I am Associate Professor and Conrad Humanities Scholar in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. This year I am on sabbatical at the University of Virginia, where I am a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. A rhetorical scholar and historian of the Cold War by day, I work in and across several different areas: history of rhetoric, political thought/theory, aesthetics, media and technology studies, and the digital humanities.
My thinking, which is historical and philosophical in orientation, is broadly concerned with intersections among public discourse, political and economic thought, and media (more like mediation or “mediality“), especially in two revolutionary ages: the Cold War and seventeenth-century England. Most of my writing has been on the former. My book The Iconoclastic Imagination: Image, Catastrophe, and Economy in America since the Kennedy Assassination is just out with University of Chicago Press. My earlier book, Spirits of the Cold War: Contesting Worldviews in the Classical Age of American Security Strategy, came out in 2012. I have written journal essays on topics related to rhetorical theory, aesthetics, religion, political theory, and political history in the Cold War, seventeenth-century England, and ancient Greece.
I am finishing, with Kevin Hamilton, a third book: Lookout America! The Secret Hollywood Film Studio at the Heart of the Cold War State, a book about Lookout Mountain Laboratory. And I have been thinking a lot about media theory — things like “deep media,” new forms of technical rationality, and “thirds” — with Chad Wellmon at the University of Virginia, where we work on the Infernal Machine blog together.
I am on the editorial board of Quarterly Journal of Speech, and formally on the editorial board of Rhetoric Society Quarterly. In 2009-10 I was President of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric; in 2012-13 I was a Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study; and in 2013-15 I was a faculty member in the Learning to See Systems initiative at the University of Illinois. In addition to my departmental home, Communication, I am a faculty member at Illinois in the Program for Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security and the Center for Writing Studies.
I teach undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from the history of rhetoric to rhetorical theory to Cold War culture to media theory.
My full vita can be found here: OGormanVitaFall15