Stephanie Kelley-Romano

Professor of Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies


Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies


Stephanie Kelley-Romano earned her undergraduate and MA degrees at Emerson College in Boston.  Her Ph.D. in Communication Studies was earned at The University of Kansas.  Her research and teaching interests include gender and media, myth and narrative, conspiracy, political rhetoric, and substance (mis)use disorder/addiction.  Kelley-Romano received the Kroepsch Teaching Award for excellence in teaching in 2019.  Her scholarship has appeared in The Journal of Hate Studies, Communication Quarterly, Journalism Studies, and The Journal of UFO Studies among othersShe is often sought after for podcasts on political or paranormal topics, and her public scholarship has appeared in and The Conversation.  In 2020 Kelley-Romano was part of the Mellon cohort of Periclean Faculty Leaders where she further systematized community engaged learning and partnerships into her teaching and research.  Recently, she has lectured about conspiracy theories to political groups, medical professionals, and the wider community.


  • Ph.D. – Communication Studies, May 1999, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  • Dissertation: The Myth of Communion: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Narratives of Alien Abductees
  • M.A. – Political Communication, 1994, Emerson College, Boston, MA
  • Areas of Emphasis: Rhetorical Theory and Practice; Political Communication
  • B.S. – Communication Studies, 1993, Emerson College, Boston, MA
  • Graduated with honors: Cum Laude


Academic Publications

  • Bradfield Douglass, Amy and Stephanie Kelley-Romano.  “Memory Distortion in a Social Judgment Paradigm: People who Report Contact with Aliens are More Susceptible.”  to be submitted: The Reliability of UFO Witnesses Ed by Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos. Anticipated publication January 2023.
  • Joseph, Lori J. and Kelley-Romano, S. (2022).  “Women of ‘Dignity and Grace’: Politics of Respectability in Alcoholics Anonymous.” in Mental Health Rhetoric Research: Toward Strategic Interventions. Routledge. Ed. by Catherine Molloy.
  • Greer, Meredith L. & Kelley-Romano, S. (2019). “Engaging Crisis: Immersive, Interdisciplinary Learning in Mathematics and Rhetoric.” Journal of Humanistic Mathematics
  • Kelley-Romano, S. & *Carew, K. L. (2019). Make America Hate Again: Donald Trump and the Birther Conspiracy. [Special Issue “Interrogating the Place of Hate in the 2016 Presidential Campaign“]. Journal of Hate Studies Volume 14 Issue 1, pp.33-52.
  • Kelley-Romano, S. (2016). “Biopower in Space: Technology, Reproduction, and the Alien Agenda.Technoculture: An Online Journal of Technology in Society Volume 6.
  • Kelley-Romano, S. (2008). “Trust No One: The Conspiracy Genre on American Television.” Southern Communication Journal 73, 2, p.105-121.
  • Kelley-Romano, S. & *Westgate, V. (2007).  “Blaming Bush: An Analysis of Political Cartoons Following Hurricane Katrina.” Journalism Studies, Vol. 8 Issue 5, p755-773.
  • Kelley-Romano, S.  (2007).  “Makin’ Whoopi: Race, Gender, and The Starship Enterprise.”  (Chapter 9) Siths, Slayers, Stargates, and Cyborgs: Modern Mythology in the New Millenium. Edited by David Whitt and John Perlich.  Published by Peter Lang.
  • Kelley-Romano, S. & *Westgate, V.  (2006).  “ Drawing Disaster: The Crisis Cartoons of Hurricane Katrina.”  Texas Speech Communication Journal.  Volume 31 Issue 1.
  • Kelley-Romano, S.  (2006).  “’The Modern Mythmaking of Alien Abductions.”  Communication Quarterly.  Vol. 54 Issue 3, p383-406.
  • Kelley-Romano, S.  (2006).  “A Report on the Demographics of Alien Abductees/Experiencers.”  Journal of UFO Studies.  Volume 9. * = Bates Student

Public Scholarship

Interviews and Media Appearances

Courses Taught