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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

SPCH 331: Organizational 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 Chapters:


“First Ladies and Presidential Advising: Ann Romney, Hilary Rosen, and the 2012 Presidential Campaign.” Studies of Communication in the 2012 Presidential Campaign, ed. Robert E. Denton, Jr. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014: 95-110.

“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:


“Hillary Studies, the State of the Scholarship, and Disciplinary Implications for Gender and Public Address.” Southern States Communication Association, Tampa, Florida. April 2015.


“Press Framing and the Art of Personal Diplomacy: Special Focus on Pat Nixon’s Peruvian Mission.” National Communication Association, Chicago, Illinois. November 2014.


“Reconciling Ourselves to the Southern Archive” Roundtable. Carolinas Communication Association, Greenville, South Carolina. October 2014.


G.I.F.T.S. (Great Ideas for Teaching Speech): “Talking Like TED: Ideas Worth Spreading in the Communication Classroom.” Carolinas Communication Association, Greenville, South Carolina. October 2014.

“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.


Faculty Advisor


USC Mock Trial

Helping Hands at USC


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, 620


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Mailing Address:

Extended University
Byrnes, 605
Columbia, SC 29208



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Columbia, SC 29208 • 803-777-7695 • Contact Us