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Scholarly Books

Jean Baudrillard: The Rhetoric of Symbolic Exchange.

Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 2017. Rhetoric in the Modern Era.



Articles in Refereed Journals

“Expanding the Aims of Public Rhetoric and Writing Pedagogy: Writing Letters to Editors.”

College Composition and Communication 65.4 (2014): 534-59. Print.


“Reading at the Threshold.” Across the Disciplines 10.3 (2013): 37 TS pag. Web.



“A Carnival of Rights: Baudrillard, Bakhtin, and the Rhetoric of the 2009 'Serfs Liberation

Day.'”International Journal of Baudrillard Studies 9.3 (2012): 23 TS pag. Web.


“Exchange in On the Exchange: A Baudrillardian Perspective on Isocrates' Antidosis.”

Rhetoric Review. 31.4 (2012): 353-70. Print.

Finalist, 2012 Theresa J. Enos Anniversary Award for best essay in Rhetoric Review

“Research Centers as Change Agents: Reshaping Work in Rhetoric and Writing.” First Author.

With Kelly Belanger, Ashley Patriarca, and Megan O'Neill. College Composition and Communication 62.2 (2010): 336–63. Print.


Chapters in Edited Collections

“Rhetoric Re/Framed as Exchange: Baudrillard, Perlocutionary Performance, and 9/11

Ten Years Later.” Re/Framing Identifications. Ed. Michelle Ballif. Long Grove, IL:

Waveland P, 2013. 169-75. Print.


“Revising Ownership in the Critical Classroom: Writing, Rhetoric, and the Wager of

Reciprocity.”Who Speaks for Writing: Stewardship for Writing Studies in the 21st Century.

Ed. Jennifer Rich and Ethna Demsey Lay. New York: Peter Lang, 2012. 112-124. Print.


“Laughing Whiteness: Pixies, Parody, and Perspectives.” The Comedy of Dave Chappelle:

Critical Essays. Ed. Kevin Wisniewski. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland & Co., 2009. 72–85. Print.


Work In Progress

“Threshold Concepts in/as Rhetoric.” With Maria Gigante. Rhetoric Society Quarterly

(Article under review): 44 TS pag.

“Going Public with Ken Macrorie.” Microhistories of Composition. Ed. Bruce McComiskey.

(Collection under review with Utah State University Press): 38 TS pag.

Jean Baudrillard: Rhetoric and Exchange. (Book manuscript in preparation for late 2014 submission

to Southern Illinois University Press’s “Rhetoric in the Modern Era” Series).

“Reading as Transformation.” What Is College Reading? Exploring Reading in Every Discipline.

Ed. Alice Horning, Cynthia Haller, and Deborah-Lee Gollnitz. (Chapter proposal under review, Collection in development for the ATD Book Series).


Jean Baudrillard: Rhetoric and Exchange

Over the past twenty years, rhetorical studies scholars have drawn upon the work of Jean Baudrillard in their scholarship, positioning Baudrillard as a notable rhetorical theorist. For example, the tenth chapter of Sonja K. Foss, Karen A. Foss, and Robert Trapp’s Contemporary Perspectives on Rhetoric profiles Baudrillard as a thinker who has “exerted a profound influence on contemporary rhetorical theory” (Waveland Press). Similarly, Michelle Ballif and Diane Davis’s contribution to The Present State of Scholarship in the History of Rhetoric: A Twenty-First Century Guide lists Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation as one of twenty texts that anyone new to research in the area of rhetoric and poststructuralism “must read” (186). But despite these endorsements, no book-length study of Baudrillard as a rhetorical theorist exists and the lack of such an extended study contributes to troublesome and even inaccurate appropriations of Baudrillard by rhetorical studies scholars.

As the first comprehensive treatment of Baudrillard as a rhetorical theorist, Jean Baudrillard: Rhetoric and Exchange introduces a Baudrillardian rhetorical framework, which rhetorical studies scholars can use to appropriate Baudrillard in a more thorough and a more accurate manner. In order to achieve this overarching goal, the book accomplishes two objectives. First, the book clarifies Baudrillard’s writings, which have been criticized both inside and outside of rhetorical studies as being opaque and incomprehensible. Second, the book considers Baudrillard’s own uses of the word “rhetoric,” which have been thus far ignored by rhetorical studies scholars.

