Kathryn Swacha

Assistant Professor of English
317 Neville Hall
University of Maine
Orono Maine 04469-5752 U.S.A.

Office Telephone: 207.581.3820

E-mail: kathryn.swacha@maine.edu

Office Hours – by appointment

Education: Ph.D., Purdue University

Specialty: Rhetoric and communication as well as rhetoric of health and medicine, rhetorical theory, institutional rhetorics, professional and technical writing

Graduate Faculty Spotlight

International/National Awards:

            National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Outstanding Dissertation Award

                    in Technical Communication (2018)

            Fulbright Commission Teaching Fellowship, Berlin, Germany (2009-2010)


Peer-reviewed articles (*denotes equal co-authorship; +denotes graduate student co-author)

*+Public podcast production on interdisciplinary teams: Challenges and successes. Association for Computing Machinery, 225-228. (2023) https://doi.org/10.1145/3615335.3623041

“The Coping with COVID Project: Participatory public health communication.” Communication Design Quarterly, 11(1), (2023) 4-18. DOI: 10.1145/3563890.3563891

Social justice and the technical and professional communication internship.” Association for Computing Machinery. (2022) 10.1145/3513130.3558991 

“I could probably live to be 100: An embodied approach to action-oriented research with vulnerable populations.” Rhetoric of Health & Medicine, 5(3). (2022) http://dx.doi.org.wv-o-ursus proxy02.ursus.maine.edu/10.5744/rhm.2022.50016

*”LegoTM  learning: A scalable approach to pedagogy in the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine.” Rhetoric of Health & Medicine, 4(4), (2021) 446-474. DOI: 10.5744/rhm.4003

“Living visual-voice as a community-based social justice research method in Technical and Professional Communication.” Technical Communication Quarterly, 30(4), (2021) 375-391. DOI: 10.1080/10572252.2021.1906451

 “Community-Engaged Research as Enmeshed Practice.” Michigan Journal for Community Service Learning 26.1 (Winter 2020): 121-142. With Jennifer Bay.

“‘Bridging the Gap between Food Pantries and the Kitchen Table:’ Teaching Embodied Literacy in the Technical Communication Classroom.” Technical Communication Quarterly 27.3 (July-September 2018): 261-282.    DOI: 10.1080/10572252.2018.1476589

“Service-learning in the Second Language Writing Classroom: Future Research Directions.” TESOL Journal 9.2 (June 2018): 278-298. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesj.321

“Older Adults as Rhetorical Agents: A Rhetorical Critique of Metaphors for Aging in Public Health Discourse.” Rhetoric Review 36.1 (2017): 60-72.

“Towards Productive Disagreement: Deliberative, Democratic Processes in Community Engagement and Service learning.” Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement 6.3 (2015): 29-53.

Book Reviews

Review of Civic Work Civic Lessons: Two Generations Reflect on Public Service by Thomas Ehrlich and Ernestine Fu. Reflections: A Journal of Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing, and Service Learning 17.1 (2017):189-193. .

Review of Rhetoric of a Global Epidemic: Transcultural Communication about SARS by Huiling Ding. With Dan Liddle. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2016): 1-6.

Selected Conference Presentations:

“Creating Multimedia Content for Public Audiences.” Panel presenter with Jayson Heim, Dan Liddle, and Carrie Grant. Special Interest Group on Design of Communication (SIGDOC) Conference. Orlando, Florida, October 26-28, 2023.

“A feminist, social justice approach to forging alliances across TPSC programs.” Panel presenter with Elizabeth Neiman, Heather Falconer, and Mary PlymaleLarlee. Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) conference. Charleston, SC, September 22-23, 2023

“Revitalizing the Conversation around Internships in TPC: Professionalization, Equity, and Assessment.” Panel presenter with Christine Masters and Jennifer Bay. Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) conference. Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 28, 2022.

“Social justice and the TPC internship.” Special Interest Group on Design of Communication (SIGDOC) Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, October 6-8, 2022.

“‘Rhetorical internships’ for personal growth and social change.” Applied Rhetoric Collaborative summer symposium, Provo, Utah, June 17-18, 2022.

“Developing Best Practices for Community-engaged Research and Teaching in RHM.” Medical Rhetoric Standing Group Roundtable. Conference on College Composition and Communication. Spokane, Washington [remote], April 2021.

“Towards a Theory of Microempowerment in the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine.” Rhetoric of Health and Medicine Symposium. Online Conference, September 2020.  

“Everyday Feminist Resistance on Fertility Apps.” Feminisms and Rhetorics. James Madison University, November 2019.

“In the Liminal Spaces of Health: Theorizing the Co-Constructed Agency of Doulas and Laboring Women.” Rhetoric of Health and Medicine Symposium. Orlando, Florida, September 2019.

“Accountable Pedagogies: Does Plain Language Help Students Understand TPC’s Ethics?” Association of Teachers of Technical Writing Conference. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 2019.

“Kairotic Conception: The Rhetoric of Mothering.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 2019. (panel chair)

Invited Presentations:

“‘Productive Disagreement’ at the Lake: The Role of Deliberation in Lake Associations.” With Elizabeth Payne. Sustainability Talks series. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine. (16 October 2023).

“Coping with COVID: A Public Story Telling Project.” In The stories we’ll tell tomorrow: University of Maine humanities scholars and the COVID-19 pandemic panel. University of Maine Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School and the McGillicuddy Humanities Center. (17 June 2021).

“The Coping with COVID Project: Everyday Stories and Negotiations of Public Health.” Health and Medical Communication Speaker Series at Louisiana Tech (May, 2021). 

“Medical Microempowerment in the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine.” UMaine’s Communication and Journalism Colloquium (November 2020). 

 “Community-based identities in the Rhetoric of Health & Medicine” Plenary Panel at Rhetoric of Health and Medicine Symposium. Online Conference, September 2020.   

“The Well-Fed Cookbook: A Senior Center/University Collaboration.” With William Glick. SEEK 2015: Pitman Institute for Aging Well. Columbus, Indiana, September 2015.

Professional Memberships:

Association for Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW)
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Rhetoric Society of America (RSA)