Stephen Lucas

Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture

Professor Emeritus

Professor Steve Lucas

Office Hours:

  • By appointment


Expertise and Activities

My major areas of scholarship are rhetorical criticism, social movements, and the history of American political discourse. In recent years, my thinking and writing have become increasingly intercultural as I have worked with Chinese universities in the development of English public speaking and rhetorical studies more generally.


  • Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, 1973
  • M.A. Pennsylvania State University, 1971
  • B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara, 1968


  • Hilldale Award for the Arts and Humanities, University of Wisconsin, 2010
  • Distinguished Scholar Award, National Communication Association, 2009
  • Textbook Excellence Award for The Art of Public Speaking, Text and Academic Authors Association, 2004
  • Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education, National Communication Association, 2001
  • Golden Anniversary Monograph Award for The Rhetorical Ancestry of the Declaration of Independence, National Communication Association, 1999
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Wisconsin Student Association, 1992
  • Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Wisconsin, 1988
  • Golden Anniversary Book Award for Portents of Rebellion: Rhetoric and Revolution in Philadelphia, 1765-1776, National Communication Association, 1977
  • Nomination for Portents of Rebellion: Rhetoric and Revolution in Philadelphia, 1765-1776, The Pulitzer Prizes, 1976
  • Gerald R. Miller Oustanding Dissertation Award, National Communication Association, 1973


  • 2008. “On Trial: Conflicting Versions of Emma Goldman’s Address to the Jury.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs, 11: 47-86 [with Kathryn Palmer].
  • 2007. “The Legacy of Edwin Black.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs, 10: 509-519.
  • 2002. “Speechmaking, Pedagogy, and Civic Responsibility.” American Communication Journal, 5 (Winter 2002),
  • 1998. “The Rhetorical Ancestry of the Declaration of Independence.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs, 1: 143-184.
  • 1990. “The Stylistic Artistry of the Declaration of Independence.” Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives, 22: 25-43.
  • 1988. “The Renaissance of American Public Address: Text and Context in Rhetorical Criticism.” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 74: 241-260.
  • 1986. “Genre Criticism and Historical Context: The Case of George Washington’s First Inaugural Address.” Southern Speech Communication Journal, 51: 345-370.
  • 1981. “The Schism in Rhetorical Scholarship.” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 67: 1-20.
  • 1980. “Coming to Terms with Movement Studies.” Central States Communication Journal, 31: 255-266..
  • 1973. “Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘The Man with the Muck-Rake’: A Reinterpretation.” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 59: 452-462.


  • 2012. The Art of Public Speaking, 11th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • 2010. The Art of Public Speaking, 10th Edition, Specially Adapted for Chinese Readers. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.
  • 2009. Words of a Century: The Top 100 American Speeches, 1900-1999. New York: Oxford University Press [with Martin J. Medhurst].
  • 1999. The Quotable George Washington: The Wisdom of an American Patriot. Madison: Madison House.
  • 1976. Portents of Rebellion: Rhetoric and Revolution in Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.


  • 2011. “The Act of Abjuration as a Model for the Declaration of Independence: Thomas Jefferson and the Art of Imitation.” The Act of Abjuration: Inspired and Inspiring, Paul Brood and Raymond M. Kubben The Hague: Wolf Legal Publishers, 173-189.
  • 2009. “The Role of Public Speaking in China’s English Language Curriculum.” English Public Speaking in Global Context: Challenges and Innovations, Wang Lifei and Li Ping Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 3-24.
  • 2008. “Present at the Founding: The Rhetorical Presidency in Historical Perspective.” Before the Rhetorical Presidency, Martin J. MedhurstCollege Station: Texas A&M University Press, 35-41.
  • 2005. “Speak for Success.” Speak for Success, Huang Ching Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Education Press, 4-47, 48-78.
  • 2002. “George Washington and the Rhetoric of Presidential Leadership.” The Presidency and Rhetorical Leadership, Leroy Dorsey College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 42-72.
  • 2002. “The Declaration of Independence in the Rhetoric of American Politics.” The Changing American Conversation: Lectures from the Smithsonian, William Eadie and Paul Nelson Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press, 39-59.
  • 2001. “Public Speaking.” Encyclopedia of Rhetoric, Thomas O. Sloane New York: Oxford University Press, 640-647.
  • 1998. “Teaching Public Speaking.” Teaching Communication: Theory, Research and Methods, 2nd ed, Anita Vangelisti, John A. Daly, and Gustav Friedrich Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 75-84.
  • 1997. “Booker T. Washington.” African-American Orators, Richard W. Leeman Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 341-357.
  • 1995. “Debate and Oratory.” Encyclopedia of the United States Congress, Donald C. Bacon, Roger H. Davidson, and Morton Keller New York:Simon and Schuster, 608-613.
  • 1994. “The Plakkaat van Verlatinge: A Neglected Model for the American Declaration of Independence.” Connecting Cultures: The Netherlands in Five Centuries of Transatlantic Exchange, Rosemarijn Hofte and Johanna C. Kardux Amsterdam: VU Press, 189-207.
  • 1989. “Justifying America: The Declaration of Independence as a Rhetorical Document.” American Rhetoric: Context and Criticism, Thomas W. Benson Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 67-130.