Chair, Associate Professor
(519) 888-4567 x. 38603
Location: ML 236B


Rob Danisch.Robert Danisch has a PhD in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh (2004) and a BA from the University of Virginia in History and Philosophy. His research interests concern rhetorical theory and public communication within democratic societies, and he has written extensively about the relationship between American Pragmatism and rhetoric.  He is the author of Pragmatism, Democracy, and the Necessity of Rhetoric (University of South Carolina Press, 2007) and Building a Social Democracy: The Promise of Rhetorical Pragmatism (Lexington Books, 2015).  He is also the author of a popular book on improving communication skills: What Effect Have I Had? 100 Communication Practices to be a Better Partner, Teammate, Writer, Speaker, and Leader (2018).  Professor Danisch hosts a podcast called “Now We’re Talking” that focuses on communication skills, and he is currently finishing a SSHRC-funded project titled Sociologies of Rhetoric which outlines the conditions for rhetorical citizenship within large-scale democratic societies.  His work has appeared in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Social Epistemology, Public Understanding of Science, and Southern Communication Journal.  Rob teaches courses in Communication Ethics, Speech Writing, Persuasion, Small Group Communication, and Public Communication.  He joined the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo in 2011. 

Recent work

Pragmatism, Democracy, and the Necessity of Rhetoric (University of South Carolina Press, 2007).

“The Absence of Rhetorical Theory in Richard Rorty’s Linguistic Pragmatism,” Philosophy and Rhetoric 46 (2) 2013: pp. 156-181.

“Stanley Fish is not a Sophist: The Difference Between Skeptical and Prudential Versions of Rhetorical Pragmatism,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 42 (5) 2012: 405-423.

“The Roots and Form of Obama’s Rhetorical Pragmatism,” Rhetoric Review 31 (2) 2012: 148-168.

“Political Rhetoric in a World Risk Society,” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 40 (2) 2010: 172-192.

Dewey on Science, Deliberation, and the Sociology of Rhetoric,” (co-authored with W. Keith) in Trained Capacities: John Dewey, Rhetoric, and Democratic Culture, edited by Brian Jackson and Gregory Clark (University of South Carolina Press, 2013).

“Jane Addams, Pragmatism, and Rhetorical Citizenship in Multicultural Democracies,” in Citizens of the World: Pluralism, Migration and Practices of Citizenship, edited by Robert Danisch (Rodopi Press, 2011): pp. 37-58.

“Cosmopolitanism and Epideictic Rhetoric,” in Philosophic Values and World Citizenship: Locke to Obama and Beyond, edited by Leonard Harris and Jacoby Carter (Lexington Books, 2010): pp. 147-164.

Courses Taught

  • SPCOM 323 – Speech Writing
  • SPCOM 324 – Small Group Communication
  • SPCOM 420 – Persuasion
  • SPCOM 475 – Communication Ethics
University of Waterloo

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