Michael P. Vicaro, Ph.D.

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

Spring 2022

On-Campus Office Hours:

Virtual Office Hours:


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

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

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.