Cara Anne Finnegan

Professor - Art + Design

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Professor Finnegan is a scholar of rhetoric, public address, and the history of photography. Her research and teaching explore the role of photography as a tool for public life. 

Academic Service

My administrative leadership roles at the University of Illinois have included directing the campus's general education course in Oral and Written Communication (CMN 111-112), running the Communication department's graduate program, serving as associate head of the Communication department, and working as interim associate dean for humanities and arts at the Graduate College. 



Education/Academic qualification

Communication, Ph.D., Northwestern University

Communication, M.A., University of Maine

Communication and Journalism, B.A., University of St. Thomas


  • E11 America (General)
  • Great Depression
  • U.S. presidency
  • TR Photography
  • history of photography
  • contemporary photography
  • NE Print media
  • print culture
  • art
  • visual culture
  • P Language and Literature
  • rhetoric
  • communication
  • U.S. public address

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the expert's scholarly documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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photography Social Sciences
rhetoric Social Sciences
Great Depression Social Sciences
politics Social Sciences
history Social Sciences
art Social Sciences
child labor Social Sciences
farm Social Sciences

Research Output 1995 2018

The Critic as Curator

Finnegan, C. A., Aug 8 2018, In : Rhetoric Society Quarterly. 48, 4, p. 405-410 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


The daguerreotype, republican style and theories of the public image

Finnegan, C. A., Dec 1 2018, In : Explorations in Media Ecology. 17, 4, p. 459-464

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Review: L.E. Gries' Still Life with Rhetoric: A New Materialist Approach for Visual Rhetorics

Finnegan, C. A., Oct 2 2017, In : Quarterly Journal of Speech. 103, 4, p. 415-418

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Review: S.A. Musher's Democratic Art: The New Deal's Influence on American Culture

Finnegan, C. A., Jun 2016, In : Journal of American History. 103, 1, p. 243-243 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Great Depression
civil war
mass culture

Activities 2008 2018

  • 3 Membership of board
  • 2 Invited talk

A Presidency in Pictures

Cara Anne Finnegan (Speaker)
Nov 2015

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Disciplinary Assumptions and Institutional Pasts: Speech and Writing at Illinois

Kelly Allison Ritter (Invited speaker), Cara Anne Finnegan (Invited speaker)
Mar 7 2018

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Rhetoric Society Quarterly (External organization)

Cara Anne Finnegan (Member)
2016 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of board

Rhetoric & Public Affairs (External organization)

Cara Anne Finnegan (Member)
2008 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of board