Faculty & Staff

Melody Lehn

Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Women’s and Gender Studies, Assistant Director of the Center for Speaking & Listening
B.A., Furman University; M.A., University of Memphis; Ph.D., University of Memphis


Melody Lehn is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Women’s and Gender Studies at Sewanee: The University of the South, where she also serves as the Assistant Director of the Center for Speaking & Listening and co-directs the Speaking-Across-the Curriculum Initiative. Professor Lehn earned her B.A. in Communication Studies with a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies at Furman University. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication with emphases in rhetoric and public address at the University of Memphis, where she was awarded the 2013 Morton Dissertation Award.

As a student and teacher of public address, Professor Lehn is committed to investigating the ways that rhetoric imagines and sustains our democratic practices and communities. At Sewanee, she teaches courses in Public Speaking, Teaching Speaking and Listening, Argumentation and Debate, and Voices of American Women. An award-winning teacher, she twice won the John Angus Campbell Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Memphis and, most recently, won the 2018 Southern States Communication Association’s Dwight L. Freshley Award for Excellence in Early Career Teaching.

Professor Lehn researches and writes at the intersection of rhetoric, gender, politics, and religion. She has presented more than thirty research papers at state, regional, national, and international conferences, and her work has appeared in Rhetoric & Public Affairs, the Carolinas Communication Annual, and several edited book collections about political speech. In 2011, she co-edited Rhetoric: Concord and Controversy (Waveland Press) with Antonio de Velasco. Her current book project maps the creation, circulation, and consumption of religious, gender-related rhetorical appeals in the 2016 presidential election.