Jens Elmelund Kjeldsen




Research groups


Jens E. Kjeldsen is Professor of rhetoric and visual communication at Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen (Norway), where he has worked as deputy head of department and board member for The Faculty of Social Sciences. He has also worked as Professor of rhetoric at Södertörn University (Stockholm, Sweden) and been a visiting scholar at University of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern University (Evanston/Chicago)

He is the initiator and immediate past president of the organization Rhetoric Society of Europe (RSE), and the co-founder and long time chief editor of the journal Rhetorica Scandinavica

His main interest is visual rhetoric and argumentation, political speechmaking and speechwriting, rhetoric in public communication. He also works on rhetorical audience studies and rhetorical theory, especially in relation to media and to the changing of rhetorical situations and circumstances in an increasingly fragmented, complex and mediated world.

He is presently working on projects dealing with the rhetoric of the immigration debate; political television debates; everyday rhetoric and rhetorical working through; and credibility, trust, and ethos in a hybrid media ecology. He is leader of the working package "Media analysis" in the project Pandemic rhetoric, which studies the rhetoric, risk communication and constitution of credibility and trust in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kjeldsen is also project leader of the project Derekrit, studying the teaching of speechmaking and rhetorical citizenship in public high schools.


Academic anthology/Conference proceedings
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
Academic lecture
Academic article
Popular scientific article
Digital learning tools
Popular scientific lecture
Book review
Programme participation
Academic monograph
Doctoral dissertation
Feature article
Academic literature review
Reader opinion piece
Multimedia product

See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.

See publications in ResearchGate: 


Selected publications: 1) Articles and papers, 2) Books/special issues

     Articles and papers

2021. The other other. Representations and rhetorical estrangement of anti-immigration positions in Scandinavian print media, 1970 – 2016 (with Anniken Hagelund)). Poetics 2021

2021. Eager to be in touch with the world: The Practice and Study of Rhetoric in Scandinavia. The Southern Communication Journal, 2021 s. 1-12

2019. Royal Interventions in the Public Discourse on Immigration: Rhetorical Topoi on Immigration in the New Year's Speeches of the Scandinavian Monarchs. Javnost - The Public 2019 ;Volum 26.(2) s. 225-240

2018. Visual and Multimodal Rhetoric and Argumentation in Organizations and Organizational Theory. In: Handbook of organizational rhetoric and communication. Wiley-Blackwell 2018 ISBN 978-1-119-26577-1. s. 359-372

2017. The rhetorical and argumentative potentials of press photography. In: Multimodal Argumentation and Rhetoric in Media Genres (Ed. Tseronis, Assimakis; Forceville, Charles). John Benjamins Publishing Company 2017 ISBN 9789027211316. s. 51-79

2017. Visual rhetorical argumentation. Semiotica: Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies 2017; Volum (220) s. 69-94

2015. The study of visual and multimodal argumentation. Argumentation : an international journal on reasoning. 29: 115-132. doi: 10.1007/s10503-015-9348-4

2015. The Rhetoric of Thick Representation: How Pictures Render the Importance and Strength of an Argument Salient. Argumentation : an international journal on reasoning. 29: 197-215. doi: 10.1007/s10503-014-9342-2

2015. Where Is Visual Argument? Chapter 8, sider 107-117. I Eemeren, Frans H. van; Garssen, Bart. 2015. Reflections on Theoretical Issues in Argumentation Theory. Springer. ISBN:

2014. Reconceptualizing kairos. Chapter 28, sider 249-258. I Emilsson, Eyjólfur Kjalar; Maravela, Anastasia; Skoie, Mathilde. 2014. PARADEIGMATA. Studies in Honour of Øivind Andersen. 308 sider. ISBN: 978-960-85145-4-6.

2013. Formulas of Prize Winning Press Photos. Chapter 24, sider 461-486. I van Belle, Hilde. 2013. Verbal and Visual Rhetoric in a Media World. 505 sider. ISBN: 978 90 8728 190 8.

2013. Speaking to Europe. A Rhetorical approach to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s speech to the EU Parliament. Chapter 1, sider 19-42. I Fløttum, Kjersti. 2013. Speaking of Europe. Approaches to complexity in European political discourse. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 191 sider. ISBN: 978-90-272-0640-4.

2013. Strategies of visual argumentation in slideshow presentations: the role of the visuals in an Al Gore presentation on climate change. Argumentation : an international journal on reasoning. 27: 425-443. doi: 10.1007/s10503-013-9296-9.

2012. Pictorial Argumentation in Advertising: Visual tropes and Figures as a Way of Creating Visual Argumentation. Chapter 16, sider 239-256. I Eemeren, Frans H. van; Garssen, Bart. 2012. Topical Themes in Argumentation Theory. Twenty Exploratory Studies. Springer. 346 sider. ISBN: 9789400740402.

2012. The Study of Rhetoric in the Scandinavian Countries (med Jan Grue). Kapittel, side 7-38. I: Kjeldsen, Jens Elmelund; Grue, Jan. 2012. Scandinavian Studies in ­Rhetoric. Rhetorica Scandinavica 1997-2010. Retorikförlaget.

2007. Visual Argumentation in Scandinavian Political Advertising: A Cognitive, Contextual, and Reception Oriented Approach. Argumentation and Advocacy. 43: 124-132.

2003. Talking to the eye: visuality in ancient rhetoric. Word and Image. 19: 133-137.


     Books/special issues

2019. Speechwriting in theory and practice (with Amos Kiewe, Marie Lund, Jette Barnholdt Hansen). PalgraveMacMillan.

2018. (Ed.) Rhetorical Audiences. Reception- and audience studies of rhetoric. PalgraveMacMillan.

2015. Visual and multimodal argumentation. Special issue of the journal Argumentation (vol. 29, no. 2). 242 pages.

2014. hva er retorikk [what is rhetoric]. Universitetsforlaget. Oslo.

2012. Scandinavian Studies in ­Rhetoric. Rhetorica Scandinavica 1997-2010 (with Jan Grue). Retorikförlaget. 368 pages.

2011. Tale med billeder – tegne med ord [Speaking with pictures, drawing with words]. Spartacus forlag, Oslo 2011. 241 pages.

2008. Retorik idag. [Rhetoric Today]. Studentlitteratur, Stockholm. 394 pages.

2006. Retorikk i vår tid. En innføring i moderne retorisk teori (ny og utvidet utgave) [Rhetoric of our times. An introduction to contemporary rhetorical theory. New and revised Edition] Oslo. Spartacus forlag. 399 pages.

2005. Virksomme ord. Politiske taler 1814–2005 (with Anders Johansen) [Words that Work. Political Speeches 1814-2005]. Universitetsforlaget, Oslo 2005 (707 pages).Virksomme ord. Politiske taler 1814-2005. Sammen med professor Anders Johansen. Universitetsforlaget. 707 pages, and 36 pages introduction.

2004. Krig, rett, retorikk. (with Siri Meyer) [War, Law and Rhetoric]. Rhetor förlag, Åstorp. 175 pages.

2002. Visuel retorik. [Visual Rhetoric]. Department of media studies, University of Bergen. 466 pages + appendix.

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