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


Dr. Casey Ryan Kelly (he/him), Professor, Rhetoric and Public Culture & Director of Graduate Studies, is a rhetorical theorist and critic who investigates the relationship between white masculinity, extremist politics, and networked media culture. Dr. Kelly’s scholarship is primarily guided by theories of cultural psychoanalysis, whiteness, and Afropessimism. Dr. Kelly is currently completing a co-authored book (with Dr. William Sipe) entitled Manifesting Violence that examines the rhetoric of mass shooters and conspiracy theories of racial replacement (University of Alabama Press). His next book project, tentatively titled Swoll: The Body Rhetorics of the Far Right, examines the muscle-bound fantasies and fitness anxieties that underwrite white nationalism in the U.S. Dr. Kelly is the recipient of numerous awards from the National Communication Association, including the Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award and the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression.

Representative Publications

Kelly, C.R. (2023). Caught on tape: White masculinity and obscene enjoyment. London: Oxford University Press.

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

Kelly, C.R. (2023). Covid-19 conspiracy rhetoric and other primal fantasies. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 109 (2): 132-153.

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

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


COMM 911D: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory

COMM 250: Rhetoric, Media, and Civic Life

COMM 330: Freedom of Speech