Carnegie Mellon University
August 29, 2011

English Department Welcomes New Assistant Professor John Oddo

English Department Welcomes New Assistant Professor John Oddo

John Oddo joins the faculty for fall 2011 as an Assistant Professor of English. He comes to us from Kent State University in Ohio, where he received a Ph.D. in Rhetoric & Composition last spring. His decision to come to Carnegie Mellon was an easy choice. 

"This is a unique place," he said. "I knew that in the Rhetoric program there is a willingness to be interdisciplinary, to bridge rhetorical theory with discourse analysis. I think my work fits in with that."

This fall, Oddo will be teaching Style and a rhetoric course called Intertextuality. "Intertextuality," the theory that the meaning of texts is shaped by other texts, is a key concept in Oddo's research into what he refers to as "call-to-arms" rhetoric. His dissertation focuses on how journalists reporting on Colin Powell's 2003 speech to the United Nations influenced public opinion regarding the need to disarm Saddam Hussein. In the future, he plans to look at the history of call-to-arms rhetoric and examine how it has been used during other wars, both in print and in radio and television news broadcasts.

Oddo is looking forward to teaching at Carnegie Mellon. "Everyone pushes you to be better here," he said. "It's a nice intellectual environment. I'm excited about teaching courses that are more up my alley in terms of rhetorical theory."

Outside the classroom, Oddo enjoys sports but says that lately he has spent most of his free time with his 17-month-old daughter. He and his wife are enjoying settling into life in Pittsburgh.