Lisa Keranen, MA, PhD

  • Department Chair and Associate Professor of Communication, University of Colorado, Denver

Lisa Keränen is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver. She earned an MA in Bioethics in 2002 and a PhD in Communication/Rhetoric in 2003 from the University of Pittsburgh.  Her MA thesis in bioethics was entitled Taking Seriousness Seriously: An Analysis of the Ethical Appeals Grounding Sanction Assignment for Research Misconduct, a version of which later appeared in Accountability in Research. Dr. Keränen specializes in the rhetoric of science with a particular focus on rhetorics of medicine, health care, and bioethics. She actively researches the interface between science, publics, and the state in biomedical controversies, end-of-life discourse, and the international biodefense industry, and is particularly interested in how the events of 9/11 and the 2001 anthrax mailings influenced public discourse about homeland security-related risks. Her essays and reviews appear in Academic Medicine, Accountability in Research, Argumentation & Advocacy, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Communication Yearbook, Journal of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, Journal of Medical Humanities, Science Communication, and the Quarterly Journal of Speech. Her book Scientific Characters: Rhetoric, Trust, and Politics in Breast Cancer Research (University of Alabama Press, 2010) and she is working on a second book project, entitled Envisioning Viral Apocalypse: A Rhetorical History of Biological Weapons from World War II to the War on Terror. Dr. Keränen teaches undergraduate and graduate seminars in her research areas, including Rhetoric and Bioterrorism, Rhetoric of Science and Technology, and Rhetorics of Health and Medicine, and will be teaching a travel study course this spring in Beijing. From 2006-2009, Dr. Keränen served as an ethics consultant and member of the clinical ethics committee at Boulder Community Hospital. She serves on the editorial boards of Health Communication, the Journal of Medical Humanities, and the Western Journal of Communication