Rhea Estelle Lathan

Associate Professor, Associate Chair of Curriculum
WMS 222F
Rhetoric and composition, African American literacies pedagogy, Afrifeminist theory, composition research methodology

RHEA ESTELLE LATHAN, Associate Professor, holds a Ph.D in English (2006) and MA in Afro American Studies (2000) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; a BA (1997) in Africology and English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Lathan's research includes the literate and rhetorical history of women of African descent, the development of literacy, and the delivery systems for the teaching of writing; community based critical intellectualism, identity politics and social historical activism as well as critical race theory in rhetoric and composition. Dr. Lathan teaches courses ranging from social historical perspectives on rhetoric and composition to more specialized African American Literacies, rhetoric, composition research methodologies and theories, the rhetoric of African American social movements, including African American feminisms and literacy history.


  • Freedom Writing: African American Civil Rights Literacy Activism, 1955-1961. Urbana, IL: NCTE Studies in Writing and Rhetoric, 2016.

Recent Articles/Chapters

  • "Testimony As a Sponsor of Literacy: Bernice Robinson and South Carolina Sea Island Citizenship Program's Literacy Activism" in Literacy, Economy, and Power: Writing Research Ten Years After Literacy in American Lives. Eds. John Duffy, Julie Christoph, Eli Goldblatt, Nelson Graff, Rebecca Nowacek, and Bryan Trabold. Carbondale, Il: Southern Illinois UP, 2014. (30-44).
  • "For Colored Girls who Considered the Academy when Suicide wasn't Enough: Unceasing Variations in an Early Afrafeminist Academic Career" (August 2011) Pietho Vol 31.1 Web.
  • "Crusader: Ethel Azalea Johnson's Use of the Written Word as a Weapon of Liberation," Women and Literacy: Inquiries for a New Century. Eds. Beth Daniell and Peter Mortensen. Carbondale, Il: Southern Illinois UP, 2007. (59-69)


  • National Council for the Teachers of English (NCTE)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • National Council of Negro Women
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)
  • Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition
  • CCCC Black Caucus


  • Florida State University Dr. Martin Luther King Distinguished Service Award (2015)
  • Florida State University Transforming Through Teaching Award (2011)
  • Florida State University, First-Year Assistant Professor Research Grant, 2010
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Distinguished Alumni Award May (2008)
  • Michigan State University, Public Humanities Collaborative Public Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellowship (2007-2008)
  • College of Arts and Letters Outreach Initiative Grant (January 2008)
  • Woodrow Wilson Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Grant in Women's Studies (2005-2006)
  • University of Wisconsin Systems Institute on Race and Ethnicity Scholar in Residence Fellow (2005-2006)
  • University of Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship (2005-2006)

Publications By This Author