Assistant Professor

Photo of Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher.PhD, North Carolina State University
MA (Co-op), Waterloo
BA (Hons), Waterloo

Extension: 39135
Office: HH 146


In addition to my role as an assistant professor in the department, I am an Ontario Early Researcher Award holder (2017-2022), the President for the Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine, a General Editor at Genre Across Borders, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for Genre Research at the University of Copenhagen.

Selected Publications


Science Communication Online: Engaging Experts and Publics on the Internet. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press. 2019. ISBN 978-0-814-21398-8.

Emerging Genres in New Media Environments. With Carolyn R. Miller. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 2017. ISBN: 978-3-319-40295-6.

Articles and Chapters

Mehlenbacher, A. R. (2019). Registered Reports: An Emerging Scientific Research Article Genre. Written Communication, 36(1) 38–67.

Mehlenbacher, A. R. & Maddalena, K. (2019). Networks, Genres, and Complex Wholes: Citizen Science and How We Act Together Through Typified Text. In R.A. Harris (Ed.). Landmark Essays on the Rhetoric of Science: Issues and Methods. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. *Reprint of “Networks, Genres, and Complex Wholes” (2016) in the Canadian Journal of Communication.

Mehlenbacher, A. R. & Miller, C. R. (2018). Intersections: Scientific and Parascientific Communication on the Internet. In R.A. Harris (Ed.). Landmark Essays on the Rhetoric of Science: Case Studies (pp. 239–260), 2nd edition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. *Reprint of “Intersections” (2016) in A. Gross & J. Buehl (Eds.), Science and the Internet: Communicating Knowledge in a Digital Age.

Fargo Ahern, K. & Mehlenbacher, A. R. (2018). Listening for Genre Multiplicity in Classroom Soundscapes. Enculturation, 26. 22pp.

Mehlenbacher, A. R. (2017). Rhetorical Figures as Argument Schemes—The Proleptic Suite. Argument & Computation, 8(3), 233–252.

Mehlenbacher, A. R. (2017). Crowdfunding Science: Exigencies and Strategies in an Emerging Genre of Science Communication. Technical Communication Quarterly, 26(2), 127–144.

Mehlenbacher, A. R., & Harris, R. A. (2017). A Figurative Mind: Gertrude Buck's The Metaphor as a Nexus in Cognitive Metaphor Theory.  Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric 35(1), 75–109.

Brock, K. & Mehlenbacher, A. R. (2017). Rhetorical Genres in Code. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 48(4), 383–411. DOI: 10.1177/0047281617726278

Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R. (2016). Emerging Genres of Science Communication and their Ethical Exigencies. In B. Vanacker and D. Heider (Eds.), Ethics for a Digital Age (pp. 3–18). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Miller, C. R., & Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R. (2016). Discourse Genres. In A. Rocci & L. de Saussure (Eds.), Handbook of Communication Sciences–Verbal Communication (pp. 269–286). Berlin, Germany: Mouton–De Gruyter.

Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R., & Maddalena, K. (2015). Harnessing Agency for Efficacy: `Foldit' and Citizen Science. POROI: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetorical Analysis and Invention 11(1), 1–20.

Selected Fellowships & Awards

  • Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2018-2022)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award from the Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media program at North Carolina State University (2018)
  • Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (2017-2022)

Current Research

Recently my monograph, Science Communication Online: Engaging Experts and Publics on the Internet was published by The Ohio State University Press, and my coedited volume, Emerging Genres in New Media Environments was published by Palgrave Macmillan. Presently, I am the PI of the Networked Expertise project, funded by my Early Researcher Award and a SSHRC Insight Grant. For this project, I run a research lab investigating how experts understand the idea of expertise and how they believe they became experts. Currently my team is conducting surveys and interviews of experts, and, I am working on a monograph that offers an extended treatment of my findings.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

  • History and theory of rhetoric
  • Rhetoric of science, technology, and medicine
  • Rhetorical genre studies
  • Science communication
  • Technical communication
  • Environmental communication (especially related to disaster or risk society)
University of Waterloo

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