Parrish, Alex 200x200


Associate Professor
Year Started at JMU: 2012
Contact Info


Ph.D., English, Rhetoric and Composition, Washington State University, 2012

M.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, York University, 2008  

B.F.A., Creative and Professional Writing, Bemidji State University, 2006 

Professional Focuses

The history of rhetoric, comparative rhetoric, rhetoric and evolution, animal rhetorics, and the rhetorics of scientific and technical communication



The Sensory Modes of Animal Rhetorics: A Hoot in the Light. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.

"Banal Classicism and Borrowed Ethos in the Rhetorics of Human and Nonhuman Animals" in Evolution and Popular Narrative, edited by Dirk Vanderbeke and Brett Cooke. Brill. 2019.

Adaptive Rhetoric: Evolution, Culture, and the Art of Persuasion. Studies in Rhetoric and Communication. London and New York: Routledge, 2014. 

Reviewed in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment; Language & Dialogue; Choice; Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture.

Edited Collections

Alex Parrish and Kristian Bjørkdahl (eds.). Rhetorical Animals: Boundaries of the Human in the Study of Persuasion. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2017. 

Articles, Book chapters, Proceedings

"Rhetoric and the Animal Turn: Addressing the Challenges of a Cross-Species Art of Persuasion" in Rhetorics Change/Rhetoric's Change, edited by Jenny Rice and Chelsea Graham Anderson, SC: Parlor Press and Intermezzo. 2018.

"Don't Try to Kid Me, Mancub': Re-Animaling Rhetoric in Theory and Practice." Rhetoric Society Quarterly vol. 47, no. 3. 2017: 215-221.

"Rhetorics of Human Exceptionalism: Ancient and Modern 'Animaling' as Justification for Oppression" in The Human-Animal Boundary: Exploring the Line in Philosophy and Fiction, edited by Nandita Batra and Mario Wenning. <Accepted>

"Banal Classicism and Borrowed Ethos in the Rhetorics of Human and Nonhuman Animals" in Don't We All Like It? Popular Literature and Culture under an Evolutionary Lens, edited by Drik Vanderbeke and Brett Cooke. <Accepted>

"Psychosis and Theory of Mind in Kurt Vonnegut's Galápagos" in Family and Tolerance as Trauma Management in Kurt Vonnegut's Works, edited by Rebeka Sara Szigethy and Adam T. Bogar. <Forthcoming>

"'Don't Try to Kid me, Mancub':Re-Animating Rhetoric in Theory and Practice." Rhetoric Society Quarterly vol. 47, no. 3. 2017: 215-221.

Walsh, Lynda, et alia (Contributing Author). "The Great Chain of Being: Manifesto on the Problem of Agency in Science Communication." Poroi, vol.12, no.1. 2016: Article 2.

"Evolution in the English Department: the Biocultural Paradigms of Literary Darwinism and Adaptive Rhetoric." Literature Compass, vol. 11, no. 9. 2014: 649-656.

"The (Instinctual) Art of Persuasion." The Evolutionary Review, vol.4. no. 1. 2013: 57-66.

"Additional Advice for Choosing Your Graduate Committee." What We Wish We'd Known: Negotiating Graduate School, edited by Ryan Skinnell and Judy Holliday. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead Press, 2013.

"Adaptive Rhetoric: Ethos and Evolved Behavior in Cicero's De Oratore."Rhetoric: Concord and Controversy, edited by Antonio de Velasco and Melody Lehn. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, 2010: 132-141.

"Wampeters, NOMA, and Granfalloons." Pompeii. Spring 2010.

Book Reviews

"Perspectives on Human-Animal Communication: Internatural Communication," edited by Emily Plec. Journal for Critical Animal Studies vol. 12, no. 4. 2014:157-164.

"The Present State of Scholarship in the History of Rhetoric: A Twenty-First Century Guide," edited by Winifred Bryan Horner and Lynee Lewis Gaillet. JAC vol. 31, nos. 1& 2. 2011.

Encyclopedia Articles

"Evolution." The Encyclopedia of American Environmental History, edited by Kathleen Brosnan. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2010.

Media Appearances

"Animal Intersections: Nonhuman Persons" nationally broadcast interview on public radio program With Good Reason. April 29, 2017.

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