Carnegie Mellon University

Marian Aguiar

Marian Aguiar

Associate Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

My fields of expertise include culture and globalization, postcolonial and transnational studies. I have a particular interest in the study of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. My early research focused on the question, "What does it mean to be modern?" My first book, Tracking Modernity: India, Trains, and the Culture of Mobility (University of Minnesota, 2011), explores cultural representations of modernity by considering how the railway was imagined in colonial, nationalist and postcolonial South Asian contexts. My more recent research has looked at the gendered cultural narratives produced in globalizing context.

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Jane Bernstein

Jane Bernstein

Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Programs: Creative Writing, Professional Writing

When I joined the writing program here in 1991, I thought of myself as a fiction writer. In the years since then, I've found myself drawn to other genres. My new book, Rachel in the World, is a memoir, as were the two books that preceded it. I've published essays in such places as Ms. Prairie Schooner, Massachusetts Review, The New York Times Magazine, Self, and Creative Nonfiction and written several scripts, among them the screenplay for Seven Minutes in Heaven, a Warner Brothers Film.

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Gerald Costanzo

Gerald Costanzo

Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Creative Writing

Carnegie Mellon University Press, which I founded in 1975, publishes twenty books each year in the fields of poetry, short fiction, memoir, history, art history, education, and business. Perhaps the Press' most notable book has been Rita Dove's Thomas and Beulah, which in 1987 received The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

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Doug Coulson

Doug Coulson

Assistant Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Rhetoric

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.

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Jim Daniels

Jim Daniels

Thomas Stockham Baker University Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Creative Writing

I have been teaching creative writing at Carnegie Mellon since 1981. Poetry, fiction, and screenwriting are my primary research and teaching interests. Recent books include Birth Marks (2103) and Having a Little Talk with Capital P Poetry (2011), poetry; and Trigger Man, short fiction (2011). My next book of stories, Eight Mile High, was published in 2014. I have written three produced screenplays, including, most recently, "Mr. Pleasant.” Street, a book of my poems accompanying the photographs of Charlee Brodsky, won the Tillie Olsen Prize from the Working-Class Studies Association.

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Sharon Dilworth

Sharon Dilworth

Associate Professor of English, Director of Creative Writing

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Creative Writing

As an artist in mid-career my creative work in fiction explores the tragedies and resonances of middle age. In my new work I have attempted to discern the timbre and qualities that have emerged in my own adult life by creating characters whose desires are circumscribed by the landscapes and pasts they can no longer escape. I think my latest writing is more resonant emotionally than my earlier work. It deals more with ambiguity and paradox and attempts to capture the sadness and grace notes of everyday life.

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Linda Flower

Linda Flower

Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Programs: Rhetoric, Professional Writing

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.

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Kevin González

Kevin González

Assistant Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Creative Writing
I teach courses in fiction and poetry.  I'm the author of a collection of poems, Cultural Studies, and am currently at work on a novel, excerpts of which have appeared in Playboy, Narrative Magazine, Best New American Voices, and Best American Nonrequired Reading.  In addition to teaching and writing, I edit the literary magazine jubilat, and, along with Lauren Shapiro, I co-edited an anthology of American poetry titled The New Census (Rescue Press, 2013).  I received a BA in Creative Writing and International Relations from Carnegie Mellon, an MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.  Prior to returning to Carnegie Mellon as a faculty member, I was an Assistant Professor at Trinity College in Connecticut.

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Paul Hopper

Paul Hopper

Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Humanities

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Programs: Professional Writing, Rhetoric, Linguistics

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. 

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Suguru Ishizaki

Suguru Ishizaki

Professor of English, Director Rhetoric Program

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Programs: Professional Writing, Rhetoric

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.

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Barbara Johnstone

Barbara Johnstone

Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Programs: Rhetoric, Professional Writing, Linguistics

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.

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David Kaufer

David S. Kaufer

Mellon Distinguished Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Programs: Rhetoric, Professional Writing

David Kaufer 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.

