Dr. William Saas

William  Saas 

Assistant Professor of Rhetorical Studies

M.A. in Communication Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2010)
Ph. D. in Communication Arts & Sciences, Pennsylvania State University (2014)

E-mail: wsaas@lsu.edu

Office: 216 Coates Hall

curriculum vita


Area of Interest

Rhetorical and political theory, rhetorical criticism. Specialty areas: rhetorics of finance, war, and peace; rhetoric and violence.

I investigate the role of rhetoric in constituting and animating two of the major forces of modern history: war and money. Both war and money are routinely seen as sites of communication breakdown: in the collectivized violence of war, we despair of masses dying in the fallout of collapsing talks; in the objectified form of money, we decry the symbolic perversion of human morality. My work identifies the political coordinates shared by these two decidedly institutional phenomena and, through the more or less mercenary deployment of various social, economic, and political theories, examines the rhetorical features that in fact comprise the discursive forms of war and money, of violence and finance. 

Selected Publications

“Restive Peace: Body Bags, Casket Flags, and the Pathologization of Dissent.” Co-authored with Rachel Hall. Rhetoric & Public Affairs 19, no. 2 (Summer 2016), 177-208.

“On Acquiescence and Ends-less War: An Inquiry into the New War Rhetoric.” Co-authored with Jeremy Engels. Quarterly Journal of Speech 99, no. 2 (2013), 225-232.

“Critique of Charismatic Violence.” symploke 20, no. 1-2 (2013), 65-82.

“Occultatio: The Bush Administration’s Rhetorical War.” Co-authored with Donovan Conley. Western Journal of Communication 74, no. 4 (Fall 2010): 329-350.


CMST 4107: Communication, Culture, and the Economy (Spring 2018)