Phillip Troutman

Phillip Troutman Headshot
Affiliated Faculty, Director of Writing in the Disciplines
Ames Hall 209
2100 Foxhall Road NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20007
[email protected]

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.


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


“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):


Classes Taught

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