Ned O’Gorman is Professor of Communication at the University of Illinois and author of several books, most recently Politics for Everybody: Reading Hannah Arendt in Uncertain Times (University of Chicago Press, translated into German, Korean, and Chinese) — a lively defense of politics in an age of political cynicism, and an introduction to the political thinking of Hannah Arendt. In 2020 he was named University Scholar.
O’Gorman writes at the intersections of history, criticism, and political theory, with special emphasis on the historical legacies of the Cold War. He is the author of three books on the Cold War and its aftermath: with Kevin Hamilton he wrote the award-winning Lookout America! The Secret Hollywood Film Studio at the Heart of the Cold War, published with over 600 images by Dartmouth College Press and a basis of the Smithsonian documentary “Atomic Age Declassified: Filming the Bomb.” The book is about the 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 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 first 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.
O’Gorman is editor of the Journal for the History of Rhetoric, published by 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 every once in a while 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: OGormanVitaSummer_2020