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Matthew Bost

Matthew Bost

Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Writing, and Public Discourse, Chair of the Rhetoric, Writing & Public Discourse Department

Professor Bost joined the Rhetoric, Writing, and Public Discourse (RWPD) Department in the fall of 2016. His work focuses on the relationship between rhetoric, philosophy and social change. His work has been published in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Philosophy and Rhetoric, The Review of Communication,Argumentation and Advocacy, and elsewhere. His recent publications have explored the role of trope in Karl Marx's “Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,” the nonhuman element in Marx and Engels' rhetoric, and the relationship between debt and political community in Marx's “The Civil War in France.”  

Professor Bost's teaching specialties include classical and contemporary rhetorical theory, rhetorical studies of visual, auditory, tactile and other sensory registers, and the intersections between rhetoric, identity and social change, with particular focus on feminist and queer rhetoric and social movements rooted in class. At Whitman, Professor Bost's courses include Fundamentals of Argumentation, Rhetorical Theory, Rhetoric, Gender and Sexuality, Rhetoric and Capitalism and Rhetoric and the Senses.

Ph.D. Communications Studies, Rhetoric
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

M.A. Communications Studies, Rhetoric
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

B.A. Rhetoric and Media Studies
Willamette University


2018. “A Revolutionary Epideictic: Debt and Community in Karl Marx’s The Civil War in France.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 48 (4): 411-431.

2017. “Coauthored with Matthew S. May. “Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.”  Peer Reviewed Encyclopedia Entry in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. http://communication.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228613-e-80. 

2016. “Entangled Exchange: Verkehr and Rhetorical Capitalism.” Review of Communication. 16.4: 344-351.

2016. Coauthored with Matthew S. May. “The Surplus of the Machine: Trope and History in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.” Philosophy and Rhetoric. 49.1: 1-25.  (lead article)


Lead Conference Planner and Chair, Preconference on “The Commons at a Crossroads: Abundant Subjectivities, Diverse Communities and New Strategies for Worldmaking.” National Communication Association Annual Convention, Remotely, November 2020.

“In Defense of (Rhetorical) Immanence: an Affective-Rhetorical Systems Theory of Capitalism and Commons”. Paper co-authored with Joshua S. Hanan (University of Denver) and presented at Preconference on “The Commons at a Crossroads.” National Communication Association Annual Convention, Remotely, November 2020.

Conference Co-Chair and Co-Organizer (with Matthew S. May, Texas A&M University), interdisciplinary conference on “Reading Marx into the 21st Century.” Conference held at Texas A&M University, April 2018.

Invited Speaker for Roundtable on “Conditions of Possibility for Rhetorical Criticism: Putting Immanent Materialism and Psychoanalysis into Practice.” Rhetoric Society of America Biennial Convention, Minneapolis, MN, May 2017.

“Rhetoric After Life: A Propaedeutic for Post-Apocalyptic Politics.” National Communication Association Annual Convention, Dallas, TX, November 2017.

Panel Organizer and Presenter for Roundtable on Jodi Dean’s Crowds and Power. Annual Convention of the National Communication Association, Dallas, TX, November 2017.

 “The Cause of the Self: Materialist Spirituality, Cultural Appropriation and the Rhetoric of Mindfulness.” Annual Convention of the National Communication Association, Philadelphia, PA, November 2016.

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