Welcome. I am Elizabeth Weiser, a professor in the English Department at The Ohio State University. I’m a rhetorical theorist, historiographer, and museologist.

View my CV here

My most recent book, Museum Rhetoric: Building Civic Identity in National Spaces (2017), took me to over 60 national heritage museums in 22 countries on six continents to examine the ways national identity is promoted. Previous books include Burke, War, Words (2008), on the development of dramatism during WWII, and two edited collections, Women & Rhetoric between the Wars (2013) and Engaging the Audience (2011). Although I identify as a Burkean scholar, my published articles have ranged from analyses of Dorothy Day to global technology museums, from the Boca Juniors soccer stadium to the international museum definition debate and the Newark Earthworks. You can find most of them at https://osu.academia.edu/ElizabethWeiser

I have a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from Texas Christian University, an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in International Education. I sit on the executive boards of the International Committee for Museology (ICOFOM) and the Kenneth Burke Society, and I’ve taught at Ohio State since 2004. On the Newark campus of OSU I teach classes in rhetoric, professional & creative writing, and language analysis, and I coordinate our minor in professional writing. I’ve won campus awards for my teaching, mentoring, research, service, and inclusive alliance.

When I’m not working, I write novels (my novel Lumen comes out this year); I love hiking & biking, concerts & plays. I am happiest either with the New York Times in my living room or with my backpack exploring a new country.

“What is our reality for today…but all this clutter of symbols about the past, combined with what-ever things we know mainly through maps, magazines, newspapers, and the like about the present?”Kenneth Burke, “Definition of Man”

The International Committee for Museology Executive Committee, Tokyo, Japan, 2019


The Ohio State University Rhetoric, Composition, & Literacy Team, 2018“…and the reason why I’m sitting/here writing this, is that I’m trying/to make this thing./I am shy to name it./My father didn’t like words like “soul.”/…I am trying one way and another/all words — So it’s made out of words, is it?/No. I think the best ones/must be made out of brave and kind acts,/and belong to people who look after things/with all their heart,/and include the ocean at twilight.”Ursula K. LeGuin, last blog post