Collegiate Affiliation

Dr. Graff’s research has focused on the theories of prose style presented in Greek and Roman rhetoric treatises and on the recuperation of classical-traditional theories of genre and style in twentieth-century rhetoric and literary theory.  

His articles on these subjects have appeared in Rhetorica, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Philosophy & Rhetoric, and Advances in the History of Rhetoric.  He is co-editor of The Viability of the Rhetorical Tradition. Dr. Graff has a longstanding interest in the ways rhetorical precepts for style and delivery reflect material circumstances of oratorical practice and written composition. He currently leads an interdisciplinary collaboration that utilizes digital tools—3d architectural modeling, immersive-interactive visualization, and acoustical simulation—to analyze the physical settings of ancient Greek oratorical performance and political deliberation.

Dr. Graff is a past president of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR). At the University of Minnesota, he has held an Institute for Advanced Studies Faculty Fellowship and a McKnight Summer Research Fellowship, and has been a visiting senior associate member of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece.

Dr. Graff is an Associate Professor in the Department of Writing Studies and director of the interdisciplinary graduate minor in Literacy & Rhetorical Studies. He teaches courses and graduate seminars in Classical and Modern Rhetoric, Communication Theory, and Rhetorical Stylistics. He is a recipient of the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences’ (now CFANS) Distinguished Teaching Award.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • M.A. : Communication Studies / Rhetoric, Northwestern University
  • B.A. : English, University of California-Berkeley
  • Ph.D.: Communication Studies / Rhetoric, Northwestern University


  • Rhetoric and performance
  • History of rhetoric education
  • Classical Rhetoric
  • History and theory of rhetoric
  • Style theory, stylistics