Carnegie Mellon University

Stephanie Larson (she/her/hers)

Stephanie Larson (she/her/hers)

Assistant Professor of Rhetoric

  • Baker Hall 245P

Area of Study

Gender Studies, Rhetoric


I study sexual violence in public, political, and institutional contexts, drawing from a range of interdisciplinary scholarship including feminist rhetorical theory and criticism, feminist disability studies, feminist legal studies, critical university studies, public sphere theory, and rhetorics of health and medicine. At its core, my work largely focuses on the circulation of meaning about victimhood in the public sphere with an emphasis on the social and political dimensions of trauma and recognition. My first book, What It Feels Like: Visceral Rhetoric and the Politics of Rape Culture (PSUP, 2021) takes up these interests by investigating contemporary rhetorics of rape culture, tracing how assumptions of women’s bodies influence legal, cultural, and medical discourses. My second book project tentatively titled, “Lessons from a Rape Culture: Sexual Violence, Precarity, and Higher Education,” extends these interests to understand the labor of sexual violence in the academy and the effects of that labor for minoritized groups. My work also takes up additional interests in the body and gender to analyze public understandings of mental illness, eating disorders, and PTSD. At CMU, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in professional writing and rhetoric on topics such as style, feminist rhetorics, disability studies, research methods, and rhetorics of the body.


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison

B.A., University of Illinois


What It Feels Like: Visceral Rhetoric and the Politics of Rape Culture

“The Biopolitics of Public Health Trust: Embodied Risk and the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Co-authored with Cody Januszko. Rhetoric of Health & Medicine 5.4 (June 2022): 465-489.

“The Rhetoricity of Fat Stigma: Mental Disability, Pain, and Anorexia Nervosa.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 51.5 (2021): 392-406.

“‘Everything inside me was silenced’: (Re)defining Rape through Visceral Counterpublicity.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 104.2 (2018): 123-144.

Curriculum Vitae