Ned O’Gorman is Professor of Communication at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. A rhetorical and media scholar, he works in and across several different areas: the Cold War, history of rhetoric, political thought/theory, and media and technology studies.

Lookout America! Cover

O’Gorman’s work is broadly concerned with intersections among public discourse, political thought, and technology, especially in the Cold War. His most recent book, co-written with Kevin Hamilton, is Lookout America! The Secret Hollywood Film Studio at the Heart of the Cold War, published with over 600 images by Dartmouth College Press. The book is about the remarkable but largely forgotten history of Lookout Mountain Laboratory,  a U.S. Air Force film studio responsible for many of the most iconic images of the Cold War, from mushroom clouds to space monkeys (see lookoutamerica.org).


He is also the author of  The Iconoclastic Imagination: Image, Catastrophe, and Economy in America since the Kennedy Assassination (University of Chicago Press), which won the 2016 Bruce E. Gronbeck Political Communication Research Award, sponsored by the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research. His earlier book, Spirits of the Cold War: Contesting Worldviews in the Classical Age of American Security Strategy, came out in 2012, and was reviewed widely, including in The New Republic.

Spirts of the Cold War Cover

Meanwhile, O’Gorman has been thinking and writing a lot about intersections between political theory and media theory — things like “deep media,” new forms of technical rationality, and the post-Cold-War period–as well as writing a short book on Hannah Arendt’s political thought (to be published by the University of Chicago Press) and working on new anthology of readings in the history of rhetoric.

O’Gorman is editor-elect Advances in the History of Rhetoric, soon to be renamed the Journal for the History of Rhetoric, published by the American Society for the History of Rhetoric. In 2009-10 he was President of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric; in 2012-13 he was a Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study;  in 2013-15 he was a faculty member in the Learning to See Systems initiative at the University of Illinois; and in the 2015-16 academic year he was Visiting Faculty Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. In 2014 he was awarded College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Illinois. In addition to his departmental home, Communication, he is affiliated at Illinois with the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, the  Program for Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security and the Center for Writing Studies.

O’Gorman has published numerous journal essays on topics related to rhetorical theory, media studies, aesthetics, religion, political theory, and political history in the Cold War, seventeenth-century England, and ancient Greece. He has also been a writer at The Infernal Machine, the Huffington Post, and The Hedgehog Review.  He tweets at @ned_ogorman. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from the history of rhetoric to rhetorical theory to Cold War culture to media theory.

His full vita can be found here: OGormanVitaWinter_2019