The Departments of English invites Ph.D. applicants interested in Rhetoric and Composition, including histories and theories of rhetoric, writing studies, new media, global Englishes, and rhetorics of social difference. A common ground for graduate students in English is the teaching of composition. In preparation, students take a seminar in Rhetoric and the Teaching of Composition then teach first-year students in a range of writing and reading courses. After comprehensive exams, students may propose courses in advanced writing, work in the writing center, or apply for administrative work in the office of the Campus Writing Coordinator (CWC). Our students benefit from connections with UCI's cross-disciplinary programs such as Visual Studies Emphasis, the Graduate Feminist Emphasis, the Medical Humanities Emphasis, and the Critical Theory Emphasis, as well as interdisciplinary departments such as African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies.

The Composition Program provides substantial funds to support graduate student presentations at professional conferences. Graduate students regularly present papers individually and collaboratively at CCCC, RSA, and other national and regional conferences. Numerous collaborative writing studies have originated at UCI. Both the Composition Program and the office of the CWC offer opportunities for writing research.

UCI provides an intellectually exciting atmosphere, featuring visiting lectures from internationally known scholars in the humanities, and informal reading and writing groups. We have recently offered colloquia on comparative rhetorics, longitudinal writing studies, and writing and technology.

Recent Graduate Seminars:

  • Ancient Greek Rhetoric
  • 19-century American Rhetoric and Religion
  • Public Sphere Theory
  • 21st-century Composition Studies
  • World Englishes
  • Rhetoric, Empire, and Public Memory
  • Composing the Avant-garde
  • Subject, Event, Theology
  • Composing Virtuality
  • Rhetoric of Cognition
  • Affect Criticism
  • Language from Below
  • Introduction to Methodologies in Rhetorical Studies

Recent Dissertation Topics:

  • Elaina Taylor, "Reading, Writing, Lyric, Queerness: Alternative Epistemologies for Twenty-first Century Composition Pedagogy"
  • Katherine Mack, “A Generative Failure: The Public Hearings of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission”
  • Alexandra Sartor, “Written in Water: The Rhetorical Protests of the Owens Valley Water Wars”
  • Paul Dahlgren, “Genteel Community:  Rhetoric, Poetics, Political Theology, and the Phi Beta Kappa Ceremony at Harvard (1782-1876)”
  • I-Lien Tsay, “‘No Animals Were Harmed’:  The Rhetoric of the Animal Actor and Animal Rights”
  • Loren Eason, “Figments under Fire:  Identity and the Transmedial Rhetoric of Combat in Film and Military Shooter Games”
  • Abraham Romney, “Latin American Rhetoric:  From Civilization to Modernity”
  • Libby Catchings, “Composing (In)Commensurable Publics: Dual Sponsorship and Askesis in the Writings of Detained Youth”
  • Lance Langdon, “Feeling Engaged: College Writers as Literacy Tutors”
  • Loretta Ramirez, "Textual and Visual Rhetorics of the Generative Wound: A Historical Genealogy from Medieval Iberia to Contemporary Chicanx Self-Representation Strategies and Pedagogies"
  • Jasmine Lee, "Appraising Our Investment in Youth: Rhetorical Education in the Age of Neoliberalism"
  • Jens Lloyd, "Campus Life: Rhetorical Education and College Writing amidst an Evolving Geography"
  • Maureen Fitzsimmons, "Raciolinguistic Ideologies in the Rhetoric of Early California Statehood"
  • Allison Dziuba, "Feeling Like We Belong: College Students' Countercurricular Rhetorical Education"

For more information, contact core faculty:

Jonathan Alexander, (Writing Studies; Composition/Rhetoric; New Media Studies; Sexuality Studies).
ian Du, (English for Academic Purposes, Intercultural Rhetoric, Second Language Reading and Writing, Teacher Education, Conversation Analysis)
Daniel M. Gross, (Histories and Theories of Rhetoric; Early Modern literature and Culture; Heidegger and Rhetoric)
Susan C. Jarratt, Emerita, (Ancient Rhetorics; Contemporary Rhetorical Theory; Feminism and Rhetorical Analysis; Writing Studies).
Jerry Won Lee, (Applied/Sociocultural Linguistics, Global Asias, Comparative/Global Rhetorics)
Steven Mailloux, Emeritus, (faculty at Loyola Marymount University) (History and Theories of Rhetoric; Contemporary Critical Theory; U.S. Cultural Studies)
Rudo Mudiwa, (Postcolonial Rhetorics, Black Geographies, Black Feminisms)

Tiara R. Na'puti, (Rhetoric; Native American & Indigenous Studies; Oceania; Militarism; Climate Justice)

Brad Queen (Writing Studies; Composition/Rhetoric; Writing Assessment, Theory & Practice; American Legal History & American Studies)

Detailed information about the programs and application processes are available on the English department websites.