Headshot of Dr.Paul J. Achter

Dr. Paul J. Achter

Associate Professor of Rhetoric
Chair, Department of Rhetoric & Communication Studies
  • Profile

    Paul Achter earned a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Georgia in 2001 with an emphasis on rhetorical theory and criticism, media criticism, and political culture. He then began work as a postdoctoral associate with Drs. Celeste Condit and Roxanne Parrott, conducting research and managing teams working on CDC and NIH grants about public understandings of race and genetics.

    Achter is now associate professor and Chair in the Department of Rhetoric and Communication Studies at the University of Richmond. His work has appeared in scholarly journals including the Quarterly Journal of Speech, the Southern Communication Journal, and Critical Studies in Media Communication. He has also written in popular media such as CNN.com and Huffington Post. At Richmond, he teaches courses such as public speaking, war rhetoric, and television criticism.

    His current teaching and research projects examine the rhetorical norms of war and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.

    Follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/achter

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    • Grants and Fellowships

      Swedish Central Bank Foundation (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond) grant for “Chronicle, Catastrophe, Ritual: Television Historiography and Transnational Politics,” 2010-2012 ($540,000) (with Staffan Ericson and Amanda Lagerkvist).

    • Presentations

      Achter, P.J., ”No Surrender Ceremonies: The Ambivalent Rhetoric of the New American Militarism.” Presented at the 2018 Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Minneapolis, MN (June, 2018).

    • Memberships

      National Communication Association

      Rhetoric Society of America

  • Publications
    Journal Articles

    Achter, P.J. (in press) “‘Military Chic’ and the Rhetorical Production of the Uniformed Body.” Western Journal of Communication.

    Achter, P.J. (2016). “Rhetoric and the Permanent War.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 102 (1): 1-16.

    Achter, P.J. (2010) "Unruly Bodies: The Rhetorical Domestication of Twenty-First Century Veterans of War." Quarterly Journal of Speech 96 (1): 46-68.

    Kuswa, Kevin D. Achter, Paul, and Lauzon, Liz. (2009). "The Slave, the Fetus, the Body: Articulating Biopower and the Pregnant Woman.Contemporary Argumentation and Debate 29: 166-185.

    Achter, P.J. (2009). ""Weekend Update' and the Tradition of New Journalism." FlowTV.org. Available online: http://flowtv.org/?p=2966

    Achter, P.J. (2008) “Comedy in unfunny times: News parody and carnival after 9/11.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 25 (3): 274-303.

    Achter, P.J., Parrott, R.L., Silk, K.A. (2005, March). "African Americans' opinions about human genetics research." Politics and the Life Sciences, 23 (1), 60-66.

    Condit, C.M, Bates, B.R., Bevan, J.L., Parrott, R.L., Achter, P.J. (2004) "Exploration of the Impact of Messages About Genes and Race on Lay Attitudes." Clinical Genetics, 66 (5), 402-408.

    Achter, P.J. (2004) "TV, Technology, and McCarthyism: Crafting the democratic renaissance in an age of fear." Quarterly Journal of Speech. 90 (3), pp. 307-326.

    Bevan, J. L., Lynch, J. A., Dubriwny, T. N., Harris, T. M., Achter, P. J., Reeder, A. L., and Condit, C. M. (2003). "Informed lay preferences for delivery of racially varied pharmacogenomics." Genetics In Medicine 5, pp. 393-399.

    Ramsey, E. M., Achter, P. J., Condit, C. M. (2001). "Genetics, race, and crime: An audience study exploring the effects of The Bell Curve and book reviews." Critical Studies in Media Communication, 18, pp. 1-22.

    Achter, P. J. (2000). "Narrative, intertextuality, and apologia in contemporary political scandals." Southern Communication Journal, 65, pp. 318-333.

    Book Chapters

    Achter, P.J. (2018). “Great Television: Trump and the Shadow Archetype” for Faking the News: What Rhetoric Can Teach us About Donald J. Trump, Ryan Skinnell, Ed. (Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic): 108-121

    Achter, P.J. (2015). “Reluctant Conquests: Media Events and the End of the Iraq War.” In Lynne Webb and Erin Sahlstein (Eds.) A Communication Perspective on the Military: Messages, Strategies, Meanings: 199-216

    Achter, P.J. (2009). "Racing Jesse Jackson: Leadership, Masculinity, and the Black Presidency." In Janis Edwards (Ed.), Gender and Political Communication In America: Rhetoric, Representation, and Display. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books): 107-128.

    Achter, P.J. "McCarthy Hearings." (2007). Encyclopedia of Political Communication. Christina Holtz-Bacha and Lynda Lee Kaid, (Eds.). Thousand Oaks: Sage, 424-425.

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