Sara McKinnon

Position title: LACIS Faculty Director


Website: Communication Arts

Phone: 608-262-2811

Ask me about: Graduate Advising (Ph.D. Minor and Dual-Law Degree), Tinker Visiting Professor Sponsorship, and becoming a LACIS Faculty Affiliate.

Sara L. McKinnon is Professor of Rhetoric, Politics & Culture in the Department of Communication Arts, and co-chair of the Human Rights Program, with affiliations in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and Chican@ & Latin@ Studies.

Her current research examines foreign policy rhetoric in an era of globalization, considering as case studies collaborations between the United States, Mexico, and Central American countries since the 1980s to address regional issues such as drug trafficking, corruption, and migration. She is also working on a collaborative project to expand the information about US immigration and refugee programs and legal counsel available to migrants throughout Latin America as they consider safe options for movement and resettlement.

McKinnon’s books include Gendered Asylum: Race and Violence in U.S. Law and Politics (University of Illinois Press, 2016), which charts the incorporation of protections for survivors of gender- and sexuality-based persecution in US refugee and asylum law, and Text + Field: Innovations in Rhetorical Method (Penn State University Press, 2016), which considers a range of approaches for using ethnographic and field-based methods in doing rhetorical research.

She regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in communication and human behavior, migration and refugee studies, gender and communication, intercultural communication, and conflict studies, and qualitative and text-based research methods.