Pat J. Gehrke is an associate professor in the Speech Communication and Rhetoric Program and the Department of English at the University of South Carolina. He has published original research in communication ethics, public argument, political rhetoric, rhetorical theory, and philosophy of communication, including his 2009 book, The Ethics and Politics of Speech. His score of articles, essays, and book chapters are frequently cited in communication, argumentation, and rhetorical studies. Currently he is serving as editor of Review of Communication, a journal of the National Communication Association.
He has made over sixty presentations and appearances at conferences in the United States and Europe on topics such as argumentation theory, methodology in the study of public rhetoric, contemporary rhetorical theory, communication ethics, and philosophies of communication.
Professor Gehrke’s latest research on democracy, dissent, and public rhetoric is supported by a National Science Foundation grant focused on public engagement methods. In pursuing the question of how democratic action might be possible in twenty-first century America he has developed innovative methodologies for empirical and rhetorical study of public argument and public engagement while retaining a strong ethical and philosophical foundation. That combination provides for the development of grounded middle-range theories that are at once theoretically sophisticated, based on actual field observation, and practically functional.
His record of teaching includes courses in rhetorical theory, persuasion, rhetoric of science and technology, rhetoric and democracy, civic engagement, communication ethics, history of rhetoric, argumentation, and communication pedagogy.
Professor Gehrke holds a Ph.D. in Communication Arts and Sciences from The Pennsylvania State University. He has served on the board of directors of the Rhetoric Society of America, the steering committee of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric, as chair of the National Communication Association’s Communication Ethics Division, co-founded the Southern States Communication Association’s Ethics and Philosophy of Communication division, and is an active member of the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCOST) project at North Carolina State University.