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Dilip P. Gaonkar

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Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar
Born1945 (age 74–75)
British India
ResidenceEvanston, Illinois
Alma materUniversity of Mumbai
University of Pittsburgh
Tufts University
Cultural studies
Ethnic studies
Communication studies
Notable awards1991: Golden Anniversary Monographs Award
1994:Golden Anniversary Monographs Award

Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar (born 1945) is a Professor in Rhetoric and Public Culture and the Director of Center for Global Culture and Communication at Northwestern University. He is also the Director of Center for Transcultural Studies, an independent scholarly research network concerned with global issues based in Chicago and New York.[1] Gaonkar was closely associated with the influential journal Public Culture from the early 1990s serving in various editorial capacities: associate editor (1992-2000), executive editor (2000-2009), and editor (2009-2011).

Gaonkar has two sets of scholarly interests: rhetoric as an intellectual tradition, both its ancient roots and its contemporary mutations; and, global modernities and their impact on the political. He has published numerous essays on rhetoric, including "The Idea of Rhetoric in the Rhetoric of Science" that was published along with ten critical responses to the essay in a book, Rhetorical Hermeneutics: Invention and Interpretation in the Age of Science, edited by Alan G. Gross and William Keith (1996). Gaonkar has edited a series books on global cultural politics: Globaizing American Studies (with Brian Edwards, 2010), Alternative Modernities (2001), and Disciplinarity and Dissent in Cultural Studies (1995). He has also edited several special issues of journals: Laclau's On Populist Reason (with Robert Hariman, for Cultural Studies, 2012), Cultures of Democracy (for Public Culture, 2007), Commitments in a Post-Foundational World (with Keith Topper, 2005), Technologies of Public Persuasion (with Elizabeth Povinelli, 2003), and New Imaginaries (with Benjamin Lee, 2002). He is currently working on two edited volumes: Oxford Handbook on Rhetoric and Political Theory (with Keith Topper) and Distribution of the Sensible: Ranciere on Politics and Aesthetics (with Scott Durham); and, on a book manuscript on Modernity, Democracy and the Politics of Disorder.

Dilip Gaonkar hails from the Ankola region in Karwar district (south of Goa). He is a grandson of SAPA. Gaonkar and Venkanna H. Naik. Gaonkar is married to Sally Ewing, the Associate Dean of Advising and Student Affairs at Northwestern University's School of Communication.

Academic life

Goankar's doctoral thesis at the University of Pittsburgh (1984) was titled Aspects of sophistic pedagogy (1984) [2] a study in Rhetoric. His prior degrees include M.A. in Theatre (Tufts University), M.A. in Political Science (University of Bombay) and B.A. in Politics and Philosophy (Elphinstone College). He joined the 'Department of Speech Communication', University of Illinois in 1989 [3] and then the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


He has also been awarded, the National Communication Association's (NCA) Golden Anniversary Monographs Award in 1991 and 1994.[4][5]


Dilip Gaonkar has developed a few works over his career including Aspects of Sophistic Pedagogy. This work was developed while he was attending the University of Pittsburgh in 1984. His dissertation covers the topics of sophists in ancient Greek philosophy, the art of politics, and the upper levels of education of rhetoric. This was Gaonkar's dissertation thesis at the University of Pittsburgh when he was working towards his Ph. D.


  • Gaonkar, Dilip Parameshwar (1984). Aspects of sophistic pedagogy. University of Pittsburgh.
  • Nelson, Cary; Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar (1996). Disciplinarity and dissent in cultural studies. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-91372-1.
  • Gaonkar, Dilip Parameshwar (2001). Alternative modernities. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2714-7.
  • Gaonkar, Dilip Parameshwar; Benjamin Lee (2002). New imaginaries. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-6472-7.
  • Povinelli, Elizabeth A.; Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar (2003). Technologies of public persuasion: an accidental issue. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-6585-5.
  • Gaonkar, Dilip Parameshwar (2007). Cultures of Democracy. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-6672-X.

Work anthologized


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Dilip P. Gaonkar
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