Dr Victoria J Gallagher


Picture of Dr Victoria J Gallagher


Dr. Gallagher has been a member of the faculty at North Carolina State University since 1990.

Dr. Gallagher is a professor of Communication with special interests in visual and material rhetoric, rhetorical theory and criticism, communication ethics, and organizational communication. Her primary area of publication and scholarship is rhetorical analysis of civil rights-related discourse, commemorative sites (museums and memorials), visual and material culture, and public art. She is the principle investigator of the award winning Virtual Martin Luther King project, a signficant long term digital humanities project for the public. In addition, she has conducted research on gender and communication in engineering work teams (supported by an external grant from The Engineering Information Foundation), communication ethics, and communication education. Gallagher is the co-editor of Communicative Cities in the 21st Century and authored the introduction and an additional chapter in that collection. 

In addition to her scholarly research and teaching, Dr. Gallagher served the college as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Academic Affairs for 7 years (2008-2015). Her accomplishments during that time included developing the Maymester program, developing the college undergraduate research award and the college thesis/dissertation awards, establishing the college advising center initiative and the college postdoctoral teaching fellow in International programs. Additionally, Dr. Gallagher was the founding associate director of the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media doctoral program and continues to advise and mentor graduate students in that program as well as in programs in the College of Design and the College of Education.

Dr. Gallagher is regularly invited to deliver public lectures at other universities, inluding the Writing and Rhetoric Without Borders lecture and the President’s Free Speech lecture at DePaul University, the Hidden Humanities lecture at the University of Alabama, and the Rhetorical Leadership lecture at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Her work has also been featured in the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, on WUNC/NPR's The State of Things, and on the National Communication Association's Communication Matters pocast. Her awards include the Harlan Joel Gradin Award for Excellence in Public Humanities, the NC State University Libraries Faculty Award and the Robert M. Entman award for Excellence in Communication Research.

Dr. Gallagher is also active in the community, serving on the North Carolina Freedom Park Advisory Board as Recording Secretary and Chair of the Communication committee and consulting for a variety of organizations including the former Exploris (now Marbles) Children's Museum, Headstart of New Hanover County, and the North Carolina League of Women Voters.

In 2020, the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees awarded Dr. Gallagher the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal of Excellence.


Current research projects include the Virtual Martin Luther King project , a project which integrates public address and digital humanities scholarship and pedagogy through the development of an immersive digital experience of the 1960 MLK speech, titled, "A Creative Protest," better known as the "Fill Up the Jails Speech."  

Funded Research

Dr. Gallagher has received over $450,000 in research funding and scholarly awards. Her research has been funded by external agencies including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the North Carolina Humanities Council and the Engineering Information Foundation.


Gallagher, Victoria, Renner, Max, and Glover, Ragan, (2020). "Public address as embodied experience: Using digital technologies to enhance communicative and civic engagement in the communication classroom." Communication Education.  DOI: 10.1080/03634523.2020.1735642.

Gallagher, V., Renner, M., & Ham, D. (2020). Crafting A Necessary Space: The Virtual MLK Project. Visualizing Objects, Places, and Spaces: A Digital Project Handbook. https://doi.org/10.21428/51bee781.1848f8a9

Gallagher, Victoria J., Zagacki, K., and Swift, J. “From ‘Dead Wrong’ to Civil Rights History: The Durham ‘Royal Seven,’ Martin Luther King’s 1960 ‘Fill Up the Jails’ Speech, and the Rhetoric of Visibility,” in O’Rourke, S. and Pace, Lesli K. (Eds.) Like a Fire: The Rhetoric of the Civil Rights Sit­ Ins. University of South Carolina Press, 2020).

Edrington, Candice and Gallagher, Victoria J. (2019). “Race and Visibility: How and Why Visual Images of Black Lives Matter,” Visual Communication Quarterly. 26:4, 195-207.

Gallagher, Victoria J. (August 2018). “Paradoxes, Perils, and Promises: Communication and Higher Education in the 21st Century.” Southern Communication Journal. 83:4, 209-214.

Gallagher, V. J. and Kalin, J. “Collected Debris of Public Memory: Commemorative Genres andthe Mediation of the Past.”  In C. Miller and A. R. Kelly, (Eds.) Emerging Genres in New Media Environments. (Palgrave MacMillan), 2016.

Gallagher, V.J., Zagacki, K. &Martin, K.N.  “Communicative Spaces and Rhetorical Enactments: How and Why Urban Parks Enhance (or Fail to Enhance) Public Life.” In M.Matsaganis, V.J. Gallagher, & S. Drucker (Eds.) Communicative Cities in the 21st Century: Urban Communication Reader III, (London: Peter Lang)  June, 2013

Communicative Cities in the 21st Century: Urban Communication Reader III. Routledge, 2013.

You Make it Amazing: The Rhetoric of Art and Urban Regeneration in the Case of "The Public." Journal of Visual Literacy. 2013

Graduate Advising

As an active member of the graduate faculty at NC State University, Professor Gallagher has advised and mentored over 70 graduate students. In 2020 she was nominated for the NC State Graduate Outstanding Mentor. She has received outstanding teaching awards from the Department of Communication graduating seniors and from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and is a member of the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers. She is also a recipient of the College of Humanities and social Sciences Outstanding Adviser Award.


  • PhD in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, 1990
  • MA in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, 1989
  • BA in Communication from Michigan State University, 1983