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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Communication Studies

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Faculty & Staff

Joshua Hanan

Joshua Hanan, Assistant Professor

Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Sturm Hall, Room 297



  • BA, Humboldt State University
  • MA, San Diego State University
  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin


Professor Hanan studies rhetoric from the critical standpoints of historical materialism, cultural materialism, and new materialism. In particular, his work explores how historically shifting ecological, technological, and economic contexts materially produce and regulate what can and cannot be conceptualized as communicative and rhetorical activity. By adopting this "materialist" lens, Dr. Hanan's work has transformed our understanding of many salient 21st century discourses, including the 2008 financial crisis, attention deficit disorder, home ownership, WikiLeaks, Freakonomics, environmental stewardship, and quantum physics.

Dr. Hanan's 30 + essays and book chapters can be found in many top-ranked journals both inside and outside the discipline of communication studies, including Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Philosophy & Rhetoric, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, Argumentation & Advocacy, and Angelaki.

Dr. Hanan is currently working on two different book projects that are at various stages of development. His first project—presently titled Rhetorical Economies of Power—is a historical study that seeks to re-conceptualize the rhetorical tradition from the geneaological standpoint of biopolitical power in the West. His second book project—presently titled the Rhetorical Politics of the Household—analyzes contemporary discourses, such as self-help, gentrification, nationalism, and climate change, through a materialist lens of the household.

In addition to his research, Dr. Hanan has served in a number of leadership and editorial roles. For example, Dr. Hanan has served as the vice-chair and chair of a new NCA Division that he helped found called Economics, Communication, and Society, and in 2014 he published (with Mark Hayward) the first edited collection to explore the topic of economics in the discipline of communication studies. He has also edited a special issue of Cultural Economy (with Catherine Chaput) that examines the intersections between rhetoric, economic performativity, and neoliberalism, and a Review of Communication special issue (with Chris Gamble) that engages the burgeoning "new materialist" conversation in the discipline of rhetorical studies.

Dr. Hanan's interdisciplinary teaching interests include rhetorical theory, critical theory, cultural studies, rhetorical materialism, rhetoric of science and technology, the rhetoric of economics, and disability rhetoric.