Department of Communication
13th Biennial Public Address Conference
Leroy G. Dorsey

Leroy DorseyLeroy G. Dorsey is professor and chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Memphis.
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 (NCA) Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award for the top book in public address studies. 
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. Dorsey is a contributor to African American Orators and edited "The Presidency and Rhetorical Leadership."

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