Antonio de Velasco
B.A., 1996, Guilford College
Ph.D., 2005, Emory University
A teacher of rhetoric, Tony de Velasco works within a scholarly tradition more than
2,000 years in the making. Bringing this established tradition into dialogue with
classical and contemporary social theory, de Velasco designs and teaches courses across
the department's rhetoric curriculum.
He has received both the College of Communication and Fine Arts Dean's Outstanding
Research Award and the University of Memphis Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award, a campus-wide distinction that recognizes excellence in teaching at the undergraduate
and graduate levels. In 2012, de Velasco directed On Civic Learning: Rhetoric, Public Address, Political Division, a meeting of the Thirteenth Biennial Public Address Conference.
Professor de Velasco has published on a range of topics, including the rhetoric of
current political controversies, argumentation, the history of rhetoric, and pedagogy.
His first book, Centrist Rhetoric: The Production of Political Transcendence in the Clinton Presidency, was named a "highly recommended" title of 2010 by Choice magazine. In 2011, de Velasco, with Melody Lehn, published Rhetoric: Concord and Controversy, an edited volume featuring top papers delivered at the Rhetoric Society of America's
Currently, de Velasco is co-editing an anthology of essays by the late rhetorician
Michael C. Leff, writing a book on contemporary rhetorical theory, and serving as
Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Communication.
Rhetoric & Civic Controversy
Senior Seminar in Communication
Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
Rhetoric and Cultural Studies
Rhetoric: Concord and Controversy (with Melody Lehn) (Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2011.
“A Crimson Tide: Republicans' Worldview Proves Successful in South, Beyond.” The Commercial Appeal, Viewpoint, V1, October 31, 2010.
Centrist Rhetoric: The Production of Political Transcendence in the Clinton Presidency. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010)
(with Michael C. Leff) "Rhetoric" in Kristen Malmkjær, ed. The Routledge Linguistics Encyclopedia. (London: Routledge, 2009), 456-61.
“Transgressive Eloquence: bell hooks, Cicero and the Aims of Rhetorical Pedagogy.”
Sizing Up Rhetoric. David Zarefsky and Elizabeth Benacka, eds. (Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2007),
“Rethinking Perelman’s Universal Audience: Political Dimensions of a Controversial
Concept.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 35.2 (Spring 2005), 47-64.