College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Associate Professor Mary Trachsel earned her PhD in English with an emphasis in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of Texas at Austin. She came to the Iowa Rhetoric Department in 1989. At Iowa she has led advisory groups in the Rhetoric Department’s Professional Development Program and taught General Education Rhetoric and Interpretation of Literature as well as advanced writing courses and graduate courses in feminist pedagogy, feminist ethics, and the history of literacy. She teaches animal studies courses as first-year seminars and honors seminars. Her current research interests focus on human-animal relationships and animal communication, with a special interest in the discourse of ape language research. Her most recent publications include “How to Do Things Without Words: Whisperers as Rustic Authorities on Interspecies Dialogue” (Arguments about Animal Ethics [Greg Goodale and Jason Edward Black, eds.) and “Human Uniqueness in the Age of Ape Language Research” (Society and Animals).