Risa Applegarth

Risa Applegarth

Email: Risa_Applegarth@uncg.edu
Office: MHRA 3109
Phone: 336-334-3967


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, spatial and material 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. This project earned the 2010 James Berlin Memorial Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication, a New Faculty Research Grant and a Summer Excellence Research Grant from UNCG, and the CCCC Outstanding Book Award in 2016.
Dr. Applegarth’s current book project examines links among art, activism, materiality, and temporality in youth-led social movements from the 1990s to the present. Additional research projects include studies of vocational advice for women, embodied epideictic rhetoric, and collective activism among early 20th-century women’s organizations, especially Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, in Greensboro and throughout the U.S., as well as projects on feminist ethics, qualitative methods, and archival research.
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, spatial, material, and embodied rhetoric, and the history and practice of rhetoric.

Selected Publications

  • Children Speaking: Agency and Public Memory in the Children’s Peace Statue Project.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 47.1 (Jan. 2017): 1-25.
  • Personal Writing in Professional Spaces: Contesting Exceptionalism in Interwar Women’s Vocational Autobiographies.” College English 77.6 (July 2015): 530-552.
  • Rhetoric in American Anthropology: Gender, Genre, and Science. Composition, Literacy, and Culture Series. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014.
  • “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

  • Outstanding Book Award, CCCC, 2016
  • Mary Settle Sharp Award for Teaching Excellence, UNCG, 2016
  • College of Arts and Sciences Senior Teaching Award, UNCG, 2016
  • 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
  • Thomas S. and Caroline H. Royster, Jr. Fellowship, UNC, 2003-2008.

2016 Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards – Teaching Excellence and O. Max Gardner Awards

2019 Junior Research Excellence Award-Watch the video here


College Composition and Communication 63.3

Article by Risa Applegarth

Women and Rhetoric Between the Wars

Article by Risa Applegarth

Rhetoric in American Anthropolgy

Book by Risa Applegarth