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, and cultural studies include representations of masculinity, whiteness, race/racism, indigenous self-determination, and sexuality in film.

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 next book Caught on Tape: White Masculinity and Obscene Enjoyment draws from rhetorical and psychoanalytical theories of spectatorship to theorize white masculine sovereignty 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 appears in journals such as Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Critical 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.


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

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

Kelly, C.R. (2021). Whiteness, repressive victimhood, and the foil of the intolerant left. First Amendment Studies 51(1): 59-76.

Kelly, C.R. (2020). Donald J. Trump and the rhetoric of white ambivalence. Rhetoric and Public Affairs 23 (2), 195-223.

Kelly, C.R. (2020). Donald J. Trump and the rhetoric of ressentiment. Quarterly Journal of Speech 106 (1), 2-24.


COMM 250: Rhetoric, Media, and Civic Life

COMM 380: Gender and Communication

COMM 911D: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory