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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 as a standing peer reviewer for the Popular Cultural Studies Journal. Dr. Knopf is a Past President of the New York State Communication Association.

As a rhetorician and sociologist, specializing in political communication, she 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 especially 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. Thus, Dr. Knopf's 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 in 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, Border Town Comic-Con, San Diego Comic Con, Radford University, The Ohio State University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, SUNY Potsdam, SOAR North Country, and Microsoft.


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 U. 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 in August 2017. She teaches two to four courses per semester, primarily lower-division public speaking classes in General Education. Additionally, she advises approximately 30 students majoring in Communication Studies each semester. As the Assistant Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences, she also reviews degree applications, works with students in need of academic support, and enables a variety of special projects. And, as the Presentation Skills (Public Speaking) Coordinator, she oversees curricular content, consistency, and quality, and provides faculty support, for the public speaking and oral communication courses.

Previously, 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 communication theory capstone class. Additionally, she advised approximately 40-50 students in the Speech Communication major and minor, as well as students in interdisciplinary programs, each semester. She also served as the college's Oral Skills Coordinator, the Lambda Pi Eta honor society (Delta Omicron chapter) faculty sponsor, and SUNY Potsdam Comic Book Club faculty advisor. Before that, she was a part-time instructor at the University at Albany from 2000 to 2005, the College of St. Rose in 2003, and at Monroe Community College and Genesee Community College in 2005. Dr. Knopf started her teaching career when she was a teenager, working as a French tutor and recreational swimming instructor.

An instructor of speech/human communication, she is invested in rhetoric and communication studies. She is committed to developing undergraduates’ critical thinking, visual, written, oral, and aural skills, and to encouraging new generations of knowledge-producers through graduate study. Dr. Knopf has taught more than 30 distinct courses at the 100 (first-year)- through 600 (graduate)-levels in communication, rhetoric, discourse studies, and media, and has served as the faculty sponsor for undergraduate internships, as a director of senior theses, and as a reader for master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation committees.

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

  • Political Communication 

  • Civil-Military Studies

  • Comics Studies

  • Spectral/Monstros-ities

  • 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


Annotated Bibliography

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae

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