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Kelly Pender

Kelly Pender, Chair and Professor of English

Kelly Pender, Chair and Professor of English
Kelly Pender, Chair and Professor of English

Department of English
303 Shanks Hall 
180 Turner Street, NW 
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-7785 |

Kelly Pender is the chair of and a professor in the Department of English and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society. She specializes in rhetorical theory and the rhetoric of science, technology, and medicine, and she regularly teaches courses in these areas.

Pender is the author of Techne, From Neoclassicism to Postmodernism (Parlor Press, 2011) and Being at Genetic Risk: Toward a Rhetoric of Care (Penn State Press, 2018).

  • Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Rhetorical Theory
  • History of Rhetoric
  • Ph.D. in English, Purdue University, 2005
  • M.A. in English, North Carolina State University, 2000
  • B.A. in English, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 1997
  • Chair, Department of English


  • Pender, Kelly. Being at Genetic Risk: Toward a Rhetoric of Care. Penn State University Press, 2018.
  • Pender, Kelly. Techne, From Neoclassicism to Postmodernism: Understanding Writing as a Useful, Teachable Art. Parlor Press, 2011.

Journal Articles

  • Pender, Kelly and Brooke Covington. “How Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Does the Body, Or Why Epistemology Alone Cannot Explain This Controversial Breast Cancer Treatment.” Journal of Medical Humanities, 11 Feb. 2020. Springer Journals, doi: 10.007/s10912-020-09614-w.
  • Pender, Kelly. “Somatic Individuality in Context: A Comparative Case Study.” Public Understanding of Science, vol. 27, no. 3, 2018, pp. 5-18.
  • Pender, Kelly. “Genetic Subjectivity in situ: A Rhetorical Reading of Genetic Determinism and Genetic Opportunity in the Biosocial Community of FORCE.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs, vol. 15, no. 2, 2012, pp. 319-349.
  • Pender, Kelly. “Negation and Contradictory Technics of Rhetoric.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 1, 2008, pp. 2-24.

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