Stephanie Kelley-Romano

Stephanie Kelley-Romano

Professor of Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies


Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies


Prof. Kelley-Romano teaches rhetorical theory and criticism.


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. (2023).  “Memory Distortion in a Social Judgment Paradigm: People who Report Contact with Aliens are More Susceptible.”  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.


April 2021. COVID Conspiracies: Contextualizing & Countering False Beliefs

Rocque, M. & Kelley-Romano, S. (February 19, 2021) “Why do mass shootings spawn conspiracy theories?” The Conversation.

Kelley-Romano, S. (August 1, 2019) “If the Democrats Master This Single Strategy, They Can Defeat Trump in 2020 | Opinion” Newsweek


February 2021. Vulgarity in PoliticsLewiston Sun Journal. Comments on vulgarity in politics.

October 2019. Imaginary Worlds Episode 129: From Outer Space

October 2018. ”’Wicked Interesting’ 2nd District Debate for Bates Rhetoric Professor”  Lewiston Sun Journal.

November 2017. “Bates Professor Knows a Thing or Two About Alien Abduction.” Associated Press/ US News and World Report.

October 2017. “Abducted New England” Documentary by Brock, Bill 

June 2017. “The Psychology of Why Interviewing Alex Jones is Such a Bad by Dreyfuss, Emily

June 2017. ”The Psychology of a Conspiracy Believer” ESV Times by Blair, Scott

October 2016. “At Bates College Students Feel the Heat of Presidential CampaignPortland Press Herald.

June 2016. The Message from Alien Abductees by Sloat, Sarah

November 25, 2015. “Chasing Bigfoot: A Former TDP Staff Writer Recalls Local Lore and Tales of Sightings.” Tatahlequah Daily Press by Glenn, Eddie

January 2015. “Crazy Beliefs. Sane Believers: Toward a Cognitive Psychology of Conspiracy Ideation” Skeptical Inquirer Volume 39.1 by Bost, Preston R.


What is Rhetoric?

Rhetorical Criticism

Television Criticism

The Rhetoric of Women’s Rights

The Rhetoric of Alien Abduction

Presidential Campaign Rhetoric

November 2016
Slideshow: Presidential Politics vs (not real) Smallpox Crisis Hour by Hour.
  Bates Web Page by Jay Burns

Conspiracy Rhetoric