Mary Jo Reiff
Broadly conceived, my research explores how texts function within communities, cultures and publics and how rhetorical interactions shape social actions within these contexts. I am interested, then, in texts as discursive sites of action or performances, with an emphasis on what texts do, how they act in the world, and the multiple roles enacted by writers and audiences. These research interests have converged around interests in 1) the study of public genres, particularly the public petition, as it mobilizes support and enacts social change; 2) research on the shifting role of audiences within public and new media contexts; and 3) the study of how students’ writing performances transfer to new contexts and can inform pedagogical change. My current work in progress includes a book under contract, entitled Audience: History, Theory, Pedagogy, that explores conceptualizations of audience outside of Western rhetorical traditions, provides an overview of interdisciplinary research on audience, and updates audience perspectives to include new lines of inquiry on electronic and multimedia audiences. My current work in progress also includes a chapter-length study of how petitions (from print to online petitions) act as sites of transaction for mobilizing support for climate change; an article-length collaborative study (with KU graduate students in Rhetoric and Composition) on the interrelation of public genres and social action; and an article on collaboration and cooking, with long-term co-author Anis Bawarshi (KU alum and Professor of English at University of Washington). This piece explores the material, relational, and affective practices of cooking and writing together, examining how collaborative cooking experiences can translate into and enrich an understanding of collaborative authorship.
Writing theory, research, and pedagogy; writing knowledge transfer; public rhetoric; audience theory; critical ethnography; rhetorical genre studies.
Selected Publications —
Genre and the Performance of Publics (Utah State University Press, 2016). With Anis Bawarshi.
Ecologies of Writing Programs: Profiles of Writing Programs in Context (Parlor Press and WAC Clearinghouse 2015). With Anis Bawarshi, Michelle Ballif, and Christian Weisser.
Genre: An Introduction to History, Theory, Research, and Pedagogy (Parlor Press 2010). With Anis Bawarshi.
Selected Articles and Chapters
“‘How to Turn Accumulated Knowledge into Action’: Uptake, Public Petitions, and the Climate Change Debate.” Genres of the Climate Debate (Copenhagen Studies in Genre series). Eds Sune Auken and Christel Sunesen, forthcoming.
“Written Communication Skills.” Volume in Series: Handbooks of Communication Science. Verbal Communication. Eds. Louis de Saussure and Andrea Rocci. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 2016. 567-586.
“From Genre Turn to Public Turn: Navigating the Intersections of Public Rhetorics, Public Genres, and the Materiality of Public Performances.” Genre and the Performance of Publics. Logan: Utah State University Press. 2016. 3-24.
“Geographies of Public Genres: Navigating Rhetorical and Material Relations of the Public Petition.” Genre and the Performance of Publics. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2016. 100-116.
“Reproducing Genres: Pattern-Related Writing.” Handbook of Writing and Text Production. Eds. Eva-Maria Jakobs and Daniel Perrin. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton, 2015. 263-284. Coauthored with Amy Devitt.
“‘Held Together by Memories and Archives’: A Retrospective on an Interview with Susan Miller.” Composition Forum 28 (Fall 2013). Co-authored with Anis Bawarshi.
“Materiality and Genre in the Study of Discourse Communities.” St Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing. Eds. Cheryl Glenn and Melissa A. Goldthwaite. 7th ed. Boston, MA: Bedford St. Martin’s,2013. 365-380. Co-authored with Amy Devitt and Anis Bawarshi.
“Moving Writers, Shaping Motives, Motivating Critique and Change: A Genre Approach to Teaching Writing.” Concepts in Composition: Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Writing. Ed. Irene L. Clark. New York: Routledge, 2012. 43-47.
“The Spatial Turn in Rhetorical Genre Studies: Intersections of Metaphor and Materiality.” JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture and Politics 31.1-2 (2011): 207-24.
“Tracing Discursive Resources: How Students Use Prior Genre Knowledge to Negotiate New Writing Contexts in First-Year Composition” Written Communication 28.3 (2011): 312-337. Coauthored with Anis Bawarshi.
