Risa Applegarth Risa Applegarth

Contact Information

Office: MHRA 3108
Office Phone: 336-334-3967
At UNCG Since: 2009


Ph.D. University of North Carolina-2009
M.A. University of North Carolina-2005
B.A. Carleton College-2003

Research Interests

Dr. Applegarth's research and teaching interests include rhetorical history and theory, genre theory, women's rhetorics, and scientific and professional discourse. Dr. Applegarth's first book, Rhetoric in American Anthropology: Gender, Genre, and Science (Pittsburgh 2014), examines how anthropologists transformed their field from the "welcoming science," uniquely open to amateurs, women, and people of color, into a professional scientific discipline in the early 20th century. This study recuperates the writings of professional researchers whose experimental genres--folklore collections, ethnographic novels, and autobiographies--reopened debates over how scientific knowledge could be made: through what human relationships, by what bodies, and for what ends. This project earned the 2010 James Berlin Memorial Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication, as well as a New Faculty Research Grant and a Summer Excellence Research Grant from UNCG. Dr. Applegarth's current book project concerns the rhetorical training provided to white and black women through Business and Professional Women's Clubs in the 1920s and 1930s; this research has been supported by a Linda Arnold Carlisle Faculty Research Grant from the Women's and Gender Studies Program at UNCG. An affiliated faculty member with the WGS program, Dr. Applegarth teaches graduate and undergraduate courses related to women's writing, genre theory, autobiographical writing, environmental rhetoric, and the history and practice of rhetoric.

Selected Publications

  • Rhetoric in American Anthropology: Gender, Genre, and Science. Composition, Literacy, and Culture Series. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014.
  • “Field Guides: Women Writing Popular Anthropology.” Women and Rhetoric Between the Wars. Ed. Ann George, Elizabeth Weiser, and Janet Zepernick. Studies in Rhetorics and Feminisms Series. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2013. 193-208.
  • “Rhetorical Scarcity: Spatial and Economic Inflections on Genre Change,” College Composition and Communication 63.3 (Feb. 2012): 453-483.
  • “Genre, Location, and Mary Austin's Ethos.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 41.1 (Jan. 2011): 41-63.

Awards and Honors

  • Linda Arnold Carlisle Faculty Research Grant, Women's and Gender Studies Program, UNCG, 2014-2015.
  • Article of the Year Award, Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology, 2013.
  • Marc Friedlaender Faculty Excellence Award, UNCG, 2011-2012
  • New Faculty Grant, UNCG, 2010-2011
  • Summer Excellence Research Award, UNCG, 2010
  • James Berlin Memorial Outstanding Dissertation Award, CCCC, 2010
  • Dissertation Fellowship, UNC, 2008.
  • Thomas S. and Caroline H. Royster, Jr. Fellowship, UNC, 2003-08.
  • Ruth Rose Richardson Award, UNC, 2004.
  • Scott Tyler Bergner Prize, Carleton College, 2003.
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Carleton College, 2003.


Women and Rhetoric Between the Wars

Women and Rhetoric Between the Wars
Article by Risa Applegarth

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