Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1995

Office: CMU 145

Leah Ceccarelli, Professor, is a rhetorical critic and theorist with a research focus on the rhetoric of science. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in American Public Address, Rhetorical Criticism, and Rhetoric of Science. She directs the UW Science, Technology, and Society Studies Graduate Certificate program. She serves on the editorial boards of Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Philosophy & Rhetoric, and Western Journal of Communication, and is Co-Editor of Transdisciplinary Rhetoric (a book series sponsored by the Rhetoric Society of America and Penn State University Press). She is a Rhetoric Society of America Fellow and winner of the National Communication Association’s Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar award and the American Society for the History of Rhetoric outstanding mentor award.

Selected publications

  • Miller, C. R. and L. Ceccarelli (in press) “Rhetoric of Science,” Cambridge History of Rhetoric: Volume V 1900-, edited by D. M. Gross, S. Mailloux, and L. Mao (Cambridge UP), in press.
  • Klein, E. and L. Ceccarelli (2022) “Surpassing Our Genes: The Subversive Post-human Message of Gattaca,” Mètode Science Studies Journal 12, 183-88.
  • Pietrucci, P. and L. Ceccarelli (2020) “What Did We Learn From L’Aquila? Scientist Citizens and Public Communication.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 9.7, 22-28.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2020) “The Polysemic Facepalm: Fauci as Rhetorical Savvy Scientist Citizen,” Philosophy & Rhetoric 53.3, 239-45.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2020) “COVID-19: Pandemics Metaphors,” Mètode Science Studies Journal 11.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2020) “The Rhetoric of Rhetorical Inquiry,” Western Journal of Communication 84.3, 365-78.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2020) “Another Hard Look at Ourselves: The Transdisciplinary Influence of Rhetoric of Science Scholarship,” Re-inventing Rhetoric Scholarship: 50 Years of the Rhetoric Society of America, edited by R. Mountford and D. Tell (Anderson, South Carolina: Parlor Press), 34-43.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2020) “Temporal Development and Spatial Emplacement in the Dispositional Whole: The (Con)Text of Hillary Clinton’s ‘Basket of Deplorables’ Speech,” The Conceit of Context, edited by K. Phillips and C. E. Morris III (Peter Lang Publishing Group), 47-54.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2019) “Language and Science from a Rhetorical Perspective,” The Routledge Handbook of Language and Science, edited by D. R. Gruber & L. Walsh (Routledge), 9-20.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2019) “The Defence of Science in the Public Sphere,” in Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation, edited by B. Garssen, D. Godden, G. R. Mitchell, J. H. M. Wagemans (Sic Sat), 188-96.
  • Pietrucci, P. and L. Ceccarelli (2019) “Scientist Citizens: Rhetoric and Responsibility in L’Aquila,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 22.1 (Spring): 95-128.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2019) “Pioneers, Prophets and Profligates: George W. Bush’s Presidential Interaction with Science,” in Reading the Presidency: Advances in Presidential Rhetoric, edited by M. Stuckey and S. Heidt (Peter Lang Publishing Group), 195-212.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2018-19) “Changing Everything about Science and Its Rhetoric,” Works & Days 70-71, vol. 36: 213-26.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2018) “CRISPR as Agent: A Metaphor that Rhetorically Inhibits the Prospects for Responsible Research,” Life Sciences, Society and Policy 14.24:1-13.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2018) “Bioscience as Change Agent: Rhetorics of Restraint and Inevitability in Response to Advances in Genetic Technologies,” in Rhetorics Change/Rhetoric’s Change: Rhetoric Society of America Selected Conference Proceedings, edited by J. Rice, C. Graham and E. Detweiler (Parlor Press).
  • Nelson, S. C., Yu, J.-H. & Ceccarelli, L, (2015). “How Metaphors About the Genome Constrain CRISPR Metaphors: Separating the ‘Text’ From Its ‘Editor’,” The American Journal of Bioethics, 15.12, 60-62.
  • Ceccarelli, L. “Scientific Ethos and the Cinematic Zombie Outbreak,” Mètode: Science Studies Journal 6 (2016): 107-13.
  • Ceccarelli, L. “Rhetoric of Science and Technology,” in Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering: A Global Resource, 2nd Edition, Volume 3, ed. J. B. Holbrook (Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2015), 621-25.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2014) “Where’s the Rhetoric? Broader Impacts in Collaborative Research,” Poroi, 10.1, article 12.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2013). On the Frontier of Science: An American Rhetoric of Exploration and Exploitation (Michigan State UP).[Winner of the National Communication Association Public Address Division’s Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award for best book, 2014.]