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Alan Kennedy

Alan Kennedy

Professor Emeritus of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

My primary academic interest is in the study of the art of literature. I maintain an interest in a wide range of literature. In particular I'm interested in the issue of how literature 'communicates' and to that end, continue to work on trying to understand what could be known as 'the rhetoric of literature', with particular attention to fiction as a focus for my writing.

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Jon Klancher

Jon Klancher

Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

My research focuses on later eighteenth and early nineteenth-century British culture, book and reading history, and the sociology of literature.  My new project concerns the emergence of the modern idea of “scale” from the early-modern sciences to the emerging disciplines of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  My most recent book is Transfiguring the Arts and Sciences: Knowledge and Cultural Institutions in the Romantic Age (Cambridge University Press), which received the Jean-Pierre Barricelli Prize for 2016.   I have edited A Concise Companion to the Romantic Age for Blackwell as well as contributing to a wide range of collections and reference books. I am also author of The Making of English Reading Audiences 1790-1832 and related essays on Romantic-age print history. 

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Peggy Knapp

Peggy Knapp

Professor of English Emeritus

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

I am especially interested in what can be discovered about imaginative and argumentative texts from medieval and early modern England through the use of literary and aesthetic theory. I founded and for many years edited an annual book series called Assays: Critical Approaches to Medieval and Renaissance Texts, an international forum for the discussion of those questions. 

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Rachel Kravetz

Rachel Kravetz

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of English

  • BH 245 L
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: First Year Writing

My research interests include nineteenth-century British literature, philosophical prose, aesthetics, and the history of ideas. An essay forthcoming in Nineteenth-Century Literature looks at how ekphrastic landscape images in George Eliot’s last novel reflect the problem of her nationalist ambitions. My book project, “The Art of Cognition,” examines ways in which artistic paradigms inform accounts of how the mind operates in texts of philosophy, art criticism, fiction, and anthropology. I have taught writing in a range of academic settings.

Gregory Laski

Gregory Laski

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of English

  • BH 245 L
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: First Year Writing

I teach and write about democracy and race in American literature and culture, with a particular emphasis on the nineteenth century. My book, Untimely Democracy: The Politics of Progress after Slavery (Oxford University Press), explores how postbellum American writers, both black and white, defined the path from bondage to freedom. Blending a historically attuned approach to close reading with conceptual insights from political philosophy, the study recovers the literature of one of the bleakest periods in American racial history—what might seem the death of democracy’s promise—as a vibrant site for doing political theory. Beyond this book, I have published articles and essays on citizenship, teaching and learning, American and African American literature, and film in such journals as Callaloo, African American Review, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and Pedagogy. My public writing has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society. I am now at the early stages of a new book project: a cultural history of race and revenge after the Civil War; a section of this study is forthcoming in the late nineteenth-century volume of Cambridge University Press’s African American Literature in Transition. My scholarly and pedagogical interests were formed through my work as a teacher for and later director of Summerbridge Pittsburgh, a nonprofit program dedicated to achieving equality in education. I have Ph.D in English from Northwestern University and BA in English and Spanish from University of Notre Dame.

Peter  Mayshle

Peter Zaragoza Mayshle

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of English

  • BH 245 S
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: First Year Writing

My research interests include the rhetorics of space and public memory, visual rhetoric, ethnography and postcolonial subjectivities, all of which inform my teaching of writing to varying degrees. I am working on a monograph, Walled Memoria: Presencing Memory Sites in Intramuros, Manila, about the narratives and counter-narratives of various memory sites located within the former Spanish colonial center of the Philippines. I have a chapter, “Writing to Name: Documents and Disruptions of a Non-Native Teacher-Scholar,” in Lingua Franca: First Generation Scholars in Rhetoric, Composition, and Communication, currently in review with the NCTE. I also write plays, screenplays, and fiction. My most recent story appeared in Flash Fiction International, published by W.W. Norton.

Jane McCafferty

Jane McCafferty

Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Programs: Creative Writing, Professional Writing

I teach a variety of fiction and non-fiction courses. My favorite of these is Literary Journalism; I'm always awed by what many students are able to produce in this genre. I like to watch students learn to tell stories that expand their vision of their own communities, and their own lives. Our students usually end up teaching me more than I can teach them.

