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Rhetoric and Media Studies

Daena J. Goldsmith

Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies and Department Chair

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My teaching and research focus on how we enact identities and relationships through what we say and how we say it. I focus on interactions from everyday life, including the conversations we have with a spouse or partner, the advice we give to friends and family, and the stories we tell face-to-face and online.


The courses I teach address the intersections of interpersonal interaction, media, and rhetoric. RHMS 270 Interpersonal Media examines how we enact identity, relationships, and community through electronically mediated communication. RHMS 332 Rhetoric of Gender in Relationships examines the evidence and arguments in research about gender differences in interpersonal relationships. RHMS 352 Gender in Public Rhetoric and Mass Media uses feminist rhetorical criticism to understand the rhetoric of movements for gender equity and media representations of gender. RHMS 320 Health Narratives teaches students how to use narrative theory and method to understand the stories we tell about health and illness.

Professional Experience

Please see my Curriculum Vitae in “Related Content”


My recent research has examined couples in which one person is coping with a serious health condition such as heart disease or cancer. For example:  How can you encourage your partner to exercise or eat a healthful diet without sounding like a nag?  How do couples talk about fears related to illness and treatments?  Under what conditions is social support from friends and family helpful in coping with illness?  I am just beginning a new project that focuses on stories by mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder. For more information, please see Selected Publications in “Related Content”

Academic Credentials

B.S. Lewis & Clark College; MA., Ph.D. University of Washington    

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Rhetoric and Media Studies


Daena J. Goldsmith’s office is located in room 368 of Howard Hall.


voice 503-768-7613

Daena J. Goldsmith Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies and Department Chair

Rhetoric and Media Studies Lewis & Clark 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road MSC 35 Portland OR 97219 USA