Robert Danisch has a PhD in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh (2004) and a BA from the University of Virginia in History and Philosophy.  His research interests concern rhetorical theory and public communication within democratic societies.  He has written extensively about the relationship between American Pragmatism and rhetoric.  He is currently finishing a SSHRC-funded project titled Completing the Linguistic Turn which tells the history of pragmatism through its commitment to specific communication practices within large-scale democratic societies.  He recently published Pragmatism, Democracy, and the Necessity of Rhetoric (University of South Carolina Press, 2007), and his work has appeared in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Social Epistemology, Public Understanding of Science, and Southern Communication Journal.  His research also concerns the relationship between citizenship and communication practices.  He served as editor of Citizens of the World: Pluralism, Migration, and Practices of Citizenship (Rodopi Press, 2011) and as a member of the steering group for the Pluralism, Inclusion, and Citizenship project.  In addition, Robert’s research also concerns risk communication and the role of science in democratic deliberation.  In general, he is interested in understanding the role of communication practices in forming ethical citizens for contemporary democracies.  Rob teaches courses in Communication Ethics, Speech Writing, Persuasion, Small Group Communication, and Public Communication.  He joined the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo in 2011.


  • Ph.D. 2004

    Ph.D. - Communication

    University of Pittsburgh

  • B.A. 1998

    B.A. - Communication

    University of Virginia


  • Communication in Democracy
  • Rhetoric
  • Pragmatism
  • Risk Assessment


  • Current2014

    Associate Professor

    University of Waterloo

  • 20142011

    Assistant Professor

    University of Waterloo

  • 20112004

    Assistant Professor

    Concordia University

  • 20042003

    Andrew Mellon Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

    University of Pittsburgh

  • 20031998

    Teaching Fellow

    University of Pittsburgh

Awards & Grants

  • 2014-2019
    SSHRC Insight Grant - Sociologies of Rhetoric
    Project Titled “Sociologies of Rhetoric`` was awarded a $140,710 grant
  • 2013
    UW/SSHRC Award - Insight Grant
    Project Titled “Sociologies of Rhetoric`` was awarded an $8,000 grant
  • 2009-2012
    SSHRC Research Grant
    Project titled ``Completing the Linguistic Turn: Neopragmatism and Rhetorical Theory`` was granted $59,000
  • 2007-2008
    New Researcher Start-up Grant - Concordia University
    Project titled “Rhetorical Techné as Innovative Thinking: Historical, Theoretical, and Practical Approaches to Technological Deliberation in Democratic Societies`` was awarded a $15,000 grant
  • 2003-2004
    Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Research Fellowship
    Awarded $18,000 by the University of Pittsburgh. These fellowships are awarded to students of exceptional promise and ability.
  • 2002
    Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher
    Recognized as an exceptional student teacher by the National Communication Association
  • 1994-1998
    Echols Scholar
    University of Virginia