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Noémie  Ndiaye

Noémie Ndiaye

Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature

  • BH 245 A
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

I am an Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature. I hold a Ph.D. in Theatre from the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and I am a former student of the Sorbonne University and the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris). My research focuses on early modern theatre across Europe. In my book in progress, “Marking Blackness: Embodied Techniques of Racialization in Early Modern European Theatre,” I dissect the stagecraft used in early modern theatre to represent and racialize Africans and Afro-descendants across borders, in England, France, and Spain. I close-read plays, paratexts, images, treatises, ballads, and historical records to reconstruct the way Africans and Afro-descendants looked, sounded, and moved on stage—focusing on techniques of embodiment such as blackface, black talk, and black dances. My research was published in journals such as Renaissance Drama, Early Theatre, and is forthcoming in Transnational Networks in Early Modern Theatre, edited by M.A. Katritzky and Pavel Drábek, as well as the new Routledge Companion to Theatre and Performance Historiography, edited by Tracy C. Davis and Peter Marx. My academic interests include early modern drama, literature, and culture, transnational and comparative literature, Shakespeare, theatre history, performance studies, race studies, colonialism and post-colonialism, gender and sexuality studies, acting, and translation (English, French, Spanish).

Chris Neuwirth

Chris Neuwirth

Professor of English and Human Computer Interaction

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Programs: Professional Writing, Rhetoric

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.

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Kathy Newman

Kathy M. Newman

Associate Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

My primary interest is in the relationship between "mass culture" and the "masses"—the dialectical relationship between our institutions of television, film, radio, and print culture and our social/political formations (Raymond Williams). 

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John Oddo

John Oddo

Associate Professor of English

  • BH 245 R
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Programs: Rhetoric, Professional Writing

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."

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Richard Purcell

Richard Purcell

Associate Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

Generally speaking my research explores the relationship between race and what Foucault called the processes of subjectification in the twentieth and twenty-first century. I teach courses in post-WWII and contemporary American literature, critical theory, African-American literature, film and popular music. I am currently co-directing the Listening Spaces Project with Professor Richard Randall in Music. I am the author of Race, Ralph Ellison and American Cold War Intellectual Culture (Palgrave 2013). 

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Andreea Ritivoi

Andreea Deciu Ritivoi

Department Head, English; Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Programs: Rhetoric, Professional Writing

My research interests include rhetorical theory and Continental philosophy, narrative and identity, exile and transnationalism, Eastern European societies, and controversy. 

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Karen Schnakenberg

Karen Schnakenberg

Teaching Professor (Emeritus) of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

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. 

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Lauren Shapiro

Lauren Shapiro

Assistant Professor of English

  • BH 260 E
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Creative Writing

In my creative work, I am interested in exploring the absurdity of contemporary American culture as it is lived by the individual, specifically the juxtaposition of reality television- and celebrity-infused lives with more pressing social and political concerns. My newer work is more meditative in nature and experimental in form and explores themes related to mental illness and loss.

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David Shumway

David R. Shumway

Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

I research and teach in American culture and cultural theory. My special interests in American culture include film, popular music, and late nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction. My theoretical interests concern the historical and institutional production of knowledge, cultural politics, and theories of identity. 

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Kristina Straub

Kristina Straub

Professor of English, Director of Literary and Cultural Studies Program

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

My interests are in feminist cultural studies, sexuality studies, performance studies, and eighteenth-century British cultural studies. My first book, Divided Fictions, was among a handful of feminist reconsiderations of the novelist Frances Burney that helped to change the assessment of that writer during the 1980s. Sexual Suspects, a book about actors and ideologies of sexuality in eighteenth-century Britain, helped to direct theater and feminist studies of the early modern period toward a now-burgeoning interest in performance and its cultural contexts, particularly how sexuality is imagined in popular culture. 

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Christopher Warren

Christopher Warren

Associate Professor of English, Director of EBA Program

  • BH 245 M
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

My research interests include digital humanities, law and literature, political theory, early modern literature, global studies, and the history of political thought.

