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Paul Turpin

Associate Professor, Department of Communication


Phone: 209.946.2507


PhD, Communication, University of Southern California, 2005

MA, Communication Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California, 1997

BA, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of California at Berkeley, 1994

Curriculum Vitae 

Teaching Philosophy

My classes emphasize thinking and writing critically about our communication experiences in media environments (in COMM 31) and in public advocacy (COMM 117), driven by my research interests in political, economic, and ethical thought. My primary communication interest is in the operation of rhetoric—persuasion—in everyday life. For me, that means looking at how reasoned argument, value commitments, and trustworthiness are at work all around us. The classroom dynamic is a combination of learning new ways of thinking about what happens in communication, discussing the application of concepts in small groups and among the class as a whole, and of students developing their ideas in writing through interaction with each other. My goal is to help students sharpen their thinking, and then learn to crystallize what they really think and be able to articulate it well in speaking and writing.

Scholarly Interests

Rhetorical theory and criticism, especially narrative theory


Rhetoric of economics, ideology, and public deliberation

Recuperating classical rhetorical ideas to contemporary theories of rhetoric.


COMM 031, Media & Society
PACS 1, What Is a Good Society? (First year seminar)
PACS 2, Media & Pop Culture Critique (First year seminar)
PACS 3, What Is an Ethical Life? (Senior seminar)
COMM 117, Public Advocacy
COMM 150, Senior Capstone
COMM 278, Graduate Seminar in Political Communication


2011 Book of the Year award for The Moral Rhetoric of Political Economy from the Communication
Ethics Division of the National Communication Association

2006 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Dissertation Award, the National Communication Association

2006 American Society for the History of Rhetoric Dissertation Award

Professor of the Semester, Pi Beta Phi sorority, Willamette University, Oct. 19, 2005

Named one of thirty-eight USC Professors of the Year by Gamma Sigma Alpha, the Greek Honor
Society, Spring 1999