Kendall R. Phillips

Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies


Kendall Phillips portrait.

308 Sims Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1230

Kendall R. Phillips' research focuses on controversies and conflicts arising around topics like public memory, popular film, and popular culture. He has published several books, including "A Place of Darkness: The Rhetoric of Horror in Early American Cinema"; "Controversial Cinema: The Films that Outraged America"; and "Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture." His essays have appeared in such journals as Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication Monographs, and Philosophy and Rhetoric, and he is co-editor for the book series "Horror and Monstrosity Studies" at the University Press of Mississippi and “Rhetoric, Politics, and Society” for Palgrave Macmillan.

Phillips currently serves as interim director of the Lender Center for Social Justice at Syracuse University, visiting professor at York St John University (United Kingdom), and honorary fellow in the School of Art Whiti o Rehua, College of Creative Arts, at Massey University (New Zealand). He previously served as president for the Rhetoric Society of America.

View a list of Phillips’ published work, some of which is available for download. Kendall Phillips’ Curriculum Vitae [PDF 140KB]


  • Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University


American film, public discourse, rhetoric, and rhetoric of popular culture

Selected Publications

Awards and Honors

  • 2024 George E.  Yoos Distinguished Service Award, Rhetoric Society of America
  • 2009 Judith Greenberg Seinfeld Distinguished Fellow
  • 2008 University Teacher/Scholar of the Year, Syracuse University Chancellor’s Award
  • 2007 Bronze Telly Award for “Classic Movie Night,” 28th Annual Telly Awards (national award for local/regional television)
  • 2005 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award, Syracuse University Graduate School
  • 2002 College Faculty Award, Syracuse University

Lectures, Panel and Workshops

  • 2018 Keynote Speaker, “Frontiers of Public Memory,” First Chinese Conference on Frontiers in Rhetorical Theory, Shanghai University (China).
  • 2018 Workshop Leader, “The Art of Rhetoric and Social Change, American University’s Syrian Initiative to Combat Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Istanbul (Turkey).
  • 2015 Keynote Speaker, “The Profanity of Memory,” triggering Memory Symposium, Massey University (New Zealand).
  • 2015 Keynote Speaker, “The Absence of Memory,” Memory on Trial Conference, Third Ørecomm Festival, Malmö University (Sweden).