What I'm Teaching

The courses I teach are focused on rhetorically-aware writing and design, with an emphasis on the appropriate use(s) of digital technologies to facilitate those compositional processes.

I am happy to share past syllabi for my courses with any interested colleagues.

Current Courses


ENGL 692: Teaching of Composition in College

This course is designed to give new graduate assistants the conceptual tools needed to teach rhetoric and argument in the composition classroom. Teaching composition and rhetoric is probably the most universal experience for graduate students and faculty in English. Regardless of specialization, you will almost certainly spend at least some of your time teaching composition from an argumentative point of view. The primary aim, then, is not to simply get you through your first year teaching, but to introduce you key rhetorical concepts and practices as a foundation for developing your own approach to teaching the course that coincides with both the discipline of composition and rhetoric and the university goals for the course.

Past Courses: University of South Carolina

ENGL 102: Rhetoric and Composition

English 102 builds on English 101 to help prepare students for the writing they will do in future college courses and beyond. While English 101 honed students' ability to critically read and closely analyze a text, English 102 emphasizes developing well-reasoned argumentative papers that draw on multiple sources and viewpoints. During the semester, students learn to identify the elements of an effective argument and to apply those principles in composing researched essays about academic and public issues. This course also strengthens students' information by teaching strategies for finding, assessing, using, citing, and documenting sources.

ENGL 363: Introduction to Professional Writing

Overview of concepts, contexts, and genres used in professional communication. Intensive practice in analyzing, emulating, and creating textual and multimedia documents for a variety of professional, non-academic purposes (including commercial, informative, persuasive, and technical).

ENGL 460: Advanced Writing

This course will focus on writing in digital environments, exploring critically and creatively what it means to compose in emerging genres and modes of communication. Building off of fundamental concepts of rhetorical invention applied to networks and interactivity, students will explore the principles of web production in order to create multimedia writing both individually and collaboratively in small-scale texts and a larger semester-long project.

ENGL 462: Technical Writing

Preparation for, critical examination of, and extensive practice in types of writing important to technical communicators. Genres explored include brief memos, instructions and procedural documentation, formal proposals, reports, and usability tests.

ENGL 463: Business Writing

Introduction to and extensive practice of workplace writing, document design, and editing activities. Exposure to relevant genres applicable to academia, government, and industry, including proposals, external and internal correspondence, reports, and memoranda.

ENGL 468: Digital Writing

This course will focus on writing in digital environments, exploring critically and creatively what it means to compose in emerging genres and modes of communication. Building off of fundamental concepts of rhetorical invention applied to networks and interactivity, students will explore the principles of web production in order to create multimedia writing both individually and collaboratively in small-scale texts and a larger semester-long project.


ENGL 790: Survey of Composition Studies

This course serves as an inquiry into the field of composition studies, focusing on the historical contexts and theoretical movements which have defined its development thus far. Students will explore the conversations undertaken by composition scholars to understand what composition is, what it does, how it occurs, and what sorts of composition practices and products matter in regards to various spheres (academic, professional, civic). As a major component of the course, students will examine--through readings and written responses thereto, class discussions, and longer papers leading up to a focused major project--the discursive controversies marking significant theories and practices within the field.

ENGL 791: Introduction to Research on Written Composition

This course introduces students to the diverse body of qualitative and quantitative methods for research employed by scholars in rhetoric and composition (including, but not limited to, rhetorical criticism, archival research, ethnography, empirical studies, and material engagements with rhetorical situations).

Students will be expected to develop research questions about a project idea and experiment with methods that could be appropriate for helping to answer their questions and to facilitate future research projects.

ENGL 795: The Teaching of Business and Technical Writing

This course will serve as a hybrid seminar and practicum introducing students to professional and technical communication, with an emphasis on pedagogical application. We will look at the historical relationship between rhetoric & composition and technical writing, exploring as avenues for praxis: genre studies, usability and accessibility, design, networks and other organizational structures, and digital technologies. As part of the course, we will examine journals in the field, evaluate potential textbooks for technical and business writing courses, explore critically key issues in a major paper, and develop syllabi that apply the pedagogical theories and concerns identified through class discussions and assignments.

ENGL 796: Multimodal Composition

This course provides students with extensive critical examination of multimodality—the employment of multiple and diverse modes for communicative purposes, e.g. text, speech, image, video, sound, gesture, performance—as it relates to composition pedagogy and its praxis. Students will engage conversations in composition scholarship, responding to, experimenting with, and developing proposals for the incorporation of multimodal activity and expression into a variety of composition courses.

ENGL 890: Digital Rhetoric

"Digital rhetoric" as a term tends to encompass several somewhat-overlapping conversations in the two disciplinary wings of rhetoric (communication-rhetoric and composition-rhetoric) that deal in different ways with similar questions:

  • How do traditional and conventional conceptions of 'rhetoric' occur through digital media?
  • How can we explore the rhetorical dimensions of digital technologies, situations, identities, and so on through various critical lenses?
  • How has rhetoric been theorized in regards to the various contours of digital communication?
  • What new and emergent forms of meaning-making do digital media afford to rhetors?

