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Dr. Christina Knopf



Specializing in political communication, Dr. Knopf [pronounced: "nope"] is a rhetorician and sociologist studying rhetoric of the popular arts - comics, cartoons, letters, films, animations, and shows - for what, and how, it communicates about our socio-political world. Her work particularly focuses on  visual rhetoric and depictions of war, the military, politics, and campaigns, with interest in concerns of gender, race, health, community, and civic engagement.

​​Dr. Knopf 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, a member of the editorial board for the Home Front Studies journal, and a Past President of the New York State Communication Association.

A frequent presenter at academic conferences in the humanities and the social sciences, and the author of dozens 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 multiple podcasts. She has been an invited speaker with the National Park 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.

A life-long New Yorker, Dr. Knopf grew up in the Finger Lakes Wine Region, attended college in the mid-Hudson Valley, went to graduate school in the Capital District, worked in the Greater Rochester Area and in Western New York, spent eleven years working and living in Northern New York, and now works and resides in Central New York. In her free time, she enjoys crafting while bingeing fiction in various media, with her dog snoring beside her.


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.


Her education provides her with a solid foundation in humanistic. social scientific, and business traditions in communication studies.

Dr. Knopf continues her education through a variety of professional development opportunities relevant to pedagogy, scholarship, service, and administration.


Dr. Knopf is an instructor of speech and human communication. In August 2017, she joined the Communication & Media Studies Department at SUNY Cortland, where she teaches two to four courses per semester, predominantly 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 helps to coordinate activities for the campus's chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

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, primarily 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, the College of St. Rose, Monroe Community College, and Genesee Community College. Dr. Knopf started her teaching career when she was a teenager, working as a French tutor and recreational swimming instructor.

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 - in addition to serving 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 teaching full time, she gained experience in government research, web design, newspaper photography, technical writing, and community/public relations.

sketch in blue of woman talking
  • 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

Vintage Comic Books
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