Kelly received her PhD in rhetoric, with a secondary emphasis in media and cultural studies, at the University of Pittsburgh. Her scholarship has appeared in The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Patterns of Prejudice, New Genetics and Society, Journal of Medical Humanities, MediaTropes, Philosophy and Rhetoric and other venues. Her book, The Material Gene: Gender, Race, and Heredity After the Human Genome Project was published by NYU Press as part of its "Biopolitics" series. Dr. Happe is the recipient of the 2014 Diamond Anniversary Book Award from the National Communication Association (for The Material Gene) and the 2014 Golden Anniversary Monograph Award for her essay "The Body of Race: Toward a Rhetorical Theory of Racial Ideology." She is currently researching various topics related to the body, biocapital, political subjectivity, and radical economic thought. She also continues to be interested in issues relating to the body and science, including toxic chemical pollution and epigenetics. Kelly teaches courses in rhetorical theory, feminist theory, research methods, science studies, and environmental communication. She currently serves on the editorial boards of Quarterly Journal of Speech, Women's Studies in Communication, and Southern Communication Quarterly.
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