Catherine Molloy

Cathryn Molloy

Department: Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Areas of expertise:

  • Mental health rhetoric research
  • Feminist rhetorics
  • Writing as healing

As a rhetorician of health and medicine, Cathryn Molloy studies how patients subconsciously and consciously use everyday conversations as ways to rebuild their credibility after stigmatizing health and medical experiences and how patients establish their credibility—and the veracity of their subjective symptoms reports—when they are unfairly doubted due to demographic factors.

She has published, "Credibility at the Clinic: A Critical Engagement with Rhetorical Ethos in Health and Medical Contexts," an interdisciplinary book that takes up “credibility” or “rhetorical ethos” as a particularly relevant framing mechanism for interrogating the role stigmas and abuses play in patterns of persuasion as they relate to social reproduction. This book showcases the value of rhetorically-focused humanities projects for unpacking especially thorny health and medical realities.

Molloy is an associate professor in JMU's School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, where she teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses and serves as director of undergraduate studies.

Media contact: Ginny Cramer,

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