturing Controversy: Intelligent Design and the Ohio Science Standards.”  In Selected Papers from the Thirteenth NCA/AFA Conference on Argumentation.  Washington, D.C.: NCA, 2004:705-711. Available soon on EBSCOHost.

Avon, Rachel and Randy Hirokawa.  “The Rhetoric of the Precautionary Principle.”  In Arguing Communication and Culture: Selected Papers from the Twelfth NCA/AFA Conference on Argumentation. Washington, D.C.: NCA, 2002: 153-160. Available on EBSCOHost.

Recent Conference Presentations

“Hume’s Rhetorical Moderation.”  Paper presented to the American Society for the History of Rhetoric at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association.  San Francisco, CA, November 14-17, 2010.

“Analytic Under Siege: Stealth Dialectics and Rhetorical Deligitimation of Scientific Argument in the Public Sphere.”  (Co-authored with Dr. Margaret D. Zulick, Wake Forest University).  Paper presented at the Thirteenth Biennial Argumentation Conference, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, March 19-21, 2010.

“Because I Said So”: Mother as the New Voice of Scientific Expertise (Co-authored with Jessica Kuchinski, Lake Forest College ’11). Paper presented at the Association for Rhetoric of Science and Technology Pre-Conference at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association. Chicago, IL, November 12-15, 2009.

 “David Hume’s Rhetorical Negotiation of Wealth.”  Paper presented to the American Society for the History of Rhetoric at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association.  Chicago, IL, November 12-15, 2009.

“Legitimizing Body Worlds Through the Trope of Science.”  Paper presented at the Association for Rhetoric of Science and Technology Pre-Conference at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association.  San Diego, CA, November 19-22, 2008.

“When the Personal Becomes Public: Rethinking the Relationship Between Personal, Technical and Public Spheres of Argument.”  Paper presented at the Third Tokyo Conference on Argumentation.  Tokyo, Japan, August 8-10, 2008.

“Appealing to the Fairer Sex:  The Rhetorical Strategy of Hume’s ‘Womanly Essays.’” Paper presented to the American Society for the History of Rhetoric at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association.  Chicago, IL, November 15-18, 2007.