Classics Professor Wins Best Essay from Rhetorica

Brad Cook to receive $1,000 prize in July at Chicago conference

OXFORD, Miss. – Brad L. Cook, assistant professor of classics at the University of Mississippi, is feeling pretty lucky these days.

Late last summer, Cook’s article “Swift-boating in Antiquity: Rhetorical Framing of the Good Citizen in Fourth-Century Athens” appeared in Rhetorica (vol. 30.3, pp. 219-251). Cook recently learned that the essay was awarded the Rhetorica Prize for best published essay. He is slated to receive the prize at the biennial conference of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric, set for July 24-27 in Chicago.
Cook, who did not know ISHR had an essay competition, said having his article appear in Rhetorica last summer was a huge accomplishment for him.

Brad L. Cook, assistant professor of classics at the University of Mississippi, recently learned that his essay will be published in the International Society for the History of Rhetoric's Rhetorica.

“When I found out I had won best essay, I immediately thought they made a mistake,” Cook jokingly said. “Honestly, I’m not that lucky. I don’t win anything, not even door prizes. Any professor will tell you having an article printed in a highly respected journal is the big accomplishment.”

The Rhetorica Prize is a biennial award for best article published in Rhetorica. All articles published in volumes 29 and 30 (2011-2012) were automatically considered for this year’s prize. Cook is the third person to win the prestigious award.

“Just to get published in Rhetorica is a huge honor because my work will be presented to a broader array of people in other fields – that’s exciting to me and I am honored by the inclusion,” he said.

Before joining the UM faculty in 2011, Cook was an assistant professor at San Diego State University and lecturer at Ohio Wesleyan University. Cook earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Washington.

The International Society for the History of Rhetoric promotes the study of both the theory and practice of rhetoric in all periods and languages and the relationship of rhetoric to poetics, literary theory and criticism, philosophy, politics, religion, law and other aspects of the cultural context.

For more information on the UM Department of Classics, visit