Michael Butterworth, Ph.D.

Michael Butterworth, Ph.D.

Immediate Past Director of the School of Communication Studies
Specializations: Rhetorical Theory and Criticism; Democratic Theory; Cultural Studies; Communication and Sport
Schoonover Center 422


Michael L. Butterworth is interested in rhetorical criticism, political theory, and sports culture.  He views sport as a rhetorical site for evaluating the possibilities for and limitations of democracy.  His work features studies of myth and metaphor, public memory, nationalism and militarism, and identity.  He is the author of Baseball and Rhetorics of Purity: The National Pastime and American Identity during the War on Terror, as well as articles in journals such as Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Communication & Sport, Critical Studies in Media Communication, the Journal of Communication, the Journal of Sport & Social Issues, and the Quarterly Journal of Speech.  He served as the founding Executive Director of the International Association for Communication and Sport.

Selected Publications

  • Michael L. Butterworth, “Nate Silver and Campaign 2012: Sport, the Statistical Frame, and the Rhetoric of Electoral Forecasting,” Journal of Communication 64 (October 2014): 895-914.
  • Michael L. Butterworth, “Public Memorializing in the Stadium: Mediated Sport, the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11, and the Illusion of Democracy,” Communication & Sport 2 (September 2014): 203-224.
  • Michael L. Butterworth, “The Athlete as Citizen: Rhetorical Invention and Judgment in Sport,” Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics 17 (September 2014): 867-883.
  • Michael L. Butterworth, “NFL Films and the Militarization of Professional Football,” in Critical & Cultural Perspectives on the National Football League, ed. Thomas Oates and Zack Furness (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014), 205-225.
  • Michael L. Butterworth, “Sports Rhetoric in New Media,” in The Routledge Handbook of Sport and New Media, eds. Andrew C. Billings and Marie Hardin (New York: Routledge, 2014), 32-42.
  • Michael L. Butterworth, “The Passion of the Tebow: Sports Media and Heroic Language in the Tragic Frame,” Critical Studies in Media Communication 30 (March 2013): 17-33.
  • Michael L. Butterworth, “Militarism and Memorializing at the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 9 (September 2012): 241-258.
  • Michael L. Butterworth, “Public Memory and Penn State: On the ‘Legacy’ of Joe Paterno,” Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies 12 (August 2012): 369-372.
  • Michael L. Butterworth, “Saved at Home: Christian Branding and Faith Nights in the ‘Church of Baseball,’” Quarterly Journal of Speech 97 (August 2011): 309-333.
  • Ellen W. Gorsevski and Michael L. Butterworth, “Muhammad Ali’s Fighting Words: The Paradox of Violence in Nonviolent Rhetoric,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 97 (February 2011): 50-73.
  • Michael L. Butterworth, Baseball and Rhetorics of Purity: The National Pastime and American Identity during the War on Terror (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2010).

Butterworth CV

Book Cover Butterworth Textbook Web

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