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Joonna Smitherman TrappAssociate Teaching Professor Emerita of EnglishDirector of Writing Across Emory


Prior to joining the faculty at Emory in 2015, Joonna Smitherman Trapp served two years in the Emory College Writing Program and was previously a tenured Associate Professor of English at Northwestern College; Associate Professor and Chair of English and Foreign Language at Waynesburg University; and Associate Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at King University.

Trapp’s primary research lies in the intersections between literature and rhetoric in American studies as well as in teaching and learning.

She also directs the WAC initiatives for Emory College in the Writing Across Emory program.


  • Ph.D., Texas Christian University
  • M.A.,  University of Maryland, College Park, Literature


Selected Essays in Books

“Inspiration as Invention: Continuing Reflections on the Relationship between Rhetoric and Religion.” Reinventing Rhetoric Scholarship. Eds. Roxanne Mountford and David Tell. Parlor Press 2020, pp. 97-105.

“The Southern Junior Lyceum Movement: Living Like a Band of Brothers.”  Contest(ed) Writing: Reconceptualizing Literary Competitions.  Mary Lamb, Ed.  Cambridge Scholar’s Press, 2012.

“Mentor as Method: Faculty Mentor Roles and Undergraduate Scholarship.” Co-written with David Elder.  Undergraduate Research in English Studies. Grobman, Laurie, and Joyce Kinkead, Eds.  Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2010.

Selected Essays in Journals

Trapp, Joonna and Mariah Dozé. “A Lesson in Ethics: Publishing and Undergraduate Research.” Pedagogy, vol. 21, no. 1, January 2021, pp. 165-68. (Co-written with Emory undergraduate student in African American Studies).

Trapp, Joonna, Paul Puccio, Keith Dorwick, and Bob Mayberry. “Remembering Ghosts, and the Rhetoric of Collaboration: A Play and Text for Teachers and Writers.” College Composition and Communication Online. January 2012.

“The Brutal Politics of Desire: Derek Jarman’s Edward II.” Scope: An Online Journal of Film Studies. May 2000. 

Professional Editing

The Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning. Co-edited with Bradley Peters. 16 (Winter 2011) – 23 (Winter 2018).

Current Projects

Book on the Lyceum Movement in the Old South under contract with Parlor Press; Flannery O’Connor’s oratory; Harriet Beecher Stowe and religious rhetoric in her two slavery novels; Textbook on Writing for Publication