Donovan S Bisbee

 Donovan Bisbee

Contact Information

3001 Lincoln Hall,MC-456
702 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Graduate Student
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Donovan Bisbee is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuseson how legal arguments develop and circulate in public life. Although legaldiscourse is often characterized by a technical vocabulary, arguments aboutrights, justice, and the bounds of state power inflect public discourse andaddress audiences far beyond courtroom doors. His dissertation examines how presidents have redefined the nation and its Constitution throughrhetorical conflict with the judiciary in times of national crisis. It explores the presidency as a historical, political, and communicativeinstitution and excavates the arguments with which powerful presidents haveremade their office, the judiciary, and the nation. 

He has published scholarly work in Rhetoric & Public Affairs and is developing an article manuscript on Andrew Jackson's veto messages.

Research Interests

  • Rhetoric and Public Discourse
  • Communication and Culture


  • M.A. University of Illinois, 2014
  • B.A. Wabash College, 2012

Distinctions / Awards

  • 2018-2019 Nina Baym Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • 2018 Jesse Delia Outstanding Article Award, Department of Communication
  • 2014 James L. Golden Outstanding Student Essay in Rhetoric Award, National Communication Association


  • CMN 396: Communication and Law in Everyday LIfe
  • CMN 340: Visual Politics
  • CMN 211: Business Communication
  • CMN 111/112: Oral and Written Communication I and II
  • CMN 101: Public Speaking

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Bisbee, Donovan Driving the Three-Horse Team of Government: Kairos in FDR’s Judiciary Fireside Chat Rhetoric & Public Affairs 21 3 2018.