Following modern industrialization, the scientific revolution, and the emergence of professional specialization, we are all immersed in a culture of expertise. We delegate important facets of our busy lives to doctors, politicians, IT support staff, and personal shoppers. Most studies of expertise focus on how superior knowledge is acquired, and what people do with it. Dr. Hartelius's research, by contrast, demonstrates that expertise is primarily an outcome of strategic communication. Her book, The Rhetoric of Expertise explains that in the process of persuading the public that they are experts, that what they know is a form of expertise, and furthermore that their expertise is more valuable and/or authentic than any conceivable alternative, experts construct the very thing that they claim to possess.

Select Publications

E. Johanna Hartelius, The Rhetoric of Expertise (Lexington Books, 2011)

Wikipedia and the Emergence of Dialogic Expertise,” Southern Communication Journal 75 (2010): 505-526.

“The Application of Rhetorical Theory in Managerial Research: A Literature Review,” Management Communication Quarterly 22 (2008): 13-39.