PhD in English & Comparative Literature
Rhetoric and Composition Focus
The PhD track in rhetoric and composition prepares students for research and teaching careers. Specialty areas of study in the program include composition pedagogy, theory, and history, rhetorical theory (classical, contemporary, and cultural rhetorics), new media studies, research methods, public writing, and writing program administration. Our location in the English Department creates dynamic opportunities for complementing the rhetoric and composition program with study of professional writing, critical theory, creative writing, and/or literary studies. Our aim is to prepare professionals to work in academic environments that encompass diverse understandings and applications of English Studies.
More specific goals of the track are as follows:
- To equip students with theoretical, historical, and practical knowledge necessary to secure academic jobs in rhetoric and composition.
- To offer students excellent pedagogical training that represents traditional approaches to teaching writing as well as innovative, newly emerging approaches.
- To provide students with opportunities for and support of multimodal and digital composing practices
- To emphasize the importance of rhetoric and rhetorical theory to the making of knowledge in rhetoric and composition.
- To expose students to theoretical models, methodological strategies, and writing practices relevant to the work of English Studies.
- To provide opportunities for involvement in writing program administration and other program-building experiences.
- To support students through attentive mentoring so as to professionalize and ready them for the job market.
Professional Development Opportunities
Each year we appoint an Assistant to the Composition Directors and two Graduate Mentors. These positions enable graduate students to participate in new GA orientation; curriculum development and assessment; and a whole set of other activities related to program-building. This team of students also organizes a Spring event, in consultation with the Directors, that has relevance to writing pedagogy and/or theory. The first such event was a graduate student conference entitled "Composing Ourselves." Students are also invited to apply for tutoring positions in the Writing Center, a free service available to students in every discipline.
The department provides a range of teaching opportunities to PhD students after their first year in the program. Course assignments range from first- and second-year composition courses to those focused on literature, creative writing, and digital composing.
We are also proud to note that UC offers excellent travel and research funding opportunities through the Taft Research Center, the University Research Council, and the Graduate Student Governance Association. In addition to supporting research activities, these funding sources may also support attendance at relevant institutes or workshops, many of which offer graduate credit (see these useful links for a sampling of opportunities).
Please direct questions about the Rhetoric and Composition program to Professor Laura Micciche at firstname.lastname@example.org