Office: A 219 Behavioral Sciences Building
Position: Assistant Professor
- Rhetorical Theory & Criticism
- Public Address
- U.S. Presidential Rhetoric
- Public Memory
Department: Communication Studies
Area of Study: Rhetoric and Civic Engagement
Dr. Allison M. Prasch is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Colorado State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota and teaches a variety of classes in rhetorical studies, including Rhetoric & Western Thought, Historical Speeches on American Issues, Evaluating Contemporary Rhetoric, and History of Rhetorical Theory. Dr. Prasch is a scholar of U.S. presidential rhetoric, and her research program connects methods of close textual analysis and archival research with contemporary scholarship on space/place and public memory to interrogate the relationship between oratorical texts and their physical, spatial, and historical contexts. She is the recipient of the National Communication Association’s 2017 Golden Anniversary Monograph Award for her theoretical work on deixis, and her research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs,Presidential Studies Quarterly, the Southern Communication Journal, Women’s Studies in Communication, and Voices of Democracy.
Dr. Prasch’s current book project examines the rise of the global rhetorical presidency during the Cold War. Tentatively entitled The Rise of the Global Rhetorical Presidency: Cold War Rhetoric on the World Stage, 1945-1989, this book considers how U.S. presidents and executive agencies proactively deployed the physical presence of the U.S. president abroad—and the mediation, transmission, and circulation of these visits—as a political and psychological weapon. Drawing on a robust textual and audiovisual archive from five presidential libraries, the records of the U.S. State Department (DOS), the U.S. Information Service (USIS), the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), and the Voice of America (VOA) held at the National Archives and Records Administration, and field work in Berlin and Normandy, this project analyzes representative moments that demonstrate the individual and collective strategies employed by five Cold War presidents in their acts of going global: Truman’s journey to Potsdam in 1945, Eisenhower’s goodwill tours in 1959-1960, Kennedy’s 1963 visit to West Berlin, Nixon’s “Opening to China” in 1971-1972, and Reagan’s 1984 commemoration of D-Day in Normandy. Although each case study offers a stand-alone analysis of how and why these chief executives targeted specific locations or regions for their situated rhetorical appeals, together they reveal how Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan embodied and articulated their Cold War foreign policy by speaking in various places throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. Ultimately, this book argues that Cold War U.S. presidents took their rhetoric abroad in an attempt to constitute an imagined community of peoples and nations who, although separated by physical distance or national allegiance, were united in their shared opposition to Soviet communism.
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
SPCM 201: Rhetoric in Western Thought
SPCM 311: Historical Speeches on American Issues
SPCM 412: Evaluating Contemporary Rhetoric
SPCM 601: History of Rhetorical Theory
SPCM 612: Rhetorical Criticism