Phillip Troutman

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Phillip Troutman

Affiliated Faculty, Director of Writing in the Disciplines


2100 Foxhall Road NW Washington DC 20007

Phillip Troutman researches the visual cultures of American slavery and abolition. He is currently completing a book entitled “‘Incendiary Pictures’: The Radical Visual Rhetoric of Abolition,” and an article on the portrait work of Patrick Henry Reason (1816-1898), the first known African American engraver in New York City. He was a Smithsonian Institution Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Museum of American History in 2018-19 and held a 2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend in support of this research.

Previous publications explore geopolitical literacy and sentimental rhetoric within slavery. Ongoing projects include a co-written article on the 1790s silhouette of Flora, a woman enslaved in Connecticut; a co-written article on abolitionist curation of artifacts of slavery during and after the Civil War; and an investigation into an 1847 proslavery riot at Columbian College—now GW. As faculty in the University Writing Program, he has published in Rhetoric Review and Prompt, with a focus on disciplinary discourse and pedagogy.

In 2022, he was awarded the Robert W. Kenny Prize for Innovation in Teaching of Introductory Courses.


HIST 3101W / UW 2020W: Amsterdam: Sustainable City, 15th-21st Centuries

HIST 3301W: Slavery, Race, and American Visual Culture

UW 1020: Race, Gender, and GW History

UW 1020: The Visual Past: Images in American History

“Grapevine in the Slave Market: African American Geopolitical Literacy and the 1841 Creole Revolt.” In The Chattel Principle: Internal Slave Trades in the Americas, 203-233. Edited by Walter Johnson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004. PDF at

“Correspondences in Black and White: Sentiment in the Slave Market Revolution.” In New Studies in the History of American Slavery, 211-242. Edited by Edward E. Baptist and Stephanie M.H. Camp. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006. PDF at

“The Discourse of Comics Scholarship: A Rhetorical Analysis of Research Article Introductions.” International Journal of Comic Art 12: 2-3 (Fall 2010): 432-444.

“Indisciplinary Teaching: Comics Studies and the Pedagogy of Academic Writing and Research.” In Graphic Novels and Comics in the Classroom: Essays on the Educational Power of Sequential Art, 120-132. Edited by and Carrye Kay Syma and Robert G. Weiner. McFarland, 2013.

 Co-authored with Mark Mullen. “I-BEAM: Instance Source Use and Research Writing Pedagogy.” Rhetoric Review 34:2 (2015): 181-199.

“Cross-Disciplinary Concision and Clarity: Writing Social Science Abstracts in the Humanities,” Prompt 3.1 (2019):


Ph.D. in History, University of Virginia, 2000.