Professor Patia teaches in the department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Public Discourse, as well as in the Gender Studies program, at Whitman College. She received her B.A. from Northwestern University, her M.A. from the University of Minnesota, and her Ph.D. from Penn State. She teaches classes on public speaking; the rhetoric of social protest; rhetoric, gender, and sexuality; rhetoric and violence; immigration and border discourses; the black freedom struggle; and voices of women's rights activism. Many of these courses are cross-listed with or can count toward a major or minor in Whitman's Gender Studies and Race and Ethnic Studies programs.
Her published research includes a book chapter (with Kirt H. Wilson) in “Thinking Together: Lecturing, Learning, and Difference in the Long Nineteenth Century” on how ideas about race and gender were constructed through popular entertainment in the late nineteenth century and a book chapter in “An Encyclopedia of Communication Ethics: Goods in Contention” on the works of African American educator and activist W.E.B. Du Bois.
In her teaching and research, Professor Patia examines how power is challenged and maintained through rhetorical and communicative processes. She explores these relationships of power and difference through historical and contemporary rhetorical efforts by marginalized individuals and groups to create a more just world, and by the powerful, who would maintain and expand the discriminatory policies and practices of the status quo. The aim of Professor Patia's work is to clarify the role of rhetoric in social change, and specifically what rhetorical practices tell us about how we can create and sustain a more just world.
Ph.D. Communication Arts and Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University
M.A. Communication Studies
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
B.A. Communication Studies and Political Science
Northwestern University - School of Communication
Articles and Book Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
Kirt H. Wilson and Kaitlyn G. Patia. “Authentic Imitation or Perverse Original: Learning about Race from America’s Popular Platforms.” In Thinking Together: Lecturing, Learning, and Difference in the Long Nineteenth Century, edited by Angela G. Ray and Paul Stob, 72-94. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2018.
Book Reviews and Reference Articles
Kaitlyn G. Patia. “W.E.B. Du Bois: Situated Knowledge in Action.” In An Encyclopedia of Communication Ethics: Goods in Contention, edited by Ronald C. Arnett, Annette M. Holba, and Susan Mancino, 137-141. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2018. Kaitlyn G. Patia.
Review of: Robert E. Terrill, Double-Consciousness and the Rhetoric of Barack Obama: The Price and Promise of Citizenship (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2015). Reviewed in The Quarterly Journal of Speech 103, no. 4 (2017): 426-431.
“The (F)utility of Knowledge: Examining Jane Addams’ Role as ‘Interpreter’ of Marginalized Experiences for Privileged Audiences,” a research paper accepted for presentation at the 19th Biennial Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Portland, OR, May 21-24, 2020. Conference subsequently canceled due to COVID–19 pandemic.
“‘I Live in the Future’: Cruising the Dystopia of Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer and Imagining Queer Black Feminist Futurity,” Midwest Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association Conference; Indianapolis, IN; October 4-7, 2018.
“Sympathy for the ‘Devil Baby’: Social Memory, Women’s Solidarity, and Democratic Faith at the Margins”; 18th Biennial Conference of the Rhetoric Society of America; Minneapolis, MN; May 31 - June 3, 2018.
“Strange and Beautiful Stories: Memory, Faith, and Futurity in W.E.B. Du Bois’ Darkwater,” National Communication Association, Dallas, TX, November 16-19, 2017.
“Solidarity as the Meeting of Love and Justice? Jane Addams and the Chicago Garment Workers Strike,” National Communication Association, Dallas, TX, November 16-19, 2017.
“Commemorating Reconstruction: W.E.B. Du Bois, the Niagara Movement, and the Struggle Against White Supremacy,” National Communication Association, Dallas, TX, November 16-19, 2017.
“Queering Obama: Searching for Worldmaking Possibilities in Obama’s ‘Doubled Rhetoric,’” National Communication Association, Dallas, TX, November 16-19, 2017.
Awards, Fellowships and Grants
Mellon Periclean Faculty Leader, Andrew W. Mellon Periclean Faculty Leadership (PFL) Program in the Humanities, 2020-2022 cohort.
RSA Dissertation Award Finalist (2019), Rhetoric Society of America, 2020.
Pedagogy Innovation Grant (with Lydia McDermott and Matthew Bost) to support curricular revision and the creation of the new Rhetoric, Writing, and Public Discourse department at Whitman College, 2019.
Diversity Innovation Grant to support “Pacific Northwest Rhetoric, Race, and Media Symposium,” Whitman College, 2016.
Diversity Innovation Grant to support “Civic Conversations in the Community” / “Walla Walla Talks” event, Whitman College, 2016.
Pre-doctoral Fellow, Center for Humanities and Information, The Pennsylvania State University, 2015-2016.
Humanities Initiative Dissertation Grant, College of the Liberal Arts, The Pennsylvania State University, 2015.
Nancy and Joseph Birkle Student Engagement Award, Center for Democratic Deliberation, The Pennsylvania State University, 2015.
Pre-doctoral Research Award (utilized to conduct archival research at Moorland-Spingarn Research Center), Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, 2015.
Sparks Fellowship, College of the Liberal Arts, The Pennsylvania State University, 2013-2014.