MSU communication assistant professor authors new book on homeless advocacy

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Melanie Loehwing (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A new book by an assistant professor in Mississippi State’s Department of Communication is being featured in a series focusing on the character and quality of public discourse in politics and culture.

In her 232-page book, “Homeless Advocacy and the Rhetorical Construction of the Civic Home,” Melanie Loehwing reconsiders typical characterizations of homelessness, citizenship and democratic community through unconventional approaches to homeless advocacy and assistance.

The book is part of Penn State University Press’s Rhetoric and Democratic Deliberation Series, which is published in association with the Penn State Center for Democratic Deliberation, an interdisciplinary resource for research, teaching and engaged scholarship on issues of rhetoric, civic engagement and public deliberation.

Written by scholars in communication, rhetoric, writing, and critical pedagogy, and informed by diverse theoretical and cultural perspectives, books in the series examine forms and practices of democracy and deliberation across the globe. They consider the issues of participation, activism, exclusion and resistance that affect social movements, governments and education.

According to the publisher, homeless assistance has frequently adhered to the “three hots and a cot” model, which prioritizes immediate material needs but may fail to address the political and social exclusion of people experiencing homelessness.

In her book, Loehwing’s interrogation of homeless advocacy rhetoric demonstrates how discursive practices shape democratic culture and how they may provide a potential civic remedy to the harms of disenfranchisement, discrimination and displacement.

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Loehwing is a three-time graduate of Indiana University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and culture, master’s degree in rhetoric and public culture, and a doctorate in rhetoric and public culture and political philosophy. With research interests including citizenship and civic engagement, politics of homelessness, and social advocacy, she has taught courses at MSU on rhetorical theory, political communication, and rhetoric of advocacy and protest. For more, see

Part of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Communication offers a Bachelor of Arts, with concentrations in broadcasting, communication studies, journalism, public relations and theatre. Learn more at and

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Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 11:14 am