University of Pittsburgh
January 25, 2011

Pitt Communication Professor Awarded NCA 2010 Golden Anniversary Monograph Award

Lester C. Olson’s monograph is recognized as “a significant contribution to scholarship in visual rhetoric”
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Lester C. Olson, a professor in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Communication, received the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association (NCA) for his essay “Pictorial Representations of British America Resisting Rape: Rhetorical Re-circulation of a Print Series Portraying the Boston Port Bill of 1774” (Rhetoric & Public Affairs, December 2009). 

Created in 1964 to mark NCA’s 50th anniversary, the Golden Anniversary Monograph Awards are presented to the most outstanding scholarly monographs published during the previous calendar year. Up to three awards may be given each year. 

Selected by his peers, Olson was honored at the NCA’s annual convention held in San Francisco in November. As noted on the citation, his work was recognized as “a significant contribution to scholarship in visual rhetoric. The essay provides an historically rich, critically nuanced, and theoretically important analysis of early American visual rhetoric. Substantial, innovative, and interdisciplinary, the essay serves as a model for the rhetorical interpretation of persuasive images.” 

Olson teaches and researches in the areas of visual rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, and public address. He is the author of Emblems of American Community in the Revolutionary Era: A Study in Rhetorical Iconology (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991), Benjamin Franklin’s Vision of America, 1754-1784: A Study in Rhetorical Iconology (University of South Carolina Press, 2004), and Visual Rhetoric: A Reader in Communication and American Culture (Sage Publications Inc., 2008). 

The NCA is the largest national organization devoted to the promotion of communication scholarship and education. The organization serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. A nonprofit organization with members in all 50 states and more than 20 countries, NCA’s membership comprises more than 8,000 educators, practitioners, and students. 

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