Kelly Pender

Kelly Pender, English

Kelly Pender

Kelly Pender

Associate Professor


306 Shanks Hall 
180 Turner Street, NW 
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061


(540) 231-9077


Department Membership



  • History of rhetoric
  • Contemporary rhetorical theory
  • Rhetoric of health and medicine

Professional Activities

  • Director, Rhetoric and Writing PhD Program
  • Rhetoric Society of America
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication
  • Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology


  • BA, English, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • MA, English, North Carolina State University
  • PhD, English, Purdue University

Research Interests

    Selected Publications


    Pender, Kelly. Being at Genetic Risk: Toward a Rhetoric of Care. Penn State University Press, 2018.

    Pender, Kelly. Techne, From Neoclassical to Postmodernism: Understanding Writing as a Useful, Teachable Art. Parlor Press, 2011.


    • Pender, Kelly.  “Somatic Individuality in Context, A Comparative Case Study.”  Public Understanding of Science, vol. 27, no. 3, 2018, pp. 5-18.
    • “Genetic Subjectivity in situ: A Rhetorical Reading of Genetic Determinism and Genetic Opportunity in the Biosocial Community of FORCE.”  Rhetoric and Public Affairs 15.2 (2013): 319-349
    • “Philosophies of Invention Twenty Years After The Making of Knowledge in Composition” in The Changing of Knowledge in Composition: Contemporary Perspectives, eds. Lance Massey and Richard Gebhardt.  Logan, UT: Utah State Press, 2011, 63-83.
    • “Negation and the Contradictory Technics of Rhetoric.”  Rhetoric Society Quarterly 38.1 (2008): 2-24.