Research and Scholarship
Our faculty and students are actively engaged in a variety of research areas. Major foci include audience theory, rhetorical theory, usability, rhetoric of science, medicine, and technology, technical documentation, pedagogy, new media, intellectual property law, digital art, publishing, discourse, and critical/cultural theory. This work has been published in scholarly monographs, book chapters, web texts, and major journals including Technical Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Technical Communication, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. Furthermore this work has been very highly awarded by the national technical communication, rhetoric, and communication studies academic communities.
In addition to their own research, our students have the opportunity to use the Usability Lab, located in the Northwest Quadrant, which was developed by our PTW students; and the Scientific and Medical Communications Lab (SAMComm), located in Curtin Hall, which is devoted to cutting-edge research on effective and ethical uses of communication in a variety of scientific, technical, medical, and policy contexts. Watch the video below to see why you would be a good fit at SAMComm.
Name: Molly Kessler
Program: PhD 2018
Area: Rhetoric of science and medicine, health communication
“As a student who is interested in both industry work and academia, I couldn’t imagine a program that better integrates the theoretical frameworks and practical skills necessary for success in technical communication.”
National Research Awards
2012. Article of the Year Award. Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology. Scott Graham. “Dis-ease or Disease. Ontological Rarefaction in the Medical-Industrial Complex.” Journal of Medical Humanities.
2010. Frank R. Smith Outstanding Journal Article Award. Society for Technical Communication. Tatiana Batova. “Writing for the Participants of International Clinical Trials: Law, Ethics, and Culture.” Technical Communication.
2010. Best Article on Philosophy or Theory of Technical or Scientific Communication. National Council of Teachers of English. Scott Graham. “Agency and the Rhetoric of Medicine: Biomedical Brain Scans and the Ontology of Fibromyalgia.” Technical Communication Quarterly.
2009. Nell Ann Pickett Award for Best Article in Technical Communication Quarterly. Association for Teachers of Technical Writing. Scott Graham. “Agency for Rhetoric of Medicine: Biomedical Brain Scans and the Ontology of Fibromyalgia.” Technical Communication Quarterly.
2009. Daniel Rohrer Award. Best Article of 2009. American Forensic Association. William Keith (with David Beard). “What’s the Warrant for Warrants?” Rhetorical and Public Affairs.
2008. Book Award. Ethics Division. National Communication Association. William Keith. Democracy as Discussion: The American Forum Movement and Adult Civic Education. Rowan and Littlefield/Lexington Books.
2007. Diamond Anniversary Award. National Communication Association. William Keith. Democracy as Discussion: The American Forum Movement and Adult Civic Education. Rowan and Littlefield/Lexington Books.
2007. Daniel Rohrer Award. Best Book of 2007. American Forensic Association. William Keith. Democracy for Discussion: The American Forum Movement and Adult Civic Education. Rowan and Littlefield/Lexington Books.
2005. Computers and Writing Distinguished Book Award. Anne Frances Wysocki (with Johndan Johnson-Eiola, Cynthia Selfe, and Geoffrey Sirc). Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Utah State University Press.
2003. Best Collection of Essays in Scientific and Technical Communication. Rachel Spilka (with Barbara Mirel). Reshaping Technical Communication: New Directions for the 21st Century. Lawrence Erlbaum.
1994. NCTE Award for Excellence in Technical and Scientific Writing for the Best Collection of Essays. National Council of English Teachers. Rachel Spilka. Writing in the Workplace: New Research Perspectives. Southern Illinois University Press.
1993. Best Collection of Essays in Scientific and Technical Communication. Rachel Spilka. Writing in the Workplace: New Research Perspectives. Southern Illinois University Press.
1991. NCTE Award for Excellence in Technical and Scientific Writing for the Best Article Reporting Formal Research. National Council of English Teachers. Rachel Spilka. “Orality and Literacy in the Workplace: Process- and Text-Based Strategies for Multiple Audience Adaptation.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication.
1990. Best Article Reporting Formal Research. Rachel Spilka. “Orality and Literacy in the Workplace: Process-and Text-Based Strategies for Multiple Audience Adaptation” Journal of Business and Technical Communication.
Selected Recent or Noteworthy Publications
Graham, S.S. & Herndl, C.G. (2013). Multiple ontologies in pain management: Towards a postplural rhetoric of science. Technical Communication Quarterly, 22(1): 103-125.
Keith, W. (2012). Wittgenstein and communication: From language to forms of life. In J. Hannan (Ed.), Philosophical Profiles in the Theory of Communication (pp. 463-497).
