Dr. Valerie Palmer-Mehta

Office:   328 Wilson
Phone:  (248) 370-2139


Dr. Palmer-Mehta's scholarship sits at the nexus of rhetorical studies and intersectional gender studies. Her area of specialization is feminist rhetorical studies. Although she is interested in all manner of discourse as it relates to social identity and power—including analyses of men and masculinities as well as disabilities—the heart of her research is motivated by the absence of women in rhetorical studies. Consequently, her research program centers on women and rhetoric: Writing diverse women into rhetorical studies and public history; identifying the rhetorical strategies diverse women employ to influence and transform public culture, intellectual traditions, and everyday practices; and investigating how women and their advocates challenge or reinforce public understanding of key discursive and cultural concepts that we use to organize and make sense of our lives.

Her research has been published in a variety of journals such as Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies; International Journal of Communication; Text and Performance Quarterly; Women's Studies in Communication; Communication, Culture & Critique; QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking; Journal of American Culture; and Journal of Popular Culture. Her work also appears in edited collections, such as Rethinking Ethos: A Feminist Ecological Approach to RhetoricA Companion to First LadiesMediated Moms: Contemporary Challenges to Motherhood; and Masculinities At Play. She sits on the editorial board of Women's Studies in Communication


Dr. Palmer-Mehta teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses including Introduction to Communication Studies, Public Speaking, Rhetorical Theory, Persuasion, Gender Communication, Rhetorical Criticism, Women, Power & Persuasion,  Field Experience in Communication, and Feminist Rhetorical Theory. In the fall of 2020, she will begin serving as the Communication Internship Director. She is the recipient of the OU Honors College Inspiration Award and the Elizabeth Youngjohn Teaching Award.

Service & Life
Outside of her departmental duties, Dr. Palmer-Mehta is an affiliated faculty member with the Women and Gender Studies Program and the Center for Ethics. She is the faculty advisor of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) at OU. Previously, she served as the Communication Program Director and the Interim Director of Women and Gender Studies. For her contributions to the advancement of women in higher education and at OU, she was awarded the Phyllis Law Googasian Award. In her spare time, she likes to travel, write, garden, learn new things, and do anything active (hike, bike, etc.).