John M Murphy

Associate Professor of Communication

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Rhetoric of the US presidency and contemporary politics; presidential war rhetoric and campaign speeches.


Research Description

  • John Murphy studies the history of American Public Address and political rhetoric. He's interested in just how political languages collide and influence each other over the course of U.S. history. He's written on John and Robert Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King. Jr., George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. His scholarly work has appeared in journals such as Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Quarterly Journal of Speech, and American Literary History. His commentary on the presidency, presidential speechmaking, and rhetoric regularly appears  in popular media outlets such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, WGN, and USA Today. He is currently finishing a book project on the presidential speeches of John F. Kennedy and the American liberal tradition.


  • Ph.D., University of Kansas

Distinctions / Awards

  • 2015 Campus Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • 2015 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • 2004 National Communication Assocation Golden Monograph Award


  • CMN 321: Strategies of Persuasion
  • CMN 396: Rhetoric and the Presidency
  • CMN 423: Rhetorical Criticism
  • CMN 538: Graduate Seminar in Rhetoric