Mr David P Tucker

My dissertation examines the public discourse of the abolitionist and early women’s rights movements to show how revolutionary figures have been appropriated by US social movements. Two such figures were Toussaint L’Ouverture, the politician-general and founder of the republic of Haiti and Jeanne D’Arc, the French heroine and Roman Catholic Saint who lifted the siege of Orleans. Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jeanne D’Arc were Americanized by speakers in the abolitionist and early women’s rights movements in a (largely successful) effort to link heroic figures to burgeoning social movements. By examining the speeches of speakers associated with these movements, I aim to contribute to rhetorical studies by exploring how narratives allow for appropriation of revolutionary figures for particular causes. Associated interests are oral literacy, biblical narratives, and public memory. My teaching interests include rhetorical criticism, argumentation, persuasion theory, and the history of rhetoric. I own several dozen books on grammar and style, a large collection of cowboy boots, and a vast assortment of cooking gadgets I doesn't use nearly often enough. Inquiries are welcome at:

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • B.S.: Political Science, English, Phronesis, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 2010.
  • M.A.: Rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 2011.
  • Ph.D: Communication Studies/Rhetorical Studies, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2011-Present.


  • Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • Public Memory
  • National Identity
  • Narrative Theory
  • Literacy and Critical Pedagogy
Courses Taught
  • Introduction to Public Speaking (COMM 1101)
  • Analysis of Argument (COMM 1313W)
  • Persuasive Speaking and Speechwriting (COMM 3605W)
  • Communication Ethics (COMM 3625)
  • Famous Speeches (COMM 3635W)
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Bread Loaf Writer's Conference: Writer's Workshop August 2008
  • Rhetoric Society of America: “Narrative for Social Change: A Study of the DREAM Activist Network” May 2012
  • Rhetoric Society of America: “Toussaint L’Ouverture and the Rhetoric of Forgetting” May 2014
  • Rhetoric Society of America: Doctoral Institute Workshop: "W(h)ither Social Movements in Rhetorical Studies" June 2015
  • Scott, Jensen, Campbell Fellowship, University of Minnesota Summer 2013
  • Old Buffalo Doctoral Research Award, University of Minnesota Summer 2014
  • Archival Research Grant, Houghton Library, Harvard University Spring 2015
  • Rhetoric Society of America, Doctoral Seminar Travel Grant Summer 2015