Kenneth Lythgoe

  • Teaching Assistant
  • Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture
Expertise and Activities: 

My research examines the increasing tendency of U.S. and European gay rights advocates and advocacy to foreground the (mis)treatment of queers outside of “the Western World.” Building upon an interdisciplinary body of scholarship that critiques the nationalist and imperialist complicities of this “global turn” in LGBT identity politics, my work attempts to theorize the turn itself by exploring the rhetorical mechanisms that allow global gay rights discourses to appear politically and strategically coherent even though they are deployed by diverse rhetors, toward diverse ends, within and across diverse transnational contexts. My dissertation examines how LGBT identity politics have rhetorically manifested in transnational contexts ranging from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, to LGBT tourism in the Caribbean. By examining and juxtaposing these manifestations, I not only aim to illuminate the political specificities that global gay rights advocacy occludes in each instance, but also to highlight fissures across these instances that might reveal alternative approaches to fostering queer transnational solidarity.


  • B.A. Intercultural Communication; Psychology, University of New Mexico, 2009
  • M.A. Communication, University of New Mexico, 2011


  • Helen K. Herman Memorial Fund Scholarship , Department of Communication Arts, UW-Madison , 2015
  • Elliot Dissertation Scholarship , Department of Communication Arts, UW-Madison , 2015
  • Top Paper Award for "(In)Authentic Love: Photographic Spectacle, Hand-Holding Soldiers, and the Domestication of Pinkwashing Critique" , GLBTQ Communication Studies Division of the National Communication Association , 2013
  • McCarty Scholarship , Department of Communication Arts, UW-Madison , 2011


  • "Sleight of Hand: Michigan’s Anti-Bullying Law, (Un)acceptable Exceptions, and the Undoing of Policymaking Rhetoric." QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking , Volume 1, no. 0, (2013): 115-40 .


  • Review of Flaming Souls: Homosexuality, Homophobia, and Social Change in Barbados, by David A. B. Murray. Book Review. QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking, Volume 1, no. 1, 2014: 229-231: .
  • “The Virtue and Vicissitude of Queer Suburban Imagination” Review of Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries, by Karen Tongson.. Book Review. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Volume 19, no. 4, 2013: 137-9. : .


  • CA 100: Introduction to Speech Composition
  • CA 260: Communication and Human Behavior
  • CA 262: Theory and Practice of Argumentation and Debate
  • CA 360: Introduction to Rhetoric, Politics and Culture
  • CA 370: Great Speakers and Speeches
  • CA/RS 374: The Rhetoric of Religion
  • CA 472: Rhetoric and Technology