Allison Prasch

Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture

Associate Professor


(608) 262-2095

6154 Vilas Hall

Current and Future Projects

  • Researching & writing a rhetorical history of the U.S. Capitol City (1789 – 1815), with specific emphasis on the relationship between race, place, and national identity
  • Ongoing study of U.S. presidential foreign policy rhetoric, with a particular focus on representations of space/place

Expertise and Activities

My research and teaching focuses on U.S. presidential rhetoric, public address, foreign policy, space/place, and rhetorical history, theory, and criticism. In my first book, The World is Our Stage: The Global Rhetorical Presidency and the Cold War (University of Chicago Press, 2023), I examine how U.S. presidents used their rhetoric abroad as a persuasive strategy during the Cold War. Drawing on archival research from five presidential libraries, the Department of State, and the United States Information Agency and fieldwork in Europe, I show how five chief executives used their international tours—and, importantly, the widespread media coverage of such tours—as a way to extend the United States’ global influence, expand the reach of presidential power in foreign affairs, and bolster their own image at home and abroad. My current research considers how questions of race, place, geography, and identity shaped the early history of the U.S. capital city.


  • Ph.D. Communication Studies (Rhetoric), University of Minnesota, 2016
  • M.A. Communication Studies (Rhetoric), University of Minnesota, 2011


  • Vilas Associates Award, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2023-24
  • Summer Humanities Research Fellowship, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2023
  • Michael Pfau Outstanding Article Award, Political Communication Division, National Communication Association, 2022
  • First Book Program Award, Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2019
  • Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, National Communication Association, 2017
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award, American Society for the History of Rhetoric, 2016



Book Chapters

  • 2019. “Reading the Presidency In Situ: Obama in Cuba and the Significance of Place in U.S. Presidential Public Address.” Reading the Presidency: Advances in Presidential Rhetoric, Stephen J. Heidt and Mary E. Stuckey, eds. New York: Peter Lang, 44-64.
  • 2018. “The Two Madam Secretaries: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Elizabeth McCord, and Mimetic Representations of 21st Century Feminism.” Women, Feminism, and Pop Politics:From “Bitch” to “Badass” and Beyond, Karrin Vasby Anderson, ed. New York: Peter Lang, 223-244.

Selected Lectures, Media Appearances, & Public Scholarship


Fall 2023

  • CA 360 – Introduction to Rhetoric in Politics and Culture
  • CA 310 – Rhetoric of the Cold War

Previous Semesters

  • CA 610 – U.S. Presidential Rhetoric & Foreign Policy
  • CA 610 – Rhetoric of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election
  • CA 610 – Rhetoric of the Cold War
  • CA 610 – Foreign Policy Rhetorics in a Global Era

Curriculum Vitae

Office Hours

  • Fall 2023 – T/R 2:30-3:30 pm or by appointment