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Carly Woods

Profile Photo of Carly Woods

Associate Professor & Co-Director of Graduate Studies (Recruitment/Admissions), Communication

(301) 405-6523

2118 Skinner Building
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Mo: 3:30-4:30
We: 3:30-4:30 and by appointment


Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Research Expertise

Cultural Studies
Public Address

Curriculum Vitae
Cover of Debating Women by Carly Woods

Dr. Carly S. Woods studies rhetorics of belonging and exclusion within education, politics, and social movements. As a humanities-based communication scholar with a passion for history and feminist studies, she is particularly interested in discourses of gender, race, class, sexuality, and nation within these contexts. Her research is published in academic journals such as Argumentation and Advocacy, the Quarterly Journal of SpeechRhetoric and Public Affairs, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and Women's Studies in Communication. Woods is the recipient of numerous research and teaching honors, and her work has been funded by organizations such as the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and the Organization for Research on Women and Communication.

Woods’s first book, Debating Women: Gender, Education, and Spaces for Argument, 1835-1945, was published with Michigan State University Press in 2018. Debating Women highlights the crucial role that debating organizations played as nineteenth and twentieth century women sought to access the fruits of higher education in the United States and United Kingdom. The book was awarded the National Communication Association's James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address and the American Forensic Association's Daniel Rohrer Memorial Outstanding Research Award. 

Current research projects focus on the rhetoric and public memory of politician Barbara Jordan and histories of international argumentation and education.

At UMD, Woods regularly teaches courses on rhetoric, public address, and social change. She currently serves as book review editor for Argumentation and Advocacy.

Graduate Advising Philosophy





Digitality, Diversity, and the Future of Rhetoric and Public Address

Article indicates how theorizing rhetoric and digitality transforms critical and historical traditions.


Lead: Damien Smith Pfister, Carly Woods
Non-ARHU Contributor(s): E. Johanna Hartelius & Jessica H. Lu

The pandemic and economic catastrophes of 2020 and the forms of resistance that surged against racist systemic and physical violence indicate, we contend, that studying public address in the present moment requires attention to the mutual contingency of rhetoric and digitality. Relying on interdisciplinary literatures and a global perspective, we direct such attention along three vectors: platforms, commons, and methods. We indicate how theorizing rhetoric and digitality transforms critical and historical traditions. In expanding the purview of the public address tradition while retaining the tradition's hermeneutic potential, we emphasize the need to challenge disciplinary terms and the desirability of expanded analytical methods. We submit that by not attending sufficiently to the advent and diffusion of digital media technologies, public address scholarship misses opportunities to shape ongoing conversations about how rhetoric mediates public affairs; and that insofar as struggles for racial justice are bound up with, not just mediated by, digitality, the prospects of diversifying rhetoric's professoriate increase when research on this topic is central rather than peripheral.