In Press
Mehlenbacher, A. R. (In Press). Genre Within and Across Borders. Rhetor.
Mehlenbacher, B., Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R., Kampe, C., & Kittle Autry, M. (In Press). Instructional Design for Online Learning Environments and the Problem of Collaboration in the Cloud. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication.
Mehlenbacher, A. R. (2017). Book Review: Diary of a Citizen Scientist. Discover Magazine Citizen Science Salon. Publisher's Version
Mehlenbacher, A. R. (2017). Crowdfunding Science: Exigencies and Strategies in an Emerging Genre of Science Communication. Technical Communication Quarterly , 26 (2). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Crowdfunding is a novel mechanism for garnering monetary support from the online public, and increasingly it is being used to fund science. This article reports a small scale study examining science-focused crowdfunding proposals from By exploring the rhetoric of these proposals with respect to traditional grant funding proposals in the sciences, this study aims to understand how the language of science may be imported into this popular genre.

Miller, C. R., & Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R. (Ed.). (2017). Emerging Genres in New Media Environments. Postscript: Futures for Genre Studies . London, Palgrave Macmillan.
Mehlenbacher, A. R., & Harris, R. A. (2017). A Figurative Mind: Gertrude Buck's The Metaphor as a Nexus in Cognitive Metaphor Theory. Rhetorica , XXXV (1), 75–109.Abstract

Gertrude Bucks (1899) The Metaphor: A Study in the Psychology of Rhetoric (Die Metapher: Eine Studie in der Psychologie der Rhetorik) ist ein einzigartiges Essay. In vielerlei Hinsicht prognostiziert das Essay die Metaphern des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts in der Rhetorik, der Linguistik und den Kognitionswissenschaften, inklusive Richards (1936) gefeierten Bemerkungen über die mentale Grundlagen von Metapher, sowie der einflussreichen „konzeptuellen Metapher” in Lakoff und Johnson (1980). Bucks Essay spiegelt auch die Themen der Metaphern welche die Deutsch und Französisch lexikalische Semantik des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts faszinierten. Die Metapher ist zwar ein Original, aber eine dennoch vernachlässigt Verbindung der rhetorischen Tradition, der linguistischen Wende und der Kognitionswissenschaft. Wir kartographieren die Konturen dieses Zusammenhangs, und explizieren, wie Bucks Argumente in die Geschichte der kognitiven Metapherstudien hineinpassen, mit einem Augenmerk sowohl auf Müllers Philologie des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts als auch bezüglich Lakoff und Johnsons Linguistik zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts.

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Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R. (2016). Book review: Innovations in Home Energy Use: A Sourcebook for Behavior Change by Southwell, B.G., Doran, E.M.B., Richman, L.S. (Eds.). Energy Research & Social Science.
Miller, C. R., & Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R. (2016). Discourse Genres. In Verbal Communication . Berlin, Mouton-De Gruyter.
Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R. (2016). Emerging Genres of Science Communication and their Ethical Exigencies. In Ethics for a Digital Age (pp. 3–18) . New York, Peter Lang.
Miller, C. R., Walsh, L., Wynn, J., Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R., Walker, K. C., White, W. J., & Winderman, E. (2016). The Great Chain of Being: Manifesto on the Problem of Agency in Science Communication. POROI: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetorical Analysis and Invention , 12 (1), 1-8.
Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R., & Miller, C. R. (2016). Intersections: Scientific and Parascientific Communication on the Internet. In Science and the Internet: Communicating Knowledge in a Digital Age (pp. 221–245) . Amityville, Baywood.
Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R., & Maddalena, K. (2016). Networks, Genres, and Complex Wholes: Citizen Science and How We Act Together through Typified Tex. Canadian Journal of Communication , 41 (2). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Cet article examine Rhetorical Genre Studies (RGS) et Actor-Network Theory (ANT). Ces deux modes d’étude sont importants dans les contextes de la recherche Canadienne. Nous prennons genre et ANT, pour retrouver une perspective que nous croyons puisse contribuer beaucoup aux études de la science dans l’âge de l’internet. On comprend les genres de textes comme une moyenne de rendre compte de la façon dont les objets deviennent des ensembles complexes et donc agir entre les différents niveaux de configuration réseau. En plus, la nature des actions de ces objets (ou instruments scientifique) est telle qu’on puisse attribuer a eux une sorte d’agence rhétorique. Nous voyons le citizen science reponse de l’InFORM Network a la disastre au Fukushima Daiichi comme une example de la puissance d’un perspectif RGS/ANT pour articuler les “entieres-complexes” des networks qui sont material/rhetorical au meme temps.

Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R. (2015). Book Review: On the Frontier of Science: An American Rhetoric of Exploration and Exploitation by Leah Ceccarelli and Scientists as Prophets: A Rhetorical Genealogy by Lynda Walsh. Technical Communication Quarterly , 24 (2).
Miller, C. R., Fanning, S., Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R., Kessler, M., Graham, S. S., & Card, D. (2015). Expertise and Data in the Articulation of Risk. POROI: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Rhetorical Analysis and Invention , 11 (1), 1-9.
Mehlenbacher, B., Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R., & Kittle Autry, M. (2015). Instructional Design for Stem-Based Collaborative, Colocated Classroom Composition. IEEE Transations on Professional Communication , 58 (4), 396-409.
Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R. (2014). Hacking Science: Emerging Parascientific Genres and Public Participation in Scientific Research [doctoral dissertation]. Publisher's VersionAbstract


The Internet, in Brian Trench’s (2008) words, “is turning science communication inside-out” and, as a result, the boundaries between internal and external science communication are “eroding.” Yet these boundaries have long been complicated by “para-scientific genres” such as trade magazines, as Sarah Kaplan and Joanna Radin (2011) show, when they detail genres that exist “alongside” mainstream scientific genres. These genres’ existence is dependent upon their association with established scientific media and genres, such as the scholarly journal and the scientific research article. Moreover, these genres reach a wider audience, including policymakers and others involved in the community, with a mission of influencing the direction of a discipline or field. Bringing together these ideas, Carolyn R. Miller and I (forthcoming) extend the notion of parascientific genres to account for emerging genres of science communication online, suggesting that the rhetorical work parascientific genres do has been partially moved into more public (or, external) spheres of scientific discourse. This dissertation focuses on the erosion of boundaries between internal and external science communication to explore the possibilities for parascientific genres—and looks specifically to citizen science as a site of inquiry. While some attention has been paid to citizen science, it is often devoted to scientist-driven cases, where discursive acts are governed by rhetorics of professionalized science. Participant-driven citizen science can depart from these conventions, I maintain. And interesting examples of parascientific genres, or genres that demonstrate characteristics of both internal and external science communication, are available for examination.

In this study, I trace the history of this distinction between expert and public science communication, looking back to early scientists, amateur scientists, and forward to the emerging trends in citizen science. I also uncover an emerging sphere, both within and beyond citizen science, where hackers have become involved in scientific research. I trace this phenomenon to the emergence of “hackerspaces.” I then take up Safecast as a case study to suggest that boundaries between expert and public spheres of science communication are eroding. Securing funding and support for Safecast’s work––collecting radiation readings––relied on the use of “parascientific genres.” I suggest that emerging “parascientific” genres––genres alongside traditional scientific genres––demonstrate features characteristic of both expert and public scientific communication. To better understand this phenomenon, I employ rhetorical genre theory and stylistic analysis in a comparative analysis. I compare traditional scientific genres (grant proposals, conference talks, and scientific databases) to what I believe are parascientific genres. The parascientific genres I analyze are science-focused Kickstarter funding proposals, conference talks, and Safecast’s database. This study helps to address questions about the relationship between expert and public science communication as well as professional and amateur communication of scientific and technical subject matter.


Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R., Kittle Autry, M., & Mehlenbacher, B. (2014). Considering Chronos and Kairos in Digital Media Rhetorics. In Digital Rhetoric and Global Literacies . Hershey, IGI Global.
Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R., & Kittle Autry, M. (2013). Access, accommodation, and science: Knowledge in an “open” world. First Monday , 18 (6). Publisher's Version
Kinsella, W. J., Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R., & Kittle Autry, M. (2013). Risk, Regulation, and Rhetorical Boundaries: Claims and Challenges Surrounding a Purported Nuclear Renaissance. Communication Monographs , 80 (3), 278–301. Publisher's VersionAbstract


This study examines the efforts of individuals and advocacy groups seeking to influence a state utilities commission's decisions regarding a large corporate merger and a nuclear power construction project. Such local engagements have wider significance as the nuclear industry attempts to expand its role in the global energy economy. Utilizing participatory field work and analysis of public documents, we extend the concept of rhetorical boundary work by examining two challenges faced by opponents of the merger and the nuclear project. First, the utilities commission's regulatory mandate is limited to economic risks rather than environmental, health, and safety risks. Second, expert authority is consistently privileged over local, vernacular arguments. We explore the rhetorical negotiation of these boundaries and the effects produced.


Kittle Autry, M., & Kelly [now Mehlenbacher], A. R. (2012). Merging Duke Energy and Progress Energy: Online Public Discourse, Post-Fukushima Reactions, and the Absence of Environmental Communication. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture , 6 (2), 278–284. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This article examines online discourse in 2011 surrounding the proposed Duke Energy and Progress Energy merger in the Carolinas. It explores how issues pertaining to the merger, including constructing new nuclear plants, are discussed in media coverage and by citizens using social media. Overall, we find that the merger discourse focuses on economic concerns rather than the environmental concerns we had anticipated. However, post-Fukushima discourse appears to have become more inclusive of environmental concerns. We conclude that environmental discussions and efforts are likely to be globally informed andlocally situated, discussing the implications for environmental communication research exploring online discourses, specifically through social media. Future research must address how to locate and delineate constellations of locally situated discourse to provide a clearer picture of environmentally focused social media communication.