Associate Professor of Communication
Llewellyn is a scholar of rhetoric, analyzing persuasive language from the most prominent politicians, coaches and civil rights leaders.
John Llewellyn is a scholar of rhetoric whose work includes analyzing persuasive language from the nation’s most prominent politicians, coaches and civil rights leaders. A former speechwriter and public information officer, Llewellyn also specializes in crisis communication, having studied the intersection of politics and public relations for nearly 30 years. He has published on corporate… Read More »
John Llewellyn is a scholar of rhetoric whose work includes analyzing persuasive language from the nation’s most prominent politicians, coaches and civil rights leaders. A former speechwriter and public information officer, Llewellyn also specializes in crisis communication, having studied the intersection of politics and public relations for nearly 30 years.
He has published on corporate social responsibility, organizational ethics, and public attention and political reputation. A frequent contributor to media outlets, Llewellyn recently authored a chapter on writing op-eds in an upcoming book, Popularizing Research, and has been certified as an expert witness by federal courts on the issue of public relations and urban legends.
At Wake Forest, Llewellyn has had the privilege of teaching first-year and graduate students alike. In fact, a student in Llewellyn’s first-year seminar on great American speeches was the first to recognize parallels between Martin Luther King Jr.’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963 and one King delivered in 1944 at a Georgia Black Elks oratorical contest when he was just a schoolboy of 15 years. Scholars overlooked this historic connection for nearly 50 years until Llewellyn brought it to life in conjunction with the dedication of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. national memorial.
August 14, 2015
At the age of 15, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered a speech that researchers say was remarkably similar to his legendary “I Have a Dream” national address delivered nearly 20 years later on the Mall in Washington, D.C.
Both speeches shared the same underlying themes, principles and mental imagery, according to Wake Forest University communication professor John Llewellyn and one of his former students, William Murphy.
“The parallels between the speeches are so striking,” Llewellyn explained. “Brotherly love, nonviolence and freedom from racial hatred are all contained in his 1944 speech. He even described scenes of black and white children playing together in harmony – famously echoed in the ‘Dream’ speech.”
February 10, 2015
Legendary North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith died Saturday at age 83. Tributes have poured in acknowledging his two national championships, 95 percent graduation rate, and the enduring loyalty between coach and players across the decades.
The simple explanation for the success of the “Carolina Way” is Dean Smith’s ability to inspire commitment—everyone bought in and played for one another. Why did Carolina enjoy such loyalty and success? Coach Vince Lombardi, the Green Bay Packers icon, defined the central trait of great coaching and formidable teams: “Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
Areas of Expertise
- Communications Management
- Community Outreach
- Organization Analysis
- Public Speaking
University of Texas at Austin: Ph.D. , CommunicationContact
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