David Kaufer-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University

David Kaufer

Professor of English

Office: Baker Hall 145 F
Phone: (412) 268-1074
Fax: (412) 268-7989


I am a professor of rhetoric with interests in the qualitative and quantitative analysis of rhetoric, writing and written information, and technologies for text analysis and text collaboration. Between 1994 and 2009, I was Head of English at Carnegie Mellon. I was a co-founder of a well-reputed and ongoing interdisciplinary MDES (Master of Communication Planning and Information Design) program that is co-administered by the School of Design (in the College of Fine Arts) and the Department of English (in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences) at Carnegie Mellon.

For the past 20 years, I have been investigating rhetoric as an art of design and have been lead author on three books—Rhetoric and the Arts of Design (with Brian Butler); Designing Interactive Worlds with Words: Principles of Writing as Representational Composition (with Brian Butler); The Power of Words: Unveiling the Speaker and Writer's Hidden Craft (with Suguru Ishizaki, Brian Butler, and Jeff Collins)—and many refereed and invited articles on this subject area. I am also interested in technology to support learning and analysis of written compositiona and information and have been a principal (with Suguru Ishizaki) on the DocuScope text analysis and visualization environment and (with Ananda D. Gunawardena, Joanna Wolf, Alex Cheek, Aaron Tan) on the Salon Classroom textual annotation environment.

I teach courses in written information design, rhetorical analysis and corpus rhetorical analysis  and maintain active research relationships with faculty within and outside Carnegie Mellon in the disciplines of computational linguistics, computer science, design, and information systems. 


  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Selected Publications

David Kaufer, Shawn Parry-Giles, Beata Beigman Klebanov, "Tracking 'Image Bites' Across the Public/Private Divide:  NBC News Coverage of Hillary Clinton From Scorned Wife to Senate Candidate," accepted for the Journal of Language and Politics. 

David Kaufer, Ananda Gunawardena, Alex Cheek, Aaron Tan (forthcoming , July 2011). Bringing Social Media to Writing Instruction: Classroom Salon. Journal of Business and Technical Communication.

Ananda Gunawardena, Aaron, Tan, David Kaufer (forthcoming). "Encouraging Reading and Collaboration  Using Classroom Salon", for publication in the iticse proceedings. Proceedings of the ACM.  

Yang Cai, David Kaufer and Yongmei Hu. Genre and Instinct:, in Y.Cai (ed.) Image-Word Mapping, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, LNAI 5897, Springer, 2010

Beata Beigman Klebanov, David Kaufer, Hilary Franklin (forthcoming). "A Figure in a Field: Semantic Field-Based Analysis of Antithesis" in Journal of Cognitive Semiotics.

Suguru Ishizaki and David Kaufer. "The DocuScope Text Analysis and Visualization Environment." (forthcoming). Invited Chapter for Applied Natural Language Processing and content analysis: Identification, Investigation, and Resolution, editors Philip McCarthy and Chutima Boonthum.