Michael P. Vicaro, Ph.D.

Lion Penn State Mark
Associate Professor, Communications
Office Phone
Office Location
Main Building, 106A
Penn State Greater Allegheny, 4000 University Drive, McKeesport, PA 15132

    Spring 2022

    On-Campus Office Hours:

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    I am an Associate Professor of Communication at Penn State Greater Allegheny.  I teach a variety of undergraduate communication courses and conduct research in the disciplines of rhetorical theory and philosophy of communication.  I live in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh with my wife, two elementary school-aged children, a cat, a dog, and two fish.

    Teaching Interests:: Rhetorical Theory, Effective Speech, Communication Ethics, Foundations of Civic and Community Engagement

    Area(s) of Expertise: Rhetorical theory, Philosophy of Communication, Phenomenological communication theory

    Research Interests

    I am a communication theorist whose research includes the study of legal changes related to the Global War on Terror, public memory and public memorial, and the rhetoric of social change.  I am currently working on the beginning stages of a book about the rhetoric of equality. 


    Vicaro, M. 2018. Haunting Dreams: Time and Affect in the Neoliberal Commemoration of “I Have a Dream,” Rhetorics Haunting the National Mall: Displaced and Ephemeral Public Memories  (Aden, Ed.). Lexington Books. 


    Vicaro, M. 2016. Deconstitutive rhetoric: The destruction of legal personhood in the global war on terrorism.  The Quarterly Journal of Speech. 102(4), 333-352. (lead article) 


    Vicaro, M. 2016. Being confined: Time, space, and intersubjectivity in long-term solitary confinement, Contexts of the Dark Side of Communication (E. Gilchrist-Petty, S. Long, Eds.). Peter Lang Publishing, New York, NY. Pages 175-185. 


    Vicaro, M. 2015. Hunger for voice: Transformative argumentation in the 2005 Guantánamo Bay Hunger Strike. Argumentation and Advocacy, 51, 171-184.  


    Vicaro, M. 2011. A liberal use of torture: Pain, personhood, and precedent in the U.S. federal definition of torture. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 14(3), 401-426. (Lead article)


    University of Pittsburgh/ PhD/ 2012

    University of Colorado/ MA/ 2004

    Rutgers College/ BA/ 2000

    Papers and Presentations

    Vicaro, M. “Starved for speech: Hunger striking from Northern Ireland to Guantanamo Bay.” Teaching International Lecture Series, Teaching International, Penn State Greater Allegheny. January 24, 2013. 


    Vicaro, M. “Memoranda as weapons of war: Deconstituting legal subjectivity in the ‘enemy combatant’ memos.” Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Rhetoric Society of America, Atlanta, GA, peerreviewed/refereed, Accepted. National. May 2016. 


    Vicaro, M. “Rendition and redaction: Guantanamo diary as wrongful confinement memoir.” Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Rhetoric Society of America, Atlanta, GA, peer-reviewed/refereed, Accepted. National. May 2016. 


    Vicaro, M. Wood, J. “Imprisoned speech: The state of civic discourse for American prisoners.”  Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Atlanta, GA, peerreviewed/refereed, Accepted. National. May 2016. 


    Vicaro, M. “Arguing in and out of solitary confinement: The Pelican Bay hunger strike.” National Communication Association Convention, National Communication Association, Chicago, IL. Peerreviewed/refereed, Accepted. National. November 2014.