Leroy G. Dorsey is professor and chair of the Department of Communication at the University
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."