Graham, S.S. & Herndl, C.G. (2011). Talking off-label: A nonmodern science of pain in the medical-industrial complex. Rhetoric Society Quarterly,42(2), 145-167.
Herndl, C.G., Goodwin, J., Honeycutt, L., Wilson, G., Graham, S.S., & Niedergeses, D. (2011). Talking sustainability: Identification and division in an Iowa community. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 35(4), 436-461.
Madjik, Z., & Keith, W. (2011). Argument and the problem in expertise. Argumentation, 25, 371-384.
Madjik, Z., & Keith, W. (2011). The problem of pluralistic expertise: A Wittgensteinian approach to the rhetorical basis of expertise. Social Epistemology, 25, 275-290.
Clark, D. (2010). Shaped and shaping tools: the rhetorical nature of technical communication technologies. In R. Spilka (Ed.), Digital Literacy for Technical Communication: 21st Century Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge.
Keith, W., & Homchick, J. (2010). Intelligent design in public discourse. In Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Spilka, R. Ed. (2010), Digital Literacy for Technical Communication: 21st Century Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge.
Graham, S.S. (2009). Agency and the rhetoric of medicine: Biomedical brain scans and the ontology of fibromyalgia. Technical Communication Quarterly, 18(4), 376-404.
Spilka, R. (2009). Practitioner research instruction: A neglected curricular area in technical communication undergraduate programs. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 23, 216-237.
Clark, D. (2008). Content management and the separation of presentation and content. Technical Communication Quarterly, 17(1), 35-60.
Graham, S.S. & Whalen, B. (2008). Mode, medium, and genre: A case study in new media design decisions. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 22(1), 65-91.
Clark, D. (2007). Content management and the production of genres. Proceedings of the 25th annual international conference on systems documentation.
Keith, W. (2007). Democracy as discussion: The American forum movement and adult civic education. (Paperback ed.). Roman and Littlefield: Lexington Books.
Wysocki, A. F. (2007). Interaction of text and graphics, multimedia, and electronic forms of writing. In C. Bazerman (Ed.), Handbook of Writing Research (pp. 599-611). Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Wysocki, A. F. (2007). body pixel child / space time machine. In K. S. Fleckenstein, S. Hum & L. T. Calendrillo (Eds.), Fields of Vision: Material Rhetorics and Scopic Regimes. West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press.
Wysocki, A. F. (2007). Using design approaches to help students learn a process for developing engaging and effective materials for teaching scientific and technical concepts. In C. L. Selfe (Ed.),Resources in Technical Communication: Outcomes and Approaches (pp. 63-89). Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishers.
Clark, D., & Anderson, R. (2005). Re-negotiating with technology: Training towards more sustainable technical communication. Technical Communication, 52(3), 289-301.
Wysocki, A. F. (2005). awaywithwords: on the possibilities in unavailabledesigns. Computers & Composition,22(1), 55-62.
Wysocki, A. F., Johnson-Eiola, J., Selfe, C., & Sirc, G. (2004). Writing new media: Theory and applications for expanding the teaching of composition. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press.
Mayes, P. (2003). Language, social structure, and culture: A genre analysis of cooking classes in Japan and America. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Mayes, P. (2002). The transitive/intransitive construction of events in Japanese and English discourse. In K. Jaszcolt & K. Turner (Eds.), Meaning through language contrast (Vol. 1, pp. 277-291). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Cargile-Cook, K., Clark, D., Faber, B., & Zachry, M. (2001). The changing face of technical communication: New directions for the field in a new millenium. Proceedings of the 19th annual international conference on systems documentation.
Mayes, P. (2001). The grammatical construction of sequentially ordered events in Japanese and American cooking class genres. In E. Nemeth (Ed.), Pragmatics in 2000: Selected Papers from the 7th International Pragmatics Conference. Antwerp: International Pragmatics Association.
Spilka, R. (2000). The issue of quality in professional documentation: How can academia make more of a difference?. Technical Communication Quarterly,9(2), 207-220.
Mayes, P. (1996). The complementary functions of tara and to: Evidence from procedural/ instructional discourse. In N. Akatsuka, S. Iwasaki & S. Strauss (Eds.), Japanese/Korean Linguistics 5 (pp. 101-113). CSLI.
Spilka, R., & Sullivan, P. (1992). Qualitative research in technical communication: Issues of value, identity, and use. Technical Communication, 39(4), 592-606.
Spilka, R. (1989). The “audience continuum” . The Technical Writing Teacher, 16(2), 147-152.