Dr. Marlana Portolano

Professor, Director, M.A. in Humanities Program


M.A. in English and American literature, The Catholic University of America.
Ph.D. in classical rhetoric, The Catholic University of America.

Areas of Expertise



Marlana Portolano teaches rhetoric from ancient to contemporary times, professional writing courses, and literature courses pertaining to the humanist tradition of rhetoric. Dr. Portolano is also the unofficial campus spokesperson for Cued Speech, a visual method of communication for the deaf--a population often preemptively excluded from oratory.

Her research explores rhetoric in 19th century science, classical rhetoric in the history of ideas, and most recently sacred eloquence in Deaf Culture. Among her publications are articles in Rhetoric ReviewISIS-Journal of the History of Science, History of PsychologyU.S. Catholic HistorianUtopian StudiesWorld Englishes, and Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric; chapters in the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Adamses; and a book, The Passionate Empiricist: The Rhetoric of John Quincy Adams in the Service of Science (SUNY 2009).

Courses - Fall Sabbatical