Department of Communication
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Leroy Dorsey

dorseyLeroy G. Dorsey
Professor and Department Chair

Degrees Held

PhD, 1993, Indiana University
MA, 1988, California State University, Hayward
BS, 1980, California State University, Hayward

Academic Summary

Dr. Dorsey’s research examines the symbols used by political figures to promote their legislative agendas, shape their identities as morally sound advocates, and transform their audiences into seemingly active agents poised to support particular agendas. He studies the public speech of the presidency, most notably the rhetoric of Theodore Roosevelt and, to a lesser extent, Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. His most recent book, We Are All Americans, Pure and Simple: Theodore Roosevelt and the Myth of Americanism, examines how Roosevelt used the frontier myth of national origin to create standards for non-whites and immigrants to achieve before they could be identified as Americans. The book won the 2008 National Communication Association Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award for the top book in public address studies.

Dr. Dorsey recently began exploring the intersection of politics with popular culture and how the resulting dialogue shapes notions of race, ethnicity, and American identity. 

His research has been published in such journals as Quarterly Journal of Speech, Presidential Studies Quarterly and Rhetoric & Public Affairs. Dr. Dorsey is a contributor to African American Orators and edited The Presidency and Rhetorical Leadership.

Courses Taught

Communication and Popular Culture
Women, Minorities & Mass Media
American Public Discourse Since 1865
Political Communication

Selected Publications

Leroy G. Dorsey, "Narrating the Presidential 'Race': Barack Obama and the American Dream," in Communicating Marginalized Masculinities: Identity Politics in TV, Film, and New Media, edited by Ronald L. Jackson II & Jamie E. Moshin. Routledge, 2012.

Leroy G. Dorsey, “We Are All Americans, Pure and Simple”: Theodore Roosevelt and the Myth of Americanism. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2007.

Leroy G. Dorsey, ed., The Presidency and Rhetorical Leadership. Texas A&M University Press, 2002. 

Leroy G. Dorsey and Rachel M. Harlow, “‘We Want Americans Pure and Simple’: Theodore Roosevelt and the Myth of Americanism,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 6 (2003): 55-78.

Leroy G. Dorsey, “Rereading The X-Files: The Trickster in Contemporary Conspiracy Myth,” Western Journal of Communication 4 (2002): 448-468.

Honors and Awards

Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award for the top book in 2007 for Public Address Studies, Public Address Division, National Communication Association, 2008

Texas A&M Association of Former Students College-level Distinguished Teaching Award, 2003 and 2010

B. Aubrey Fisher Award for outstanding article published in the Western Journal of Communication, 1995

Professional Activity

Editorial Board Member
Voices of Democracy, 2009-present
Southern Communication Journal, 2007-2010
Communication Studies, 2005
Rhetoric and Public Affairs, 2000-05
Western Journal of Communication, 2000-02

Phone: 901-678-2565

Fax: 901-678-4331

E-mail: lgdorsey@memphis.edu

Office: ACB 213

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Last Updated: 1/9/13