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Elvera B. Berry, Ph.D.

Professor of Communication, Chair



Ph.D. (Higher Education [Philosophy/Rhetoric]), SUNY Buffalo
M.A. (Rhetoric), SUNY Brockport
M.A. (Linguistics & German), University of Rochester
B.A. (German) Roberts Wesleyan College


Specialty Areas:

Communication Studies; Rhetorical Theory; Kenneth Burke, literary/rhetorical/social critic; Oral Interpretation; German Literature; Teaching & Learning; Honors Studies; Professional Internships

Current Research Interests: 

Rhetoric of: Kenneth Burke, C.S. Lewis, B.T. Roberts, John Wesley, Andrew Young; Educational Philosophy and Pedagogy; Rhetoric in religion, race, literature, and gender

Sample Courses:

Intro. to Communication Arts; Communication and Gender; Persuasion and Criticism; Classical & Modern Rhetoric; Seminars in Kenneth Burke and the Rhetoric of Literature; Classroom Communication

Sample Publications:

  • “The Both-And of Undergraduate Education: Burke’s ‘Linguistic’ Approach,”book-chapter in Humanistic Critique of Education: Teaching and Learning as Symbolic Action (2010).
  • “Definiendum: He is Yet to be Defined,” Kenneth Burke Society Publication (2000)
  • “Invitation to Relationship: The Teacher as Role Model, ” in Faculty Dialogue (1989)

Sample Convention Presentations:

Eastern Communication Association (ECA), office holder

  • Dissenting Communities: Confronting “Trained Incapacities” in Race, Religion, and Gender (2014)
  • The Power of the Word and a Philosophy of Non-Violence, exploring discernment during the Civil Rights Movement (2011)
  • Instruments of our Own Making: Where Burke’s Technology and Postman’s Technopoly Meet, exploring perspectives on technology (2010)

National Communication Association (NCA)

  • The Drama of the Narrative: In the Presence of our Past (2014)
  • The Classroom: In Search of Community (2012)
  • Piety and Social Action in the Rhetoric of John Wesley (2002)

Recent Honors:

  • 2016     Once Upon a Time . . . , Commencement Address, Roberts Wesleyan College
  • 2014     Distinguished Service Award, Kenneth Burke Society, in recognition of outstanding service
  • 2010     Spiritan Award for Teaching, Duquesne University, in recognition of influence on undergraduate students