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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Faculty & Staff Directory

Sonja K. Foss, PhD

Sonja Foss photo


Curriculum Vita
Email: Sonja Foss
Office Location: 3317
Phone: Please contact via email
Areas of Expertise:
Rhetorical theory and criticism, feminist perspectives on communication, and visual rhetoric​

Education & Degrees

PhD, Communication Studies, Northwestern University
MA, Speech, University of Oregon
BA, Romance Languages, University of Oregon


Sonja K. Foss's research and teaching interests are in contemporary rhetorical theory and criticism, feminist perspectives on communication, the incorporation of marginalized voices into rhetorical theory, and visual rhetoric. She is the author or coauthor of the books Gender StoriesDestination Dissertation: A Traveler’s Guide to a Done Dissertation, Rhetorical Criticism, Contemporary Perspectives on Rhetoric, Inviting Transformation, Feminist Rhetorical Theories, and Women Speak. Her essays in communication journals have dealt with topics such as paradigms of change, invitational rhetoric, agency in the film Run Lola Run, visual argumentation, and body art.

Dr. Foss earned her PhD in communication studies from Northwestern University, her MA in speech from the University of Oregon, and her BA in Romance languages (French and Spanish) from the University of Oregon. She previously taught at Ohio State University, St. Louis University, the University of Oregon, the University of Denver, Virginia Tech, and Norfolk State University.

Select Publications

Foss, Sonja K., ​​Mary E. Domenico, and Karen A. Foss, Gender Stories: Negotiating Identity in a Binary World. Long Grove, IL:Waveland, 2013.

Foss, Sonja K., and William Waters. Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.

Foss, Sonja K. Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice, 4th ed. Long Grove, IL: Waveland, 2008.

Foss, Sonja K., Karen A. Foss, and Robert Trapp. Contemporary Perspectives on Rhetoric, 3rd ed. Long Grove, IL: Waveland, 2002.

Foss, Sonja K., and Karen A. Foss. "Constricted and Constructed Potentiality: An Inquiry into Paradigms of Change." Western Journal of Communication, 75 (2001): 205-238.

Foss, Sonja K., Karen A. Foss, and Cindy L. Griffin. Feminist Rhetorical Theories. Long Grove, IL: Waveland, 2006.

Foss, Sonja K., and Karen A. Foss. "Our Journey to Repowered Feminism: Expanding the Feminist Toolbox." Women's Studies in Communication, 32 (2009): 36-62.

Foss, Sonja K., William Waters, and Bernard J. Armada. "Toward a Theory of Agentic Orientation: Rhetoric and Agency in 'Run Lola Run.'" Communication Theory, 17 (2007): 205-30.

Foss, Sonja K., and Cindy L. Griffin. "Beyond Persuasion: A Proposal for an Invitational Rhetoric." Communication Monographs, 62 (1995): 2-18.

Foss, Sonja K. "A Rhetorical Schema for the Evaluation of Visual Imagery." Communication Studies, 45 (1994): 213-24.

Foss, Sonja K., and Karen A. Foss. "The Construction of Feminine Spectatorship in Garrison Keillor's Radio Monologues." Quarterly Journal of Speech, 80 (1994): 410-26.

Courses Taught

COMM 4022/5022 Critical Analysis of Communication
COMM 4020/5020 Feminist Perspectives on Communication
COMM 4021/5021 Perspectives on Rhetoric
COMM 4265/5265 Gender and Communication
COMM 4700/5700 Writing Practicum