University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, PhD

I am an Assistant Professor in the History and Theory of Rhetoric, and I am also affiliated with UBC’s Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies. My research focuses on rhetoric and technology – the ways people advocate, resist, design, and otherwise argue and debate machines and systems, as well as how technologies themselves are persuasive. I am currently working on a book project that examines weapons rhetoric in the period between the French Revolution and the Unabomber’s mail bombing campaign. My published scholarship examines the rhetoric of the “masses” in 19th century political economy (Advances in the History of Rhetoric), sonic torture (Western Journal of Communication, 2012) and the role of technology in the work of Kenneth Burke (Kenneth Burke Journal, 2009 and in Burke in the Archives, University of South Carolina Press, 2013).

Students in my undergraduate courses read important documents related to current events as well as landmark texts in the history of rhetoric to learn how persuasion and argumentation function in everyday communication.

My graduate courses focus on using artifact criticism to understand the interactivity of rhetoric and technology.

Winter 2018

ENGL111 Approaches to Non-fictional Prose Sections

Study of a selection of prose texts ranging in length from the essay to the book, with emphasis on writing of the twentieth century. Essays are required.

Winter 2018

ENGL307A Studies in Rhetoric - RHETORIC STUDIES Sections

Topics in rhetorical theories and their application.

Winter 2018

ENGL311 History and Theory of Rhetoric: The Later Theory Sections

Rhetorical theory from Augustine to the 21st century, emphasizing questions of persuasion in everyday life.

Winter 2018

ENGL489 Language Majors Seminar Sections

Required of all Language Majors. See department website ( for options.

Advocating Weapons, War, and Terrorism: Technological and Rhetorical Paradox, Penn State University Press, 2018.

“Publishing a Student-Written Argumentative Dictionary as an eBook,” Communication Teacher 29.3 (2015): 151-158.

“The Rhetorical Transformation of the Masses from Malthus’s ‘Redundant Population’ into Marx’s ‘Industrial Reserve Army.’” Advances in the History of Rhetoric 17.1 (2014): 88-97.

with Ned O’Gorman. “Burke, Mumford, and the Poetics of Technology: Marxism’s Influence on Burke’s Critique of Techno-logology,” in Burke in the Archives: Using the Past to Transform the Future of Burkean Studies. Edited by Dana Anderson and Jessica Enoch. University of South Carolina Press, 2013. 50-65.

“Not Quite Bleeding from the Ears: Amplifying Sonic Torture.” Western Journal of Communication 76.3 (2012): 217-235.

“‘The Human Barnyard’ and Kenneth Burke’s Philosophy of Technology.” Kenneth Burke Journal 5.2 (Spring, 2009): 26 pp. <>