Fundamentally, I’m fascinated by the histories that readers use to make sense of texts. When Thomas Hobbes in 1640 wrote, “Of our conceptions of the past, we make a future,” he formulated not just a key dimension of his distinctive human psychology but the exceptional stakes of our historical narratives. As a scholar of early modern literature and culture, my questions emerge from the ways disparate histories enable and disable certain kinds of analyses and futures.

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Necia Werner

Necia Werner

Associate Professor of English, Director of Professional and Technical Writing

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

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.

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Danielle Wetzel

Danielle Zawodny Wetzel

Teaching Professor & Director of First-Year Writing

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Rhetoric

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.

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Rebecca Wiggington

Rebecca Wiggington

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: First Year Writing

My research focuses on Victorian psychiatry and notions of selfhood in the nineteenth-century novel; gothic studies and ecogothic literature; science fiction; young adult literature; and interdisciplinary approaches to first-year writing pedagogy. My current book project is a pre-history of neural science that explores the Victorian sleepwalker as a visible and sensational embodiment of a multivalent model of consciousness that was gradually accepted in nineteenth century medical, literary, and judicial circles. I’ve also published on religious syncretism in contemporary young adult gothic fiction, and have forthcoming work on ecogothic landscapes in nineteenth-century travelogues and literature on colonial Jamaica. I received my PhD in Cultural and Critical Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

Jeffrey Williams

Jeffrey Williams

Professor of English, Director of Graduate Studies

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

I teach and write about the novel, especially contemporary American fiction, and about modern criticism and theory. I’m interested in the politics of literature and culture, in particular the institutions that make culture. To that end, I’ve written a good deal about the American university, for instance the ways that student debt constitutes a kind of indentured servitude.

Stephen Wittek

Stephen Wittek

Assistant Professor of English

  • BH 245 N
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Literary and Cultural Studies

My first book, The Media Players: Shakespeare, Middleton, Jonson, and the Idea of News was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2015. I have also published in Studies in English LiteratureDigital Humanities Quarterly, and Journal of Cognitive History. In 2014, the CBC Radio One program Ideas produced an hour-long episode showcasing my research on the co-evolution of English theatre and news culture (available for streaming or download here). From 2013 to 2017, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow for McGill’s Early Modern Conversions project, a five-year research endeavor that brought together an interdisciplinary team of humanities scholars to study the multiform proliferation of conversion and conversional representation in early modernity. My continuing work for the project includes the essay collection Performing Conversion: Urbanism, Theatre, and the Transformation of the Early Modern World, which I am co-editing with José R. Jouve-Martin for the Early Modern Conversions book series (University of Edinburgh Press). I am the co-developer with Stéfan Sinclair and Matthew Milner for DREaM (Distant Reading Early Modernity) of a database that will index 44,000+ early modern texts, thus making long-neglected material more amenable for use with tools for large-scale textual analysis.

Joanna Wolfe

Joanna Wolfe

Director of the Global Communication Center, Teaching Professor of English

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Rhetoric

My research focuses on pedagogy, asking how we can teach students to be better communicators in a range of academic, professional, and technical contexts.  My current research project is on gender and communication in engineering, focusing on teaching women effective strategies for resolving difficult interpersonal situations in a masculine environment.

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Heidi Wright

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of English

  • BH A60F
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: First Year Writing

I specialize in teaching writing to ESL students. I research academic writing and reading in order to develop materials that help university students meet the challenges they face. By training, I am an applied linguist. I use quantitative and qualitative techniques tied to corpus linguistics to discover lexical, grammatical, and discoursal patterns in large data sets. My current projects examine stand-alone literature reviews across multiple disciplines and time periods. I am working on research articles related to lexical bundles, genre structure, and multidimensional (factor) analysis. I am also preparing an academic writing textbook for advanced English language learners and a presentation on universal design.

James Wynn

James Wynn

Associate Professor of English, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Program: Rhetoric

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.

Read more about James's work.