Dr. Valerie Palmer-Mehta

Office:   328 Wilson
Phone:  (248) 370-2139


Dr. Palmer-Mehta's scholarship sits at the intersection of rhetorical studies and gender/sexuality studies. Her area of specialization is feminist rhetorical studies. Dr. Palmer-Mehta's research program is motivated by her desire to open up the field of rhetorical studies to new voices. Although she is interested in all manner of discourse as it relates to social identity, power, and justice—including analyses of men and masculinities as well as disabilities—the heart of her research is motivated by the absence of diverse women in rhetorical studies and the effect this has had on the discipline writ large. Consequently, her research program centers on women and rhetoric: Writing diverse women into rhetorical studies and our shared history; identifying the rhetorical strategies diverse women employ to influence and transform public culture, intellectual traditions, and everyday practices; and investigating how women and their advocates fundamentally challenge our understanding of key discursive and cultural concepts that we use to organize and make sense of our lives.

Her research has been published in a variety of journals such as Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies; International Journal of Communication; Text and Performance Quarterly; Women's Studies in Communication; Communication, Culture & Critique; QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking; and Journal of American Culture. Her work also appears in edited collections, such as Rethinking Ethos: A Feminist Ecological Approach to RhetoricA Companion to First Ladies; and Mediated Moms: Contemporary Challenges to Motherhood. She sits on the editorial board of Women's Studies in Communication


Dr. Palmer-Mehta teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses including Introduction to Communication Studies, Public Speaking, Rhetorical Theory, Persuasion, Gender Communication, Rhetorical Criticism, Women, Power & Persuasion,  Field Experience in Communication, and Feminist Rhetorical Theory. She is the recipient of the OU Honors College Inspiration Award and the Elizabeth Youngjohn Teaching Award.

Service & Life
Outside of her departmental duties, Dr. Palmer-Mehta is an affiliated faculty member with the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Center for Ethics. She is the faculty advisor of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) at OU and she was the recipient of the Phyllis Law Googasian Award for her contributions to the advancement of women in higher education and at OU. In her spare time, she likes to travel, write, garden, learn new things, and do anything active (hike, bike, etc.).