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2013). “Controversy Over Manufactured Scientific Controversy: A Rejoinder to Fuller,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 761-66.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2013) “To Whom Do We Speak? The Audiences for Scholarship on the Rhetoric of Science and Technology.” Poroi, 9.1, article 7.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2013). “Crossing Frontiers of Science: Trespassing into a Godless Space or Fulfilling Our Manifest Destiny?” in After the Genome: A Language for Our Biotechnological Future, ed. M. J. Hyde and J. A. Herrick (Baylor UP), 83-97.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2011). “Manufactured Scientific Controversy: Science, Rhetoric, and Public Debate,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 195-228. [Winner of the American Forensics Association’s Daniel Rohrer Memorial Outstanding Research Award, 2012; Reprinted in Landmark Essays on Rhetoric of Science: Case Studies, Second Edition, edited by R. A. Harris (Routledge, 2018).]
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2011). “Controversy over Uncertainty: Argumentation Scholarship and Public Debate about Science,” Proceedings of the Seventh Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation, ed. F. H. van Eemeren, et al. (Amsterdam: Rozenbirg/Sic Sat), 254-60.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2010). “Interpretive Communities in Science,” in Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication, ed. S. Priest (Sage Publications), 415-18.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2007). “Creating Controversy about Science and Technology,” in Proceedings of the Sixth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation, ed. F. H. van Eemeren, et al. (Sic Sat), 231-34.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2005). “Let Us (Not) Theorize the Spaces of Contention,” Argumentation and Advocacy 42.1: 30-33.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2005). “Science and Civil Debate: The Case of E. O. Wilson’s Sociobiology,” in Rhetoric and Incommensurability, edited by R. A. Harris (Parlor Press), 271-93.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2005). “A Hard Look at Ourselves: A Reception Study of Rhetoric of Science,” Technical Communication Quarterly, 14.3: 257-65.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2005). “The Ends of Rhetoric Revisited: Three Readings of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.” The Viability of the Rhetorical Tradition, edited by R. Graff, A. E. Walzer, and J. M. Atwill (SUNY Press), 47-60.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2004). “Rhetoric of Science and Technology,” in Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, Vol. 3: L-R, edited by C. Mitchem (Detroit: Macmillan Reference), 1625-29.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2004). “Neither Confusing Cacophony nor Culinary Complements: A Case Study of Mixed Metaphors for Genomic Science.” Written Communication, 21.1, 92-105.
  • Ceccarelli, L. and Bixler, N. (2002). “Losing Control of an Extended Analogy: Lessl’s Analysis of Gnostic Scientism.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs, 5.4, 709-17.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2002). “Rhetoric and the Field of Human Genomics: The Problems and Possibilities of Mixed Metaphors.” Gene(sis): Contemporary Art Explores Human Genomics: Exhibition Website and CD-ROM Catalogue, edited by R. Held, Seattle, Henry Art Gallery.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2002). “A Scientific Rhetoric.” Review of Communicating Science: The Scientific Article from the 17th Century to the Present by A. G. Gross, J. E. Harmon and M. Reidy. Science, 298.5594, 757.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2001). “Uniting Biology and the Social Sciences: A Rhetorical Comparison of E.O. Wilson’s Consilience and Theodosius Dobzhansky’s Mankind Evolving.” Poroi, 1.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2001) Shaping Science with Rhetoric: The Cases of Dobzhansky, Schrodinger, and Wilson. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. [Winner of the Rhetoric Society of America Book Award, 2004.]
  • Ceccarelli, L. (2001) “Rhetorical Criticism and the Rhetoric of Science.” Western Journal of Communication, 65.3, 314-29. [Reprinted in Landmark Essays on Rhetoric of Science: Theories, Themes, and Methods, edited by R. A. Harris (Routledge, 2018).]
  • Ceccarelli, L. (1998). “Polysemy: Multiple Meanings in Rhetorical Criticism.” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 84.4, 394-414. [Winner of the National Communication Association Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, 1999; Reprinted in The Routledge Reader in Rhetorical Criticism, 2012.]
  • Ceccarelli, L. (1997). “The Ends of Rhetoric: Aesthetic, Political, Epistemic.” Making and Unmaking the Prospects for Rhetoric, edited by T. Enos (Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Publishers), 65-74.
  • Ceccarelli, L., Doyle, R., and Selzer, J. (1996). Introduction to the Special Issue on Rhetoric of Science. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 26.4, 7-12.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (1995). “A Rhetoric of Interdisciplinary Scientific Discourse: Textual Criticism of Dobzhansky’s Genetics and the Origin of Species.” Social Epistemology, 9.2, 91-111.
  • Ceccarelli, L. (1994). “A Masterpiece in a New Genre: The Rhetorical Negotiation of Two Audiences in Schrodinger’s What Is Life?” Technical Communication Quarterly, 3.1, 7-17.