John Lyne’s retirement on August 31, 2020

Congratulations to Professor John Lyne, who retired on August 31, 2020, from the University of Pittsburgh after serving on Pitt’s Communication faculty for 24 years. At Pitt, Professor Lyne taught graduate seminars on such topics as Rhetorical Theory, Rhetoric of Pain and Suffering, Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric and Pragmatism, and Rhetoric and Common Sense. For a decade, he team-taught a seminar on Science and Its Rhetorics with Professor Ted (J. E.) McGuire, of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. For 17 years he taught a graduate seminar in Philosophy of Medicine for the MA program in Bioethics. As a Resident Fellow with the Center for Philosophy of Science, Professor Lyne participated in many forums and conferences. He taught a variety of undergraduate courses, including Argument, Rhetorical Process, Rhetoric of Science, and several Special Topics courses, including Interpersonal Communication in Health and Medicine.

            Professor Lyne’s scholarly work focused on rhetoric in the intersectional spaces of scientific and medical expertise across disciplines and across public discourse; philosophical approaches that escape intellectual silos; and the abundant resources provided by bold cross-disciplinary thinkers such as C. S. Peirce, Kenneth Burke, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Professor Lyne had the honor of co-authoring scholarship with a distinguished biologist, a brilliant philosopher turned rhetorician, and some of the most intellectually adventurous scholars in the fields of rhetoric and argument. Some of these projects, which could only have emerged from collaborative efforts, have been republished in volumes on “landmark essays” in the field.

            Over his career, Professor Lyne directed 22 doctoral dissertations and he received the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring. Over a career span of 42 years at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Iowa, he served on approximately 180 graduate committees for people who mainly populate the field of Communication. He also served in a number of administrative positions, including Department Chair at both universities. He was an active participant in the National Communication Association for 45 years, beginning as a graduate student. He played a critical role in founding the Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine, which has grown and prospered for a quarter of a century.

            Heartfelt congratulations to Professor Lyne. Please join me in wishing him many golden years after his retirement.