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Faculty | Jeffrey A. Bennett

Associate Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies

Office: 220J Edgehill
(1801 Edgehill Ave)
Phone: 615-322-8668

Office Hours

Curriculum Vitae

JEFF BENNETT is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Director of Undergraduate Studies. His research tends to
 focus on two primary areas of study: the rhetoric of health and medicine and LGBTQ
 studies. His most recent research project focused on the rhetoric of diabetes
 management. In his book, Managing Diabetes: The Cultural Politics of Disease, he
 argues that popular anecdotes, media representations, and communal myths are as 
meaningful as medical and scientific understandings of disease when contemplating
diabetes’ public character. Bennett examines the confusing and contradictory public 
depictions of diabetes to demonstrate how “management” is not only clinical, but also 
cultural. Bennett has lived with type-one diabetes since 2004 and speaks from personal
 experience about the many ways diabetes is enlivened in the popular imaginary.

He is also the author of Banning Queer Blood: Rhetorics of Citizenship, Contagion, and 
Resistance, which scrutinizes the federal donor deferral policy that prevents men who
 have sex with men from donating blood.

He is currently working on a number of research publications. The topics of those
 essays include activist efforts to decriminalize HIV, a sit-in by disability activists at the
Tennessee State Capitol, and the memory politics of the so-called Culture Wars.

You can learn more about his research at


B.A., Speech Communication, Wayne State University (1996)

M.A., Communication Studies, Northern Illinois University (1998)

Ph.D., Communication and Culture, Indiana University (2004)

Representative Publications

Jeffrey A. Bennett, “Diving into the Past: Greg Louganis, Queer Memory, and the Cultural Politics of HIV Management,” Sport, Rhetoric, and Political Struggle, eds. Michael Butterworth and Daniel Grano (New York: Peter Lang, 2019): 71-84.

“Chronic Citizenship: Community, Choice, and the Queer Controversy” in Biocitizenship: Lively Subjects, Embodied Sociality, and Posthuman Politics, eds. Kelly Happe, Jenell Johnson, and Marina Levina (New York: New York University Press, 2018): 95-116.

Jeffrey A. Bennett, “Containing Sotomayor: Rhetorics of Personal Restraint, Judicial Prudence, and Diabetes Management,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 104 (2018): 257-278.