“Taking it on the Road: Transferring Knowledge about Rhetoric and Writing across Curricula and Campuses.” Composition Studies 39.2 (2011): 121-44. Co-authored with Jenn Fishman.
“Genres as Sites of Narrative (Inter)Action: Exploring the Uptake of Professional, Public, and Popular Genres.” Narrative Acts: Rhetoric, Race and Identity, Knowledge. Eds. Beth Boehm, Cynthia Britt, and Debra Journet. Hampton Press. 2011. 239-64. Co-authored with Anis Bawarshi and Angela Jones.
“Taking Up Narratives as Civic Actions: The Genre of the Public Petition.” Narrative Acts: Rhetoric, Race and Identity, Knowledge. Eds. Beth Boehm, Cynthia Britt, and Debra Journet. Hampton Press. 2011. 245-56.
“Taking the High Road: Teaching for Transfer in an FYC Program.” Composition Forum 18 (Summer 2008). Co-authored with Jenn Fishman.
“Crossing the Boundaries of Genre Studies: Commentaries by Experts.” Journal of Second Language Writing, 15 (2006): 234-49. Co-authored with Ann M. Johns, Anis Bawarshi, Richard M. Coe, Ken Hyland, Brian Paltridge, and Christine Tardy.
“Moving Writers, Shaping Motives, Motivating Critique and Change: A Genre Approach to Teaching Writing.” Relations, Locations, Positions: Composition Theory for Writing Teachers. Eds. Peter Vandenberg, Sue Hum, and Jennifer Clary-Lemon. NCTE: 2006. 157-79. [Rpt. in Concepts in Composition: Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Writing. Ed. Irene L. Clark. New York: Routledge, 2012. 43-47.]
“Mediating Materiality and Discursivity: Critical Ethnography as Metageneric Learning.” Ethnography Unbound: From Theory Shock to Critical Praxis. Eds. Stephen G. Brown and Sidney I. Dobrin. New York: SUNY, 2004. 35-51.
“Materiality and Genre in the Study of Discourse Communities.” College English 65 (May 2003): 541-58. Co-authored with Amy Devitt and Anis Bawarshi. Rpt. In Readings on Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Van-Griner (2014). Rpt. In English Reader. Ed. Albert Rouzie. Cincinnati, OH: Van-Griner (2013). Rpt. In St Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing. Eds. Cheryl Glenn and Melissa A. Goldthwaite. 7th ed. Boston, MA: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2013.
“Accessing Communities through the Genre of Ethnography: Exploring a Pedagogical Genre.” College English 65 (May 2003): 553-58.
“Composition and the Cultural Imaginary: An Interview with Susan Miller.” Composition Forum 13.1 & 2 (2002): 1-22. Co-authored with Anis Bawarshi.
“Teaching Audience Post-Process: Recognizing the Complexity of Audiences in Disciplinary Contexts.” The WAC Journal 13 (June 2002): 100-111.
“Creating Community, Collaboration and Consistency: The Use of Teaching Teams in Writing Program Administration.” Issues in Writing 11.1 (2000): 28-63. Co-authored with Amy Devitt and Angela Jones.
“On the Border Between Disciplines: A Conversation with Carolyn Miller.” Issues in Writing 9 (Spring/Summer 1999): 110-138. Co-authored with Anis Bawarshi.
“Behind the Scenes of Writing: An Interview with Min Zhan Lu.” Writing on the Edge 9.1 (Fall/Winter 1998): 89-104. Co-authored with Anis Bawarshi.
“Rereading ‘Invoked’ and ‘Addressed’ Readers Through a Social Lens: Toward a Recognition of Multiple Audiences,” JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory 16 (1996): 407-24.
Awards & Honors —
Frances L. Stiefel Teaching Professor, 2018-present
Conger-Gabel Teaching Professorship, 2016-18
Mabel S. Fry Award for Teaching Excellence, 2013