Michelle Hall Kells
Rhetoric and Writing
Professor Michelle Hall Kells teaches courses in Rhetoric and Writing in the Department of English at the University of New Mexico. Her courses include Rhetorical Theory, Literacy Studies, Cold War era civil rights discourses, and environmental rhetoric. Her research interests include public rhetoric (civil rights and environmental discourses), language diversity, sociolinguistics, and community writing studies. Kells’s scholarship largely centers of the public rhetoric of citizenship. Kells most recent book release is Vicente Ximenes, LBJ’s “Great Society,” and Mexican American Civil Rights Rhetoric (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018).
Kells is currently working with Professor Laura Gonzales (University of Texas, El Paso) on a new edited volume with other nationally-recognized K-16 scholars titled Latina Leadership: Language and Literacy Education Across Communities. Kells’s other publications include: Hector P. Garcia: Everyday Rhetoric and Mexican American Civil Rights (Southern Illinois University Press, 2006). She is lead editor of Attending to the Margins: Writing, Researching, and Teaching on the Front Lines (Heinemann, 1999) and Latino/a Discourses: On Language, Identity, and Literacy Education (Heinemann, 2004). Kells work is featured in the journals TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching, JAC, Written Communication, Journal of Reflections, Journal of Community Literacy, Praxis, and Rhetoric & Public Affairs as well as a number of edited books including Cross-Language Relations in Composition, Dialects; Englishes, Creoles, and Education;Who Belongs in America?: Presidents, Rhetoric, and Immigration.
Kells served as Program Chair of the Writing Across Communities (WAC) initiative at UNM 2004-2014. She is currently Program Chair for the National Consortium of Environmental Rhetoric and Writing (an affiliated organization of the Rhetoric Society of America). Kells also serves as Project Chair of the Salt of the Earth Recovery Project, advocating for national recognition and historic preservation of the iconic Local 890 union hall, site of the landmark 1950-1952 Empire Zinc Mine strike which was celebrated by the 1954 film, Salt of the Earth. Kells has served as a mentor for the NCTE Cultivating New Voices of Scholars of Color program 2014-2018. She was the 2008 Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library Fellow. A number of Kells’s articles have been anthologized including those featured in the 2013 and 2017 Best of the Journals in Rhetoric & Composition.