Malea Powell

FacultyAmerican Indian and Indigenous Studies

Graduate Faculty Editor

American Indian Studies Program; College Composition & Communication


Google Scholar

Malea Powell is a Professor in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University as well as a faculty member in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. She is the editor of College Composition & Communication, director of the Cultural Rhetorics Consortium, founding editor of constellations: a journal of cultural rhetorics, past chair of the CCCC, and editor emerita of SAIL: Studies in American Indian Literatures. A widely published scholar and poet, her current book project, This Is A Story, examines the continuum of indigenous rhetorical production in North America, from beadwork to alphabetic writing. Powell is a mixed-blood of Indiana Miami, Eastern Shawnee, and Euroamerican ancestry. In her spare time, she hangs out with eccentric Native women artists, poets, and aunties, does beadwork, and writes romance novels.

Research Areas

Indigenous Rhetorics, Cultural Rhetorics, Rhetorical Theory, Rhetoric History, De-colonial Rhetorics, Digital Publishing, Diverse & Inclusive Curriculum Design, Administrative Work as Intellectual Practice, Leadership Development 


Ph.D., English (Rhetoric & Critical Theory), Miami University, 1998

M.A., English (Rhetoric & Composition), Miami University, 1994

B.A., English, Indiana University at Kokomo, 1992

Research or Academic Affiliations

American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program Digital Publishing Lab (director)



Word by Word, Bead by Bead: Making a Scholarly Life

“Word by Word, Bead by Bead: Making a Scholarly Life.” Women’s Personal, Professional, and Intellectual Lives in Rhetoric and Composition. Elizabeth Flynn & Tiffany Bourelle, eds. OSU Press. 2018. 

Constellations: a cultural rhetorics publishing space

Founding editor. Constellations: a cultural rhetorics publishing space. Editor-in-chief for Issue 1.

Enculturation special issue on cultural rhetorics

Guest Editor (with Bratta, Levy, Riley-Mukavetz), Enculturation special issue on cultural rhetorics, 2016.

Introducing the Conversation: engaging with cultural rhetorics

“Introducing the Conversation: engaging with cultural rhetorics,” with Phil Bratta. Enculturation, 2016.

Making Native Space for Graduate Students: a story of indigenous rhetorical practice

“Making Native Space for Graduate Students: a story of indigenous rhetorical practice,” with Andrea Riley-Mukavetz. Survivance, Sovereignty, and Story: Teaching Indigenous Rhetorics. Eds. Gubele, Anderson & King. Utah State UP, 2015. 138-159.

Our Story Begins Here: Constellating Cultural Rhetorics Practices

“Our Story Begins Here: Constellating Cultural Rhetorics Practices,” with Levy, Riley-Mukavetz, Brooks-Gillies, Novotny & Fisch-Ferguson. enculturation, October 2014.

A basket is a basket because…: Telling a Native Rhetorics Story

“A basket is a basket because…: Telling a Native Rhetorics Story.” Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature. Eds. Justice & Cox. Oxford UP, 2014. 25 pgs.

Stories Take Place: A Performance in One Act

“Stories Take Place: A Performance in One Act.” CCC 64.2 (2012), 383-406.


WRA 853: Workshop in Rhetoric & Writing
MSU, Spring 2016.

WRA 805: Histories & Theories of Rhetoric
MSU, Fall 2014, 2015.

WRA 872: Decolonial Methods
MSU, Summer 2015.

WRA 891: Writing Workshop for Graduate Students
MSU, Spring 2015.

WRA 891: Oral History Methods
MSU, Summer 2014.

AL 882: Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric
Co-taught with Dean Rehberger. MSU, Spring 2004, 2006, 2012, 2014.

AL 885: Rhetoric & Writing Research Colloquium
MSU AY2004-05. Fall 2013, 2016.

AL 827: Critical & Cultural Theory
MSU, Summer 2011, 2013.

AL 848: Theory & Methodology in Cultural Rhetorics
MSU, Spring 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013.

AL 891: American Indian Rhetorics
MSU, Spring 2012.

University News

Malea Powell Named Editor of College Composition and Communication
Published May 24, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
woman wearing blue scarf standing in front of bookcase
Malea Powell, Professor and Chair of the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, has been selected as the next editor of College Composition and…Read now »
Caring for Institutions & Future Generations: Practicing Leadership As Stewardship
Published November 27, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
graphic about the 10th annual economic impact report
By Bill Hart-Davidson on November 27, 2017 on Medium I am grateful to my colleague Dr. Malea Powell for teaching me about the indigenous principle and practice of “seven…Read now »
New WRAC Professor to Contribute to Critical Diversity in a Digital Age Initiative
Published August 4, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
photo of someone's finger tapping on a screen
Kristin Arola has been hired as Associate Professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC), effective August 16, 2017, and will contribute to the development of the…Read now »
2016 New Full Professors
Published November 10, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
msu faculty graphic that says "congratulations full professors 2016"
On November 17, Michigan State University will recognize three new professors to the College of Arts & Letters at the University Promotion and Tenure Ceremony Dinner. Please join us in…Read now »