Dr. Aric Putnam, Professor of Communication

Quad 444
Saint John’s University
Collegeville, MN 56321
(320) 363-2892
[email protected]


  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • M.A., University of Maine
  • B.A., San Francisco State University

Dr. Aric Putnam began teaching at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in 2003. He teaches and researches rhetorical history, criticism, and theory, with particular emphasis on the history of public arguments about race, colonialism, and political culture.  His current research explores the role of place in the radical rhetoric of the African Diaspora, from provincial nationalisms to the transnational visions of black surrealism.


  • COMM201: Rhetoric, Culture & Criticism            
  • COMM102: Public Speaking & the Public Sphere            
  • COMM310: Black Civil Rights Rhetoric            
  • COMM384B: Rhetoric of Popular Music            
  • COMM387A: The Harlem Renaissance            
  • COMM334: Rhetorical Theory

Recent publications

Book Review: “Hearing the Hurt: Rhetoric, Politics, and Aesthetics of the New Negro Movement.” The Quarterly Journal of Speech. Forthcoming.    

“Negroes with Guns: Robert F. Williams and the Rhetoric of Place in the Modern Civil Rights Movement.” Paper presented at the Rhetoric Society of America Biennial Conference, San Antonio, TX., May, 2014.            

The Insistent Call: Rhetorical Moments in Black Anti-colonialism, 1929-37. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2012.            

“Ethiopia is Now: J. A. Rogers and the Rhetoric of Black Anti-colonialism During the Great Depression.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 10.3 (2007).  421-446.            

“‘Modern’ Slaves: The Liberian Labor Crisis and the Politics of Race and Class.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs 9.2 (2006).  235-256.