About the Department
In July, 2014 the University Writing Program became the Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies, making it one of several high-profile institutions in the country to better identify its role locally and nationally. We now offer a growing major and minor while still offering essential writing courses to undergraduate and graduate students across campus. Our interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Writing and Rhetoric Studies is currently offered through three partnering departments; students take courses with us and complement their scholarly interest through the partnering department.
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News and Announcements
Congratulations to our outstanding students and instructors for the 2015-2016 academic year!
Congratulations to Jay Jordan for receiving the Excellence in Global Education Award!
Heather Stone, a doctoral candidate with dual appointments in Communication and Writing and Rhetoric Studies, was awarded the U's 2016 Thomas G. Stockham Medal for Conspicuously Effective Teaching. This coveted award recognizes her excellence and dedication as an instructor for undergraduate students at the U, and comes with a $1,000 cash prize and engraved medal
Jay Jordan, our new department chair, is Associate Professor of Writing & Rhetoric Studies and of English. He's been a faculty member at the U for nine years, and he spent 2014-15 at the U's new Asia Campus in Korea. He'll be researching how students at the new campus learn to write across the curriculum. He'll be teaching Writing Across Borders (Spring 2016) as well as courses in composition pedagogy and histories of rhetoric. And he'll work with colleagues to continue to attract the best students to our major and our graduate programs.
Outgoing chair, Maureen Mathison, will be on sabbatical writing a book on persuasion and science. The book examines not only the nature of persuasion in science, but also its rhetorical counterpart, dissuasion. Professor Mathison is also completing an edited volume, Sojourners and Third Cultures; the volume is based on her twenty years’ experience working in interdisciplinary settings, and offers theoretical and practical insights into working across disciplines. Mathison served as the director of the University Writing Program for nine years, and as inaugural chair for one. Previously, she was the Associate Dean of the College of Humanities. Courses she teaches include the Rhetoric of Science and Technology, Visual Rhetoric, Research Methods, and Writing in the Public Sphere.
Professor Jenny Andrus recently published her book "Entextualizing Domestic Violence," with the Oxford University Press Studies in Language and Law
Faculty member, Christie Toth, was the winner of the 2015 Mark Reynolds Teaching English in the Two-Year College Best Article Award for her article "Unmeasured Engagement: Two-Year College English Faculty and Disciplinary Professional Organizations" published in the journal, Teaching English in the Two-Year College.
The Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies recently received a Transformative Research in the Humanities Grant to establish a Research Center focused on critical areas of writing research. The grant provides funding to foster synthesis across the combination of Writing and Rhetoric Studies individual faculty research efforts, and to support graduate research assistants. Areas of study include first-year writing assessments; a longitudinal study of transfer students; multilingual WAC; and science communication.