Karen Kopelson joined the faculty in 2002 after earning her Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition, with secondary areas of specialization in theory and cultural studies, from Purdue University. Recent published work appears in journals such as Rhetoric of Health & Medicine, the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Pedagogy, College English, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. With her colleague, Bruce Horner, she is co-editor of Reworking English in Rhetoric and Composition: Global/Local Interrogations and Interventions (SIUP, 2014).
Her current research and teaching interests are in rhetoric of health and medicine, cultural studies of illness (especially addiction studies), disability studies, rhetoric and writing studies, and queer theory. She is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the winner of the Richard Braddock Award (best essay in CCC, 2004) and the James L. Kinneavy Award (best essay in JAC, 2005).