Rhetoric is a foundation of the humanities focused on understanding the practices of human communication. Rhetoric’s interests span from the earliest acts of speech to emerging modes of digital communication and around a world that increasingly shares communication platforms. The rhetoric and writing faculty in the English department research and teach in a range of fields including rhetorical theory, professional-technical communication, literacy, composition studies, rhetoric of science and environment, cultural rhetorics, African American rhetorics, Queer rhetorics, intersectional and feminist rhetorics, digital rhetoric, and rhetoric and popular culture.
Undergraduate rhetoric and writing coursework in English includes introductory courses that support undergraduate writers as they encounter the new challenges of writing in their majors and advanced courses in technical-professional writing, cultural studies, and rhetorical theory. The courses combine theory and practice as we aim both to develop our understanding of rhetoric and put that understanding to work as communicators.
Graduate students interested in pursuing research in rhetoric and writing will find a growing faculty whose interests connect with other traditional humanities studies and methods, cultural studies, interdisciplinary studies in ecocriticism and the digital humanities, and research in science, engineering, and education. Our advanced graduate certificate in Professional Writing and Digital Communication is designed to support those interested in entering careers in professional, technical, or digital writing and communication, as well as other graduate students and area professionals who recognize the importance of developing these communication skills as part of their career objectives.