Martin J. Medhurst

Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication &
Professor of Political Science
High Res Photo

Office Information:

Office Location: Marrs McLean Science Building 167

Office Hours (Fall 2019): 

  • TR 9:00 a.m-11:00 a.m.
  • W 2:00 p.m-4:00 p.m.
  • By appointment

Mailing Address:

Baylor University
Department of Communication 
One Bear Place # 97368
Waco, TX 76798-7368

Dr. Medhurst Vita 2014


  • B.A., Wheaton College, 1974
  • M.A., Northern Illinois University, 1975
  • Ph.D. Penn State University, 1980


Martin J. Medhurst is Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication and Professor of Political Science at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He started his teaching career in 1979 as an assistant professor of rhetoric at the University of California, Davis, where he was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1985. Dr. Medhurst became associate professor of speech communication at Texas A&M University in 1988, where he was promoted to full professor in 1991. He joined the faculty at Baylor University as Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication in 2003.

Professor Medhurst holds the B.A. from Wheaton College (1974), the M.A. from Northern Illinois University (1975), and the Ph.D. from Penn State University (1980). He is the author or editor of thirteen books, including Rhetorical Dimensions in Media: A Critical Casebook (1984 and 1991, with Thomas W. Benson), Cold War Rhetoric: Strategy, Metaphor, and Ideology (1990 and 1997, with Robert L. Ivie, Philip Wander, and Robert L. Scott), Communication & the Culture of Technology (1990, with Alberto Gonzalez and Tarla Rai Peterson), Landmark Essays on American Public Address (1993), Dwight D. Eisenhower: Strategic Communicator (1993), Eisenhower’s War of Words: Rhetoric and Leadership (1994), Beyond the Rhetorical Presidency (1996), Critical Reflections on the Cold War (2000, with H.W. Brands), Presidential Speechwriting (2003, with Kurt Ritter), The Rhetorical Presidency of George H. W. Bush (2006), The Prospect of Presidential Rhetoric (2008, with James Arnt Aune), Before the Rhetorical Presidency (2008), and Words of a Century (2009, with Stephen E. Lucas).

Dr. Medhurst is a frequent contributor to communication journals, including The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication Monographs, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Communication Education, Communication Quarterly, Communication Studies, Western Journal of Communication, and the Southern Communication Journal, among other disciplinary outlets. He has also contributed to such interdisciplinary journals as Armed Forces & Society, Journal of Church and State, Studies in Visual Communication, and Presidential Studies Quarterly. He has published more than 100 articles and chapters. Professor Medhurst is the founder and editor of the interdisciplinary journal Rhetoric & Public Affairs and of the scholarly book series of the same title, both published by Michigan State University Press. From 1987-1989, Dr. Medhurst served as the Book Review Editor of The Quarterly Journal of Speech. He has served on the editorial boards of Communication Monographs, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Western Journal of Communication, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Communication Quarterly, and as a special guest editor for Communication Education. From 1996-2007, he served as general editor for the Presidential Rhetoric Series at Texas A&M University Press and from 2004-2012 as editor of the Rhetoric and Religion Series at Baylor University Press. He currently serves as the general editor of the ten volume series, A Rhetorical History of the United States, published by Michigan State University Press.

Dr. Medhurst is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the Julia T. Wood Teacher-Scholar Award (2011), Michael Osborn Teacher-Scholar Award (2007), the Religious Communication Association Scholar of the Year Award (2006), the National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar Award (2005), the Paul Boase Prize for Scholarship (2004), the Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award for Outstanding Scholarship (1995 and 1997), the NCA Golden Anniversary Monograph Award for Outstanding Scholarship (1982, with Michael A. DeSousa), and the RCA Publication Award (1983). Dr. Medhurst has lectured widely throughout the United States and his work has been supported by grants from the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library Foundation, the Texas Committee for the Humanities, the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.



  • CSS 3202 Introduction to Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • CSS 4310 Politics and Communication (cross-listed with Political Science)
  • CSS 4351 Criticism of Contemporary Public Address (cross-listed with Political Science)
  • CSS 4353 Public Discourse and Foreign Policy (cross-listed with Political Science)
  • CSS 4354 African American Communication (cross-listed with Political Science)


  • CSS 5350 Seminar in Presidential Rhetoric (cross-listed with Political Science)
  • CSS 5352 Seminar in Medhods of Rhetorical Criticism (cross-listed with Political Science)

Teaching/Research Interests:

  • Rhetorical theory and criticism
  • Presidential rhetoric
  • Civil-religious discourse