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Larry Williamson, PhD

Professor, Communication Studies

Larry Williamson, PhD, began building the Communication Studies department at USD in 1982, and chaired the department from 1985 to 1993. He is a rhetorical critic, and has applied this perspective to the examination of various types of popular texts over the last 26 years. His teaching interests are eclectic and range across subjects like semantics, rhetorical theory, media criticism, and legal communication.

Education

Ph.D., Purdue University
M.A., San Diego State University
B.A., San Diego State University

David Ross Fellow, Purdue University

Scholarly and Creative Work

Williamson has authored several critiques of trial-by-media which have resulted in convention papers, journal articles, and book chapters such as the Hedgecock Trial, (1990); The Azaria Chamberlain Case, (1993), and The Dragging Trial ( 2002). His more recent work, Bush’s Mythic America (2010), has focused on political mythology from a rhetorical critical perspective. He has also served as a legal advocacy trainer and jury consultant. This experience has resulted in articles for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (1996; 1997) and panels on persuasion and advocacy for the Litigation Section of The California Bar Association (2001).

Teaching Interests

Williamson has taught a wide variety of courses during his tenure at USD, including Rhetorical Theory, Persuasion and Propaganda, Communication Criticism, and Theories of Human Communication. In addition to these disciplinary courses, he has taught several interdisciplinary courses in the Honors Program (with Philosophy faculty), as well as special team taught courses for NEH (on the Holocaust) and a campus-based cluster-preceptorial on science, technology, and society.