Allison Prasch

Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture

Assistant Professor


(608) 262-2095

6154 Vilas Hall

Professor Allison Prasch

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.

I am currently completing a book manuscript on Cold War U.S. presidential rhetoric. Entitled The Global Rhetorical Presidency: Cold War Rhetoric on the World Stage, this book examines how U.S. presidents used their rhetoric abroad as a persuasive strategy. As chief executives and other governmental officials faced the urgent task of enlarging the United States’ role in the Cold War world, they proactively deployed the physical presence of the U.S. president abroad—and the mediation, transmission, and circulation of these visits—as a political and psychological weapon. Drawing on archival research from five presidential libraries, the Department of State, and the United States Information Agency and fieldwork in Europe, I examine how Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan 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. Ultimately, this book argues that Cold War U.S. presidents took their rhetoric abroad in an attempt to constitute an imagined community of peoples and nations who, although separated by physical distance or national allegiance, were united in their shared opposition to Soviet communism.


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


  • 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


  • CA 360 – Introduction to Rhetoric in Politics and Culture
  • CA 610 – Rhetoric of the Cold War
  • CA 610 – U.S. Presidential Rhetoric & Foreign Policy
  • CA 610 – Rhetoric of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

Curriculum Vitae

Office Hours

  • Mondays, 1:00-2:00 pm (via Zoom)
  • Wednesday, 1:00-2:00 pm (via Zoom)