Assistant Professor of English
Office: BH 245 A
Phone: (412) 268-4857
My research focuses primarily on forensic rhetoric, including the relationship of ethical, moral, and legal rules or principles to particular cases, the rhetoric of judgment more generally, citizenship and nationality discourse, and the history and theory of rhetoric. My current book project explores the rhetorical strategy by which groups unite against common enemies as it appears in a series of judicial cases between 1878 and 1952 deciding whether petitioners for naturalized citizenship in the United States were "free white persons" as required by the United States naturalization act at the time. My scholarship has appeared in the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, the Journal for the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and the University of Miami Race and Social Justice Law Review.
Professor of English
Office: BH 145 H
Phone: (412) 268-2863
My work has led me down two complementary paths of inquiry. My first love was an attempt to understand writing as a social-cognitive process and to teach the art of rhetorical problem solving.
Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Humanities
Office: BH 245 N
Phone: (412) 268-7174
My research and teaching have been centered on the connections between rhetoric (discourse) and grammar (linguistic structure). I am interested in working out the implications of an idea first broached by me in 1988, that structure is not immanent in a language but "emerges" through repetitions of favored word groupings in discourse.
Professor of English, Director of Rhetoric Program
Office: BH 145 D
Phone: (412) 268-4103
My research focuses on developing tools for communication design. My work in the past several years has addressed problems and opportunities associated with the design of digital communication media. In my book, Improvisational Design: Continuous Responsive Digital Communication (MIT Press, 2003), I proposed a descriptive model of design—along with a series of computational experiments—that would allow designers to represent design solutions that are responsive to dynamic changes in the information recipient's intention, in the situation, and in the information.
Professor of English
Office: BH 245 F
Phone: (412) 268-6447
My work is in an area that might be called "discourse studies," at the intersection of rhetoric, linguistics, and critical theory. I have worked on persuasive styles and strategies in the Middle East, on narrative in the American heartland, on the forms and functions of repetition in language, and on the role of the individual in language and linguistics.
David S. Kaufer
Professor of English
Office: BH 145 K
Phone: (412) 268-1074
David Kaufer is the Richard C. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and English in the Department of English at CMU. He has published 4 books, four textbooks, and over 100 refereed articles on text analysis, rhetorical analysis, writing theory, and writing and technology. His research focuses on digital approaches to text analysis and collaboration. He has built large-scale digital dictionaries (the DocuScope default Libraries) to analyze and assess writing that have been used by ETS, RAND, The Folger Library, and the Stanford Literary Lab.
Professor of English and Human Computer Interaction
Office: BH 145 F
Phone: (412) 268-8702
My research activities have focused on developing theory- and research-based computer tools for reading and writing, as well as conducting empirical research that explores the effects of those tools.
Associate Professor of English
Office: BH 245 R
My research draws on theories of rhetoric, discourse, and multimodality to critically examine how powerful agents use language (and other symbols) to generate support for war. The focal point of my research is "intertextual rhetoric"—that is, rhetoric that operates across texts and across time. For a long time, I have been interested in how U.S. presidents rearticulate generic rhetorical strategies to manipulate the public and draw the country into hostilities. Recently, I have also focused on the ways that media institutions recontextualize and modify the claims of political leaders during the run-up to war—often enhancing the "call-to-arms message."
Andreea Deciu Ritivoi
Department Head; English, Professor of English
Office: BH 265
Phone: (412) 268-6221
My research interests are in several fields, such as rhetorical theory, rhetoric of science, intellectual history, and intercultural communication.
Karen Rossi Schnakenberg
Teaching Professor (Emeritus) of English
My interests lie at the intersections of course and curriculum design, professional and technical writing, the history of writing instruction in higher education, pedagogy, and the teaching of writing. In research I have a long-standing interest in methods for communicating specialized information to non-expert audiences, particularly in situations where the non-expert needs to use the information to make decisions or to inform action.
Assistant Teaching Professor of English, Director of Undergraduate Professional and Technical Writing
Office: BH 245 L
Phone: (412) 268-2659
My interests lie at the intersection of professional and technical writing, the rhetoric of science and technology, and communicating expert knowledge to non-expert audiences. My research includes work on the rhetoric of peer review at scientific journals, the ways in which editors' methods for peer review have been shaped over time by a variety of rhetorical exigencies, and how editors communicate their expectations to authors and reviewers.
Danielle Zawodny Wetzel
Teaching Professor & Director of First-Year Writing
Office: BH 259
Phone: (412) 268-4468
I'm interested in all things related to the teaching and assessment of reading and writing—especially at the intersection of rhetoric, applied linguistics, and composition.
Director of the Global Communication Center, Teaching Professor of English
Office: BH 145 B
Phone: (412) 268-2850
My research centers on writing pedagogy and communication styles, with a particular interest in gender and communication in technical settings. I am joining CMU to start up the new Global Communication Center, where I hope to experiment with new methods for improving communication instruction across the university.
Associate Professor of English, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Office: BH 145 M
Phone: (412) 268-9765
James Wynn is Associate Professor of English and Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University. His interest is in the study of rhetoric, science, and mathematics. His first book Evolution by the Numbers (2012) examines how mathematics was argued into the study of variation, evolution, and heredity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In his most recent scholarship, he has focused on citizen science in the digital age and how it is reshaping the relationships between scientists, lay persons, and governments.