The book emphasizes Baudrillard’s contributions to rhetorical theory by following a thematic structure. Each of the book’s chapters demonstrates Baudrillard’s relevance as a rhetorical theorist. After defining Baudrillard as a modern rhetorical theorist, the book reviews Baudrillard’s understanding of language, articulates his theory of rhetoric, and then applies his rhetorical theory to some of the burgeoning subfields in rhetorical studies; namely, visual, digital, global, and object-oriented rhetorics.

Current Research

The Extracurriculum of Professional Rhetoric and Writing

In September 2012, mtvU (the college-only member of the MTV Network group) launched a television show called “Hire Learning.” The show uses hidden camera footage to critique the resumes and job interviewing performances of college students and recent college graduates. As the show’s promotional materials explain, each of the show’s episodes takes a didactic approach by highlighting “do’s and don’ts” of job seeking ( The show’s purpose, as reported by blogger Frances Bridges, is to “get their audience hired” and their audience is vast: Besides being distributed “to more than 750 college campuses and nearly 9 million students nationwide” on television (, “Hire Learning” is also accessible, free-of-charge, on the internet.

This project views “Hire Learning” as an example of what Anne Ruggles Gere has called the “extracurriculum” of writing instruction and evaluates the professional rhetoric writing instruction it offers—primarily in resume writing and interviewing strategy—in light of current research and pedagogy in professional writing.

Rhetorics of Reciprocity

Reciprocity forges relationships between myriad types of senders (e.g., writers, speakers, and composers)and receivers (e.g., readers, listeners, viewers). Thus, reciprocity is a principle fundamental to language use, organizational operations, and global citizenry. As a Co-Principal Investigator on this interdisciplinary project, I am working with colleagues in Communication and Economics, as well as with members of a community time bank, to articulate three comprehensive models of reciprocity—one descriptive (i.e., definitional), one mathematical (i.e., statistical), and one economic ((i.e., game-theoretic). One of the ultimate goals of this project is to develop a practitioner guide (i.e., a rhetoric of reciprocity). The guide would consist of language prompts which organizations could use to improve reciprocity and effect organizational change.

Consubstantiality in a Shifting Rhetorical Ecology: Letter Writing during World War II

Grounded in Kenneth Burke’s writings on consubstantiality and war, this project examines the letter writingpractices that occurred among members of a Midwestern community during World War II. The project combines close reading with interview data in an attempt to triangulate two archives of letters that emerged from this community. The first archive of letters consists of over 400 personal letters written by servicemen from this community to their friends and families stateside. The second archive of letters consists of thirty-six monthly newsletters published by a group of ten stateside young women with the purpose of updating the servicemen on news from their community. Apart from rhetorical theory, this project uses epistolary theory, professional writing theory, as well as gender and identity theory to understand the way in which these letters attempted to establish a shared standing and common identification among members of a community separated and distance by war.


Brief Abstract

“A Case for Rhetorical Method: Criticism, Theory, and the Exchange of Jean Baudrillard” This dissertation uses the case of Jean Baudrillard to argue that successful critics must consider rhetorical method as it relates to theory. Throughout this dissertation, I follow Edwin Black in using
the term rhetorical method to describe the procedures a rhetor uses to guide composition.
The project’s two main goals are, first, to demonstrate how rhetorical method can serve as a foundation for worthwhile criticism, and, second, to outline a Baudrillardian rhetoric. In order to meet these goals,
I situate a discussion of Baudrillard’s work and reception within the history of method in twentieth-century criticism. Throughout this dissertation, I perform close readings of Baudrillard’s oeuvre alongside a wide range of sources, including critical writings, classical works, contemporary texts,
and recent obituaries.



Research Experience

Assistant Professor, English Department, Western Michigan University, 2011-Present

Co-Principal Investigator, “Opportunity, Motivation, Exchange and Member Benefit in TimeBank Organizations,” Science of Organizations Program Area, National Science Foundation: Proposal for an interdisciplinary, empirical study of the efficacy of a number of regional timebanks. (Prepared for a February 2015 submission)


Co-Principal Investigator, “Modeling Reciprocity across Disciplines,” Interdisciplinary Research Initiative Award, Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences: Award supports further collaboration between community time bank and researchers from rhetoric, communication, and economics ($5,000 award)


Co-Principal Investigator, “Integrating Models of Reciprocity,” Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award, Western Michigan University Office of the Vice President for Research: Award supports a collaborative project with a community time bank and a colleague in communication ($10,000 award)


Research Assistant Supervisor, Oversaw summer work of one Ph.D. student research assistant, tailored research project to meet student’s goals


Research Assistant, Dr. Bernice Hausman, Virginia Tech, Summer, 2010

Copy-Editor, Breastfeeding and Feminism: Informing Public Health Approaches: Edited twenty-three typescript chapters in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style and communicated with international authors from a variety of disciplines

