Department of Communication
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Sandra J. Sarkela

Sandra J. Sarkela
Associate Professor

Degrees Held

A.B.  1972 Augustana College
M.A. 1975 University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Ph.D. 1982 University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Academic Summary

My teaching and research interests are centered on the history and criticism of Anglo-American public address, particularly 18th-century theory and practice, and public address of American women. I am currently finishing a book on the political rhetoric of John Dickinson (1732-1808) and, in conjunction with that project, am a contributing editor on the Dickinson Writings Project, co-directed by Dr. Jane Calvert and Dr. Mark Lauersdorf at the University of Kentucky.

Courses Taught

Oral Communication
Voices of American Women
Rhetorical Theory
Rhetorical Criticism
Seminar in History of Rhetoric: 18th-19th-century British and American Rhetoric

Awards and Honors

President’s Leadership Recognition Award--Disability Resources for Students Outstanding Faculty “See Me” Award, 2014
Outstanding Graduate Mentor, Tennessee Communication Association, 2010, 2013
NEH “We the People” Summer Stipend, 2010
President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, SUNY Potsdam, 2004
Eastern Communication Association Committee of Scholars, 2004-2005

Selected Publications

Sandra J. Sarkela. “Mercy Otis Warren’s Contribution to the Rhetorical Tradition,” in Golden, Berquist, Coleman and Sproule, The Rhetoric of Western Thought, 10th ed. (Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt, 2011): 232-235

Sandra J. Sarkela, “Freedom’s Call: The Persuasive Power of Mercy Otis Warren’s Dramatic Sketches, 1772-1775,” Early American Literature, 44:3 (2009): 541-568.

Sandra J. Sarkela and Patrick Mazzeo. “Rev. James Robinson and American Support for African Democracy and Nation-Building, 1950’s-1970’s,” in Freedom’s Distant Shores: American Protestantism and Political Rights in Africa, R. Drew Smith, ed. Waco, TX:  Baylor University Press, 2006: 37-51, 236-238.

Sandra J. Sarkela, “Lucia Cormier vs. Margaret Chase Smith: Debate for the Maine Senate Seat, November 5, 1960,” Contemporary Argumentation and Debate 26 (2005): 51-62.

Sandra J. Sarkela, Susan Mallon Ross, and Margaret A. Lowe. From Megaphones to Microphones: Speeches of American Women, 1920-1960  (Westport, CT: Praeger Press, 2003).

Sandra J. Sarkela, "Rhetorical Theory and Practice in Scottish Sermons against American Independence, 1776-1779," Scottish Rhetoric and Its Influence, Gaillet, ed. Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers, 1998.

Sandra J. Sarkela. "Moderation, Religion and Public Discourse:  The Rhetoric of Occasional Conformity in England, 1697-1711," Rhetorica 15 (1997): 53-80.

Sandra J. Sarkela. "Margaret Chase Smith," Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1925-1993: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook. Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, ed. Greenwood Press, 1994.

Sandra Sarkela Hynes. "John Dickinson, Philadelphia Politician," American Orators before 1900:  Critical Studies and Sources. Duffy and Ryan, eds.  Greenwood Press, 1987.

Professional Activity

NCA Doctoral Education Committee, 2009-2011

NCA Educational Policies Board, 2004-2007

Phone:  901-678-3173

Fax:  901-678-4331


Office:  ACB 229

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