Rhetoric is at the crux of effective communication. Strong arguments, solid logic, and persuasive vocabulary are building blocks in any successful career. To be accomplished is to speak, write, and debate well.

Why study rhetoric at Sewanee?

At Sewanee, we value eloquence. When our graduates leave the Mountain, they're well-written and well-spoken. Along with our various rhetoric classes in argumentation and debate, Sewanee also provides a center for speaking and listening. Using state-of-the-art equipment, the center schedules appointments in order to facilitate the review and rehearsal of student speeches. Demonstrations are recorded, so you'll be able to watch your presentations with trained faculty and staff. Rhetoric is a process—an ancient art that, as its best practitioners understand, takes a lifetime to master. We're here to help you highlight your strengths, smooth out your weaknesses, and ace your next presentation. 

A Sampling of Courses


Sean Patrick O'Rourke
Professor of Rhetoric and American Studies and Director of the Center for Speaking and Listening


Gailor Hall 122, Ext. 1252

Melody Lehn
Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Women’s and Gender Studies, Assistant Director of the Center for Speaking & Listening


Gailor Hall 214, Ext. 1291