Student Intern Supervisor, Mentored undergraduate student intern’s weekly duties, communicated expectations, monitored project progress, provided weekly feedback to ensure student’s success

Co-Author, National Writing Project Grant Continued Funding Application, U.S. Department of Education: Drafted initial application, secured continued funding, conducted preliminary research, and established relationship with the 2010 BRWP ISI designated school district ($46,000 award)

Author, “Diversity Proposal for the Blue Ridge Writing Project”: Designed and disseminated an IRB-approved survey to 2009 ISI participants, analyzed the results, and proposed three diversity initiatives to the BRWP Co-Directors and the Graduate School Dean

Co-Author, Michigan People, Michigan Places; Our Stories, Our Lives Grant, Michigan Humanities Council: Established cross-institutional partnerships, drafted initial grant, developed final budget ($15,000 award)

Manuscript Reviewer, “Reformist Possibilities? Exploring Writing Program Cross-Campus Partnerships.” Kelly Belanger, Diana George, Marie Paretti, and Lisa McNair

Grant Reviewer, Institute for Society, Culture, and the Environment Grant, Virginia Tech

($20,000 award)

Manuscript Reviewer, Invisible Seasons: Thoroughly read multiple chapter drafts and provided feedback to author Kelly Belanger

Research Assistant, Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society, Virginia Tech, 2007–8

Co-Author, Public Programs Planning Grant, National Endowment for the Humanities: Conducted archival research, transcribed interviews, and drafted major sections of the grant

Grant Reviewer, National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety

Co-Author, National Writing Project Grant, U.S. Department of Education: Conducted preliminary research and substantially revised grant draft ($30,000 award)

Co-Author, Institute for Society, Culture, and the Environment Grant, Virginia Tech ($17,500 award)

Organizer, Golub film screening and “Focusing on Art and Film: Documenting an American Artist” plenary panel

Manuscript Reviewer, Viral Mothers: Thoroughly read multiple chapter drafts and provided feedback to author Bernice Hausman

Discussant, Black Diamonds Panel Discussion: Brought a rhetorical perspective to an interdisciplinary discussion of the documentary film (Black Diamonds), which chronicles the impact of the mountain-top removal mining practice on Appalachia




Paper Presentations

“Guesswork and Grant Writing Pedagogy,” Risk and Reward. Conference on College Composition

and Communication, Tampa, Florida, March 2015. (Forthcoming).

“Pitching for Non-Profits,” Celebrating Historical and Visioning Future Milestones in Business

Communication. Association for Business Communication 79th Annual International Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 2014. (Forthcoming).

“Responding to Requests from Neighbors: Rhetorics of Reciprocity in TimeBanks,”

Responsivity: Defining, Encouraging, Enacting. 2014 Thomas R. Watson Conference, Louisville, Kentucky, October 2014. (Forthcoming).

“From Burke to Baudrillard: Modern Attitudes toward Consubstantiality,” Attitudes toward Technology/

Technology’s Attitudes.The Ninth Triennial Conference of the Kenneth Burke Society, St. Louis, Missouri, July 2014.

“Redrawing the Border between Cynicism and Kynicism: Analyzing the Ethos of Jean Baudrillard,”

Border Rhetorics. Rhetoric Society of America 16th Biennial Conference, San Antonio, Texas, May 2014.

“Threshold Concepts and Rhetoric,” Border Rhetorics. Rhetoric Society of America 16th Biennial

Conference, San Antonio, Texas, May 2014 (Forthcoming). With Maria Gigante.

“Interviewing Instruction, mtvU's ‘Hire Learning,’ and the Extracurriculum of Business Communication,”

Collaboration and Innovation in Business Communication. Association for Business Communication 78th Annual International Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 2013 (Forthcoming).

“From Framing the News to Framing an Argument: A Research-Based Assignment for Student Writers,”

The Public Work of Composition. Conference on College Composition and Communication, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 2013.

“For a Critique of the Political Economy of Rhetoric and Writing Studies," Economies of Writing.

2012 Watson Conference, Louisville, Kentucky, October 2012.

“Rhetoric Re/Framed as Exchange: Methodical Performance, Baudrillard, and 9/11 Ten Years Later,”

Re/Framing Identifications. Rhetoric Society of America 15th Biennial Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 2012.

“Consubstantiality in a Shifting Rhetorical Ecology: Familial Letter Writing during World War II,”

Re/Framing Identifications. Rhetoric Society of America 15th Biennial Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 2012.

