Sean Zwagerman

Associate Professor / Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


  • BA (Berkeley)
  • MA (Sonoma State)
  • PhD (University of Southern California)


I am interested broadly in rhetoric and writing, in the compositional relationship among the word, the self, and the world. My particular interests include the intersections of rhetorical theory and speech-act theory, the rhetoric of humour, and public outrage about plagiarism and student literacy. Forthcoming work includes contributions to a collection of essays on the rhetoric of oil and to a collection on transgressive women’s humour, as well as a book-length project using speech-act theory to define the limits of rhetoric and clarify criteria of success and failure.

Selected Publications

"Local Examples and Master Narratives: Stanley Fish's Blog and the Popular Appeal of Current-Traditionalism." College Composition and Communication 66.3 (2015).

Women and Comedy: History, Theory, Practice (co-editor). Fairleigh Dickinson, 2013.

"A Cautionary Tale: Ann Coulter and the Failure of Humor.” In Women and Comedy, above.

“A Marked Resemblance: Students, Teachers, and the Dynamics of Plagiarism.” In Critical Conversations About Plagiarism. Parlor Press, 2013.

Wit’s End: Women’s Humor as Rhetorical and Performative Strategy. Pittsburgh, 2010.


Future courses may be subject to change.

Published Books