Dr. Melanie Loehwing is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Mississippi State University. She co-founded the Civic Life Lab in 2018 as a home for her publicly engaged collaborative work on civic rhetoric and democratic culture. She is the author of Homeless Advocacy and the Rhetorical Construction of the Civic Home (Penn State University Press, 2018), which was recently awarded the National Communication Association’s Diamond Anniversary Book Award. Her research has also been recognized with the Stephen E. Lucas Debut Publication Award from the National Communication Association and the Review of Politics Award from the Midwest Political Science Association.
Dr. Loehwing’s research examines how the health of a democracy is tied to the quality of its rhetoric. She examines civic rhetorical practices such as advocacy, deliberation, and protest in order to investigate the power of communicative acts to address problems of injustice, exclusion, and polarization. With her colleagues in the Civic Life Lab, she conducts research that tests innovative communication tools designed to improve the quality of community deliberation. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals and edited volumes, including the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Philosophy & Rhetoric, and Enculturation.