Valerie Hanson, PhD

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric

Valerie L Hanson, PhD


East Falls Campus
309 Ravenhill Mansion
Philadelphia, PA 19144

Email Valerie Hanson

215-951-6888 fax

Valerie Hanson, PhD

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric


PhD, English, Specialization in Rhetoric and Composition, Pennsylvania State University (2004)
MA, English, Specialization in Creative Writing, Poetry, Temple University (1996) 
BA, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Chinese Concentration, Minor; English, University of Pennsylvania (1991)



“Performing Data and Visualizing Difference: Developing a Performative Rhetoric of Infographics for the Writing Classroom.” College Composition and Communication73(3) February 2022: 465-492.

Haptic Visions: Rhetorics of the Digital Image, Information, and Nanotechnology. Andersonville, SC: Parlor Press, 2015.

“Amidst Nanotechnology’s Molecular Landscapes: The Changing Trope of Subvisible Worlds” Science Communication 34 (1) January 2012: 57-83. Prepublished May 19, 2011, DOI: 10.1177/1075547011401630.

“Intensification, not Transformation: Digital Media’s Effects on Scientific Practice.” In Science Transformed? Debating Claims of an Epochal Break. Eds. Alfred Nordmann, Hans Radder and Gregor Schiemann. 135-146. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011.

“Envisioning Ethical Nanotechnology: The Rhetorical Role of Visions in Postponing Societal and Ethical Implications Research.” Science As Culture 20 (1) March 2011: 1-36.

“Nature as Database? Microscope Images’ Impact on Visual Cultures of the Natural World.” Augenblick 45, 2009: 9-25.


“Reflecting on Reflections: Curating ePortfolios for Integrative Learning and Identity Development in a General Education Senior Capstone.” with Tom Schrand and Katharine Jones. International Journal of ePortfolio 8 (1) 2018: 1-12.

Focus Areas

Rhetoric and composition

Digital rhetoric

Visual rhetoric

Rhetoric of science

Science studies



General education


Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation award for distinguished teaching, Philadelphia University, 2011.

Research Interests

Valerie Hanson’s research interests include writing, visual studies, and science and technology studies. Her book, Haptic Visions: Rhetorics of the Digital Image, Information, and Nanotechnology (Parlor Press, 2015) focuses these interests on the digital, visual and verbal rhetorical strategies at play in writing and images used to promote and define nanotechnology. In addition to conference presentations and articles on this topic, she has also published and presented on related topics, including a book chapter on digital media and science, and an article on the rhetorical role of future visions on debates about ethics funding for nanotechnology. Professor Hanson’s research interests also include pedagogy: she has published and presented on pedagogical issues around writing pedagogy, e-portfolios and general education, including a 2018 co-authored article in International Journal of ePortfolio.

Professor Hanson’s current scholarly projects include the beginning stages of a book manuscript on pedagogical approaches to teaching analysis and production of digital scientific data images and information visualizations. Her creative projects include an almost complete manuscript of poems that also engage with visual practices.