Clara Paloucek

Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture

Teaching Assistant


6164 Vilas Hall

Current Projects

My current project engages music as rhetorical by employing the term “rhetor-composer” in order to examine the role of the musical composer in leading and persuading audiences. I study the creation and reception of Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, highlighting the importance of the composer’s intention amidst a myriad of interpretations and criticisms, musical and political, that have emerged in the years since its premiere.

In a recent and developing paper, I determine how Dvořák’s “American” String Quartet is influenced by and communicates about national identity. Through this work I seek to understand ways in which music, even without lyrics, can be heard/seen as rhetorical in the context of national identity and political belief.


M.A. Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison, anticipated spring 2024

B.A. Communication and History, Ave Maria University, 2022

Conference Presentations

“A Rhetoric of Myth and Reality: Exceptionalism in the American West,” National Communication Association, 2022.

“Seeking the Image of Reality,” on Nathaniel Hawthorne and Flannery O’Connor, Rhetoric Society of America, 2022.

Teaching Experience

Guest Lecturer

CA 260 – Communication and Human Behavior, Summer Collegiate Experience 2023

Teaching Assistant

CA 360 – Introduction to Rhetoric in Politics and Culture, Fall 2023 / Spring 2024

CA 260 – Communication and Human Behavior, Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Summer Collegiate Experience 2023