Assistant Professor


  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Assistant Professor
  • Concentration:

    • Rhetorical Theory & Criticism, Public Address, U.S. Presidential Rhetoric, Space/Place, Public Memory
  • Department:

    • Communication Studies
  • Education:

    • Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • Curriculum Vitae:


Dr. Allison M. Prasch is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Colorado State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota and teaches a variety of classes in rhetorical studies, including Rhetoric & Western Thought, Historical Speeches on American Issues, Evaluating Contemporary Rhetoric, and History of Rhetorical Theory. Dr. Prasch is a scholar of U.S. presidential rhetoric, and her research program connects methods of close textual analysis and archival research with contemporary scholarship on space/place and public memory to interrogate the relationship between oratorical texts and their physical, spatial, and historical contexts. She is the recipient of the National Communication Association’s 2017 Golden Anniversary Monograph Award for her theoretical work on deixis, and her research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of SpeechRhetoric & Public Affairs,Presidential Studies Quarterly, the Southern Communication JournalWomen’s Studies in Communication, and Voices of Democracy.

Dr. Prasch’s current book project examines the rise of the global rhetorical presidency during the Cold War. Tentatively entitled The Rise of the Global Rhetorical Presidency: Cold War Rhetoric on the World Stage, 1945-1989, this book considers how U.S. presidents and executive agencies proactively deployed the physical presence of the U.S. president abroad—and the mediation, transmission, and circulation of these visits—as a political and psychological weapon. Drawing on a robust textual and audiovisual archive from five presidential libraries, the records of the U.S. State Department (DOS), the U.S. Information Service (USIS), the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), and the Voice of America (VOA) held at the National Archives and Records Administration, and field work in Berlin and Normandy, this project analyzes representative moments that demonstrate the individual and collective strategies employed by five Cold War presidents in their acts of going global: Truman’s journey to Potsdam in 1945, Eisenhower’s goodwill tours in 1959-1960, Kennedy’s 1963 visit to West Berlin, Nixon’s “Opening to China” in 1971-1972, and Reagan’s 1984 commemoration of D-Day in Normandy. Although each case study offers a stand-alone analysis of how and why these chief executives targeted specific locations or regions for their situated rhetorical appeals, together they reveal how Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan embodied and articulated their Cold War foreign policy by speaking in various places throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. Ultimately, this book argues that Cold War U.S. presidents took their rhetoric abroad in an attempt to constitute an imagined community of peoples and nations who, although separated by physical distance or national allegiance, were united in their shared opposition to Soviet communism.


Allison M. Prasch and Julia Scatliff O'Grady, “Saluting the ‘Skutnik’: Special Guests, the First Lady’s Box, and the Generic Evolution of the State of the Union Address,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 20, no. 4 (2017): 571-604.
Zoë Hess Carney and Allison M. Prasch, “‘A Journey for Peace’: Spatial Metaphors in Nixon's 1972 ‘Opening to China,’” Presidential Studies Quarterly 47, no. 4 (2017): 646-664.
Allison M. Prasch, “Harry S. Truman, ‘Address Before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,’ Washington, DC (29 June 1947),” Voices of Democracy 12 (2017): 16-44.
Allison M. Prasch, “Toward a Rhetorical Theory of Deixis,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 102, no. 2 (2016): 166-193.
Allison M. Prasch, “Retelling Watergate: Apologia, Political Eulogy, and Richard Nixon’s ‘Final Campaign,’” Southern Communication Journal 80, no. 4 (2015): 271-292.
Allison M. Prasch, “Maternal Bodies in Militant Protest: Leymah Gbowee and the Rhetorical Agency of African Motherhood,” Women’s Studies in Communication 38, no. 2 (2015): 187-205.
Allison M. Prasch, “Ronald Reagan, ‘Remarks at a Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day,’ Pointe du Hoc, France (6 June 1984) and Ronald Reagan, ‘Remarks at a United States-France Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day,’ Omaha Beach, Colleville Sur Mer, France (6 June 1984),” Voices of Democracy 10 (2015): 20-40.
Allison M. Prasch, “Reagan at Pointe du Hoc: Deictic Epideictic and the Persuasive Power of ‘Bringing Before the Eyes,’” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 18, no. 2 (2015): 247-276.


  • SPCM 201: Rhetoric in Western Thought

  • SPCM 311: Historical Speeches on American Issues

  • SPCM 412: Evaluating Contemporary Rhetoric

  • SPCM 601: History of Rhetorical Theory

  • SPCM 612: Rhetorical Criticism