Dr. Clarke Rountree

Professor, Communication Arts Department


Dr. Clarke Rountree is a Professor of Communication Arts. He was born in Decatur, Alabama, finished his BA in Political Science at UAH, and went to the University of Iowa for an MA and Ph.D. in Rhetorical Studies. His primary areas of research are judicial argument (especially in U.S. Supreme Court cases) and political communication. He also has published on the rhetorical theory of Kenneth Burke, classical rhetorical theory, argument theory, and religious communication. He has two books on the Supreme Court, a 50th anniversary book on Brown v. Board of Education (Lexington Books, 2004) and an award-winning study of Bush v. Gore, the case that ended the election controversy in 2000 (Michigan State University Press, 2007). He is currently working on a book on overruling opinions in the Supreme Court and another on national rhetorics of the Syrian immigration crisis with Dr. Jouni Tilli of the University of Helsinki. In 2013 he published a two-volume, edited work on political communication entitled Venomous Speech (Praeger). He also has two books on the 43rd President, George W. Bush: A Biography (Greenwood Press, 2010) and The Chameleon President: The Curious Case of George W. Bush (Praeger, 2011). He has dozens of other articles in journals, book chapters, and proceedings.

Dr. Rountree has long ties to scholars studying the work of the most important rhetorical theorist of the 20th century, Kenneth Burke. As a graduate student he oversaw 12 hours of videotaped interviews with Mr. Burke, helped form the Kenneth Burke Society, co-created and co-edited KB Journal (the official journal of the society), and served in several posts for the society, including President from 2011-14. He is creator and series editor of Rhetoric, Law, & the Humanities, a book series with the University of Alabama Press launched in 2014. He is currently working on a book on overruling opinions in the Supreme Court and an edited volume on national rhetorics in the Syrian refugee crisis.

Dr. Rountree teaches courses in rhetorical theory, rhetorical criticism, legal argument, Burkeian theory and criticism, oral communication skills, and our senior capstone course.

Dr. Rountree's Complete Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D. Rhetorical Studies, University of Iowa, 1988
  • M.A. Rhetorical Studies, University of Iowa, 1985
  • B.A. Political Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville, 1983

Classes Taught


  • Kenneth Burke Society
  • Rhetoric Society of Europe
  • National Communication Association
  • Southern States Communication Association