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Dr. Christina Knopf


Dr. Knopf [pronounced: "nope"] is a professor and the presentation skills coordinator in the Communication & Media Studies Department and the Assistant Dean in the School of Arts & Sciences at the State University of New York (SUNY), Cortland. She is a co-editor of the Routledge Advances in Comics Studies series, and has served as an editorial board member of the Home Front Studies and Lambda Pi Eta journals. And she is a Past President of the New York State Communication Association.

As a rhetorician and sociologist, specializing in political communication, Dr. Knopf studies rhetoric of the popular arts (ex., comics, cartoons, letters, films, animations, and shows) for what, and how, it communicates about our socio-political world. Her research explores what pop culture texts can mean to/for their audiences and recognizes the ways in which pop culture interacts with our daily lives. She is particularly interested in visual rhetoric and depictions of war, the military, politics, and campaigns, especially as they intersect with concerns of gender, race, health, community, and civic engagement. Her scholarship contributes to discussions in rhetoric, communication studies, media studies, sociology, political science, history, gender studies, art history, and illustration.

A frequent presenter at academic conferences in the humanities and the social sciences, and the author of scores of scholastic publications, her work has been celebrated through awards from Finger Lakes Community College, SUNY Potsdam, the Eastern Communication Association, and the New York State Communication Association. As a recognized expert in the intersection of politics, the military, and comics, Dr. Knopf has been interviewed for pieces by the Washington Post, Newsy, and Back Issue, in addition to appearing as a guest on podcasts. She has been an invited speaker with the National Parks Services and Microsoft, at the Border Town Comic-Con in Oregon and the San Diego Comic Con, for SOAR North Country, and at Radford University, The Ohio State University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and SUNY Potsdam.


Dr. Knopf completed her PhD concentrating in political communication and cultural sociology at the University at Albany in 2005. Her dissertation was a study of "Providence, Presidents, and the Press: Inaugural Rhetoric of Religion in a Historical Perspective." She earned an MA concentrating in political communication from the University at Albany in 2001. Her thesis project, "Power Plays by the Powerless: A Study of Attempted Diffusion of Innovative Reforms by the New York Assembly Minority Conference," was based on a graduate practicum with the New York State Assembly.


She earned a BA majoring in public relations and minoring in journalism from SUNY New Paltz in 2000, and an AA in liberal arts, concentrating in social science, from Finger Lakes Community College in 1998. She also completed a Certificate of Advanced Study in Healthcare Management through SUNY Empire State University in 2023 to support instruction of health communication and scholarship of graphic medicine.


Her education provides her with a solid foundation in humanistic, social scientific, and business traditions in communication studies, and Dr. Knopf continues to advance her education through a variety of professional development opportunities relevant to pedagogy, scholarship, service, and administration.

Work Experience

In August 2017, Dr. Knopf joined the Communication & Media Studies Department at SUNY Cortland. She teaches two to four courses per semester, primarily lower-division public speaking classes in General Education, with other human communication courses as needed. Additionally, she advises approximately 30 students majoring in Communication Studies each semester. As the Assistant Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences, she reviews degree applications, works with students in need of academic support, and enables a variety of special projects. And, as the Presentation Skills Coordinator, she oversees curricular content, consistency, and quality, and provides faculty support, for the public speaking and oral communication courses.

Dr. Knopf was a member of the Department of English & Communication, and affiliate faculty to Women's & Gender Studies and to Africana Studies, at SUNY Potsdam from 2006 to 2017. There, she taught three to five classes a semester, mostly upper-division rhetoric and public address courses for Speech Communication majors and minors, including the capstone course in communication theory. Additionally, she advised approximately 40-50 students each semester in the Speech Communication major and minor, as well as students in interdisciplinary programs. She also served as the college's Oral Skills Coordinator, the Lambda Pi Eta honor society (Delta Omicron chapter) faculty sponsor, SUNY Potsdam Comic Book Club faculty advisor, and as a reader on honors and master's theses.


From 2000 to 2005, she was a part-time instructor at the University at Albany. She was an adjunct instructor at Monroe Community College and Genesee Community College in 2005 and at the College of Saint Rose in 2003. She started her teaching career when she was a teenager, working as a French tutor and recreational swimming instructor.

Prior to entering higher education full time, she earned experience in technical writing and web design at small telecommunications software companies, in photojournalism at a regional newspaper, in public relations at a college, in local and state-level political campaigning , and in government research with the New York State Assembly.

stylized image of a woman in a dress, standing at a podium, speaking into a microphone she is holding

Political Communication 

Civil-Military Studies

Comics Studies


Gender Studies

Humor Studies

Civil & Public Religions

Animation & Cinema Studies

Rhetorics of Health, Death & Trauma

Political Communication

Rhetoric & Public Address

Public Speaking

Communication Theory 

Popular Culture

Gender Communication

Media Studies & History

Professional Communication

"I have been continually impressed by Dr. Knopf’s interdisciplinary drive, endless enthusiasm for cutting edge analysis of mass media forms, and her intuitive understanding of gender and women’s issues across many narrative traditions.."

Academic Portfolio

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae

Book Pages
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