Michelle LaVigne

Michelle LaVigne

Associate Professor, Public Speaking Director

Full-Time Faculty
Kalmanovitz Hall 238


Michelle LaVigne received her BA in English from the University of Texas, Austin and a PhD in Communication Studies - Rhetoric from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. At USF she teaches written and oral communication classes across disciplines and programs. Her classes focus on multimodality and publicity in academic, civic, and professional contexts. Her research focuses on the intersections between dance, rhetoric, and performance. In particular, Prof. LaVigne writes about the persuasive qualities of dance movements and aesthetics, and how practices of rhetoric might be rethought from the movements of dance and choreographic praxis. In addition to her scholarly work on The Nutcracker and repetition, she is also investigating tragic frames in popular discourse and embodied dialogic practices. Prof. LaVigne has presented at national and international conferences and published reviews in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Text and Performance Quarterly, and the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. Her writing has also appeared in Life as Modern Dancer and was a guest writer for the ODC Theater Writer in Residence Blog, Triple Dog Dare in 2014 and 2016. In 2018 Prof. LaVigne was invited to give a dance history lecture at San Francisco Ballet. She also blogs about dance in San Francisco at SFDancematters.com.

Research Areas

  • Intersection of dance, rhetoric, and performance
  • Persuasive qualities of dance movements and aesthetics; how practices of rhetoric might be rethought from the movements of dance


  • Director, Public Speaking