Casey Kelly
Director of Graduate Studies and Professor, Rhetoric & Public Culture Communication Studies


Dr. Casey Ryan Kelly is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His broad research interests in rhetoric, critical media studies, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies include the rhetoric of white masculinity, white supremacy, and the rhetoric of the far-right. He has also publish work on the rhetoric of indigenous activism and political antagonisms over race and sexuality in contemporary media culture.  

He is author of four books, including Apocalypse man: The death drive and the rhetoric of white masculine victimhood (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2020), Food Television and Otherness in the Age of Globalization (Lexington Press, 2017), and Abstinence Cinema: Virginity and the Rhetoric of Sexual Purity in Contemporary Film (Rutgers University Press, 2016). His forthcoming book Caught on Tape: White Masculinity and Obscene Enjoyment (Oxford University Press) draws from rhetorical and psychoanalytical theories of spectatorship to theorize unsublimated white masculinity as its excesses irrupt into public life—including the infamous Access Hollywood Tape, celebrity racist rants, Donald Sterling's racist confession tapes, and the doom scroll of racist rants and public freak outs on YouTube.

Kelly's work regularly appears in journals such as Quarterly Journal of SpeechRhetoric and Public AffairsCritical Studies in Media Communication, and Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies.

Kelly was the 2018 recipient of the National Communication Association's Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award.

Recent Publications

Kelly, C.R. Caught on tape: White masculinity and obscene enjoyment. London: Oxford University Press (in production, estimated publication 2023-2024) .

Kelly, C.R. (2021). White pain. Quarterly Journal of Speech 107 (2): 209-233.

Kelly, C.R. (2020). Apocalypse man: The death drive and the rhetoric of white masculine victimhood. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.

Kelly, C.R. (in press). Do you even lift bro?: (Re)capacitating the white male body. Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture.

Hoerl, K.E. and Kelly, C.R. (in press). Pants on Fyre: Parasitic masculinity and the Fyre Festival documentaries. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies.


COMM 250: Rhetoric, Media, and Civic Life

COMM 380: Gender and Communication

COMM 911D: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory