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USC: Palmetto College

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Melody Lehn

Assistant Professor of Speech Communication
Extended University


Ph.D., Communication, The University of Memphis
M.A., Communication, The University of Memphis
B.A., Communication Studies, Furman University



Research and/or Teaching Interests:

As a student and teacher of rhetoric and public address, I am professionally committed to investigating the ways that rhetoric imagines and sustains our democratic practices, with a specific emphasis on the intersections of gender, politics, and communication. I am currently working on projects related to southern culture and race, first ladies and presidential advising, and rhetorics of Biblical womanhood.    


Courses Taught:

SPCH 140: Public Communication


Recent Publications:


Edited Collection:

Rhetoric: Concord and Controversy (co-edited with Antonio de Velasco). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2011.


Journal Article:

“Jackie Joins Twitter: The Re-Circulation of ‘Campaign Wife.’” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 15 (Winter 2012), 667-674.


Book Chapter:

“Strong Frontrunner, Weak Woman: Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Politics of Pile On.” Venomous Speech: Problems with American Political Discourse on the Right and Left Volume 2, ed. Clarke Rountree. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger, 2013: 223-236.


Select Conference Presentations:

“Raising Children as Work: Ann Romney, Hilary Rosen, and the War on Women.” National Communication Association, Washington D.C. November 2013.

“Jackie Joins Twitter: The Re-Circulation of ‘Campaign Wife.’” Southern States Communication Association, San Antonio, Texas. March 2012.


“From the ‘Mother of Our Country’ to the ‘Mom-in-Chief’: First Lady Nicknames andtheir Rhetorical Power.” Eastern Communication Association, Arlington, Virginia. April 2011.


“‘A Proud Supporter of Barack Obama’: Rhetorical Transformation in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 DNC Keynote Address.” National Communication Association, San Francisco, California. November 2010.


“‘Being Ladylike Does Not Require Silence’: Betty Ford’s Remarks to the International Women’s Year Conference.” Tennessee Communication Association, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. September 2010.


Interdisciplinary Affiliations:

Affiliate Faculty, Women’s and Gender Studies


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Curriculum Vitae




Phone: 803.777.2209


Fax: 803.777.9357


Office: Byrnes, 609C


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Mailing Address:

Extended University
Byrnes, 605
Columbia, SC 29208



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