In this course, we'll explore "digital rhetoric" as an area of study from the early 90s through today, and we'll examine how scholarly inquiry has engaged the subject interdisciplinarily with, and been informed by, (among others) digital humanities, media studies, software engineering, and socio-cultural anthropology.

ENGL 890: Writing Program Administration Research and Praxis

Writing Program Administration (WPA) is sometimes perceived as instrumental or managerial labor. However, WPA work in practice is intellectually and theoretically complex, supported by a significant body of research from the last several decades. This research has informed a great deal about the study and instruction of writing, from first-year composition to professional writing to graduate-level disciplinary writing, in a variety of programmatic and institutional contexts.

Accordingly, this course serves to explore WPA scholarship and the practical application of thereof for various programmatic, institutional, and disciplinary pursuits. Students will examine the history of WPA emergence from composition studies and pursue a semester-long profile of a writing program at another institution, aided by the program's administrator (who will be a mentor/point of contact). At the same time, students will develop and investigate a substantial research project as well as present on it.

These assignments will be supported with weekly readings (from such WPA scholars as Chris Anson, Rita Malenczyk, Jessie Moore, Shirley Rose, Kurt Spellmeyer, Elizabeth Wardle, Irwin "Bud" Weiser, and many more) and short reflection/discussion documents.

SCHC 457: Rhetoric and Technology

Why do seemingly objective statements often foment controversy and debate among various publics?

How do scientists, engineers, and software developers attempt to persuade one another about how their objects of inquiry "work," whether these attempts occur in spoken, written, or visual language? What happens when individuals or groups within one or more affected fields disagree? (And is the outcome always as simple as the idea that "the truth will out"?)

How does an understanding of rhetoric--the art of persuasion--help us understand the ways in which knowledge is constructed and disseminated, both in specific technological communities and across broad publics?

In this course, we'll examine how practitioners in various disciplines and industries relating to technology--from chemists to medical practitioners to software developers--work to communicate with one another and with numerous expert and nonexpert stakeholder populations about their work and the ways that work helps construct the known universe.

In addition, we'll study real cases in which the transmission of technological or scientific information has been complicated in some way. We'll explore what happened, who was affected, and how subsequent events developed accordingly, and we'll consider how potential changes in persuasive activity might have afforded different outcomes and social impacts.

Past Courses: North Carolina State University

ENG 100: Introduction to Academic Writing

Intensive introduction to critical writing and reading in academic contexts. Exploration of writing processes and academic literacy skills: interpreting assignments; comprehending, analyzing, and evaluating college-level texts; inventing, drafting, and revising; seeking, providing, and responding to constructive feedback; collaborating effectively under varied learning models. Extensive writing practice and individualized coaching. Attention to grammar and conventions of standard written English. Intended as preparation for ENG 101. Successful completion of ENG 100 requires a grade of C- or better. All sections meet in computer classrooms.

ENG 101: Academic Writing and Research

Intensive instruction in academic writing and research. Basic principles of rhetoric and strategies for academic inquiry and argument. Instruction and practice in critical reading, including the generative and responsible use of print and electronic sources for academic research. Exploration of literate practices across a range of academic domains, laying the foundation for further writing development in college. Continued attention to grammar and conventions of standard written English. Most sections meet in computer classrooms. Successful completion of ENG 101 requires a grade of C- or better. This course satisfies the First-Year composition and rhetoric component of the General Education Requirements in Writing and Speaking.


ENG 314: Technical Document Design and Editing

Layout and design principles for written documents; desktop building; legibility, readability testing; conventions of proposals, instructions, and reports; basics of technical editing: usage, vocabulary, style manuals, editing mathematical equations, graphs, tables.

ENG 317: Designing Web Communication

A course in the layout, design, and composition of web-based communication. Students will learn to analyze audiences and their uses of information in order to plan, compose, and critically evaluate web-based communication. Students will acquire skill with HTML coding, screen design, and multimedia authoring and will apply those skills to the composition of a variety of web texts (i.e. websites). Course work will require students to become proficient with commercially available HTML and photoeditors.

ENG/COM 395: Code, Computation, and Rhetoric (Special Topics in Rhetoric and Digital Media)

Introduction to and extensive examination of principles of computation and code in humanities studies. Exploration of historical models and development of the role of code in contemporary media and art. Instruction in critical analysis of and creative composition through a selection of coding languages and structures. Special attention paid to the interdisciplinary nature of code studies.

IP 295: Introduction to Humanities Physical Computing

(co-taught with David Rieder)

This course will introduce students to humanities physical computing, which is a growing sub-field of Digital Humanities. With the introduction of inexpensive electronics equipment, such as the Arduino prototyping platform, a growing number of digital humanists are taking a turn toward the physical. The reason is that physical computing offers digital humanists opportunities to move beyond the usual forms of I/O (i.e., keyboard, mouse, and screen) as well as the opportunity to expand their creative thoughts beyond desktop computing. In this course, creativity and invention will be emphasized. Learning how to work productively and creatively in computational new media will contribute to deeper engagements with language, writing, and textuality.

The Arduino UNO electronics protoyping platform and the Processing programming language will be the basis for the 5 projects developed in this course. Both of these technologies were explicitly designed to introduce non-programmers and -engineers to the possibilities of computational media production. Moreover, they are open-source and inexpensive.