Calum Matheson, PhD

1408 Cathedral of Learning
Virtual Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3pm-6pm via Zoom


PhD, University of North Carolina


Calum Matheson is author of Desiring the Bomb: Communication, Psychoanalysis, and the Atomic Age (University of Alabama). His research focuses on intersections of rhetoric, media, and theories of psychoanalysis and deconstruction. His current work focuses on right-wing political extremism, conspiracy thinking, and Lacanian concepts of anxiety and psychosis. He has also published work on argument, history of rhetoric, and games. Dr. Matheson is a former debate coach at Harvard University and a current candidate at the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center.

Matheson, Calum. Desiring the Bomb: Communication, Psychoanalysis, and the Atomic Age. University of Alabama Press, 2019.

Matheson, Calum. “Stasis in the Net of Affect.” Philosophy & Rhetoric, forthcoming.

Matheson, Calum. “Filthy Lucre: Gold, Language, and Exchange Anxiety.” Review of Communication, available online ahead of print.

Matheson, Calum. “Psychotic Discourse: The Rhetoric of the Sovereign Citizen Movement.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 48, no. 2.

Matheson, Calum. “The Sublime Rhetoric of Pascal’s Wager.” Argumentation and Advocacy 53 no. 4, 2017.

Matheson, Calum. “What Does Obama Want of Me?’ Anxiety and Jade Helm 15.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 102, no. 2.

Matheson, Calum. “Procedural Rhetoric Beyond Persuasion: First Strike and the Compulsion to Repeat.” Games and Culture 10, no. 5.

Zemlicka, Kurt and Matheson, Calum. “To Make a Desert and Call it Peace: Stasis and Judgment in the MX Missile Debate.” Argumentation and Advocacy 51, no. 1.

Courses Taught

  • Rhetoric Beyond Persuasion (Graduate)
  • Readings in Critical Theory: Lacan (Graduate)
  • Power, Knowledge, Desire
  • Media Studies and Criticism
  • Argumentation and Debate
  • Rhetoric and Public Issues