“From Civilian to Soldier: The Historical Function of Writing during Military Transition,”Writing

Gateways. Conference on College Composition and Communication, St. Louis, Missouri, March 2012.

“The Two Sides of Timing: Opportunity and Regret in Business Communication,”Transcending

Boundaries in a New Media Environment. Association for Business Communication 76th Annual International Convention, Montreal, Canada, October 2011.

“Writing, Disciplinarity, and Meta-Awareness: An Empirical Investigation,”Writing

Research Across Borders II. 4th International Conference on Writing Research, Fairfax, Virginia, February 2011. With Kerry Dirk.

“Registering Textbook Visuals: Business Communication, Baudrillard, and Implicitness.”

Association for Business Communication Panel. 2011 Modern Language Association Convention,
Los Angeles, California, January 2011.

“The Business Letter as Simulacrum: A Synergy of Communication Theory and Business

Communication Pedagogy.” Creating Synergy in the Windy City. Association for Business Communication 75th Annual International Convention, Chicago, Illinois, October 2010.

“Global Ethos and Intellectual Work: Rhetoric and Composition, Jean Baudrillard, and

Paulo Freire.” Working English in Rhetoric and Composition: Global-Local Contexts, Commitments, Consequences. 2010 Watson Conference, Louisville, Kentucky, October 2010.

“Baudrillard’s Rhetoric of Liberation and the 2009 ‘Serfs Liberation Day’ Holiday.” Rhetoric:

Concord and Controversy. Rhetoric Society of America 14th Biennial Conference,Consequences. Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2010.

“Crisis, Risk, and Business-Community Communication.”Exploration and Discovery: A Historical

Perspective and New Directions in Business Communication. Association for Business Communication 74th Annual International Convention, Portsmouth, Virginia, November 2009.

“Linkages, Lineages, and Designations: Leadership of Feminist Research Organizations.”

Enabling Complexities: Communities/Writing/Rhetoric. 7th Biennial Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) Conference, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, October 2009.

“Theorizing Displacement: Recentering/Decentering Our Rhetoric and Writing Research Center.”

Making Waves. Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Francisco, California, March 2009.

“Reciprocal Action: Revising Ownership in the Composition Classroom.” Who Owns Writing? Revisited.

Making Waves. A Conference on the Future of Rhetoric and Composition, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, October 2008.

“Mailing Letters to Editors: An (Un)Realistic Venture into the Public Sphere?” Writing Realities,

Changing Realities. Conference on College Composition and Communication, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2008.

“Composing Complicity: Rhetoric and Revolt in Joyce Carol Oates’s You Must Remember This

Women and Creativity 9, 13th Annual Marquette University Women’s Studies Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 2007.

Poster Presentations

“Writing, Disciplinarity, and Meta-Awareness: An Empirical Investigation,” Conference on Higher

Education Pedagody @ VT, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, February 2011. With Kerry Dirk.

“Writing Transfer and the Public Sphere: Students, Genres, and Rhetoric.” Conference on Higher

Education Pedagody @ VT, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, February 2010.

“Infectious Disease and Mother’s Milk: How to Save Babies with Cul.tural Studies.” 4th Breastfeeding

and Feminism Symposium, Greensboro, North Carolina, March 2009. With Bernice Hausman

and Jin Yu.

--- Dean’s Forum on Infectious Diseases, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, September 2008.

“The National Writing Project at Virginia Tech: The Summer 2009 Institute.” Higher Education

Pedagogy @ VT, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, February 2009. With Kelly Belanger, Megan O'Neill, Aileen Murphy, and Ashley Patriarca.

“Loose Ends: The Lack of Conclusions Regarding Perorations.” Those Who Can, Teach!

Twelfth Annual Marquette University/ University Wisconsin-Milwaukee First-Year Graduate Student Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, December 2005.

Digital Presentations

“Research Publics and Informing Policies through the Research Center.” Seminar Leader. NCTE.

National Council of Teachers of English. Web. February 2011. With Kelly Belanger, Ashley Patriarca,

and Megan O'Neill.

Workshop Participation

“Rhetoric and Economics,” Rhetoric Society of America 6th Biennial Summer Institute, Madison,

Wisconsin, June 2015. (Application Submitted).

“Materialist and Object-Oriented Rhetorics,” Rhetoric Society of America 5th Biennial Summer Institute,

Lawrence, Kansas, June 2013.

“Nonprofit Organization Proposal Development Workshop,” Grant Training Center, Wayne State

University, Detroit, Michigan, August 2011.