Composition & Rhetoric

The graduate curriculum in CRES (Composition, Rhetoric, and English Studies) provides a solid foundation in English studies with a particular focus on the teaching of writing and studies in language, literacy, and rhetoric.  The doctoral program is designed for those seeking academic positions as composition specialists (researchers, teachers, or administrators) in postsecondary English departments that emphasize writing instruction. The MA program is ideal for those who wish to do community college teaching or administrative work, and for students wishing to continue on to the PhD.  

Apply to the CRES Program

The graduate curriculum provides core courses in composition-rhetoric as well as elective opportunities in literature, linguistics, communication studies, education, and interdisciplinary areas such as gender and race.  CRES students have opportunities to teach first-year writing, technical writing, and sophomore literature surveys. We also offer opportunities for writing center work and writing program administration.

Our graduates have obtained tenure-track positions at community colleges and four-year institutions such as Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, NC), Shelton State Community College (Tuscaloosa, AL), North Carolina Wesleyan College (Rocky Mount, NC), Judson College (Marion, AL), Charlotte School of Law (NC), Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, AL), the University of Houston, Itawamba Community College (Fulton, MS), Chattanooga State Community College (TN), Hinds Community College (Jackson, Mississippi), Marion Military Institute (Marion, AL), Louisiana Tech, Murray State (KY), the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the University of Texas-El Paso, Alabama A&M, St. Louis Community College (Meramec Campus), LaGrange College (GA), East Tennessee State, the University of South Alabama, Eastern Illinois University, and the University of North Alabama.

Doctoral students in other areas of the department may wish to pursue composition-rhetoric as a secondary area of interest. Students who complete twelve hours of CRES coursework and the written section of the CRES preliminary exam can request a letter from the program documenting their successful completion of this option.

Core Faculty

Amy E. Dayton, Associate Professor (PhD University of Arizona): historiography & archival research; Progressive-Era histories of composition; English-Only and language in the public sphere; intersections of linguistics and composition; community literacy, ethnic/immigrant rhetoric & literacy; qualitative research, assessment & teacher training; composition theory & pedagogy.
Luke Niiler, Associate Professor and Director of the Writing Center (PhD SUNY Buffalo): writing center administration; composition theory; composition pedagogy; quantitative and qualitative research.
Amber Buck, Assistant Professor (PhD University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): digital literacies; multimodal composition; new media and identity; social media
Cindy Tekobbe, Assistant Professor (PhD Arizona State): rhetorics of gender, sexuality and technology; digital literacies and cultures

Emeritus Faculty

Ralph Voss, Emeritus Professor (PhD University of Texas, Austin): Composition theory; composition pedagogy; memoiristic prose; twentieth-century American drama; William Inge; Tennessee Williams

Affiliated Faculty

Catherine Davies, Professor (PhD UC Berkeley): English Linguistics; dialectology
Nikhil Bilwakesh, Assistant Professor (PhD Graduate Center, CUNY): The essay, Asian American literature, nineteenth-century American literature, film studies
Andy Crank, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill): Southern literature and culture, especially 1930-2013; African American and Native American literature and culture; film studies; representations of class and sexuality
Lauren Cardon, Clinical Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Tulane University, New Orleans): Composition pedagogy; American and ethnic American literature; cultural and American studies
David Ainsworth, Assistant Professor (Ph.D.,University of Wisconsin, Madison): Medieval and Early Modern literature, composition and pedagogy, American Civil War memoirs, science fiction, fantasy and detective fiction