As one of the top rhetoric and composition graduate programs in the country, RCTE examines writing, literacy, and culture from a transdisciplinary perspective concerned with critical and transformative action in the world. As scholars, teachers, mentors, and activists, we draw on a multitude of theoretical approaches and methodological orientations from rhetoric and composition, Latin@ studies, digital humanities, gender and sexuality studies, and comparative cultural studies.
As educators in the classroom and in wider communities, RCTE faculty, staff, and students work together in seminars that examine communication in all its forms. With sites of inquiry ranging from 18th-century manuals of English usage, Mesoamerican codices, and queer zines by people of color, to wireless technologies, and government documents about nuclear winter and international peace negotiation, our studies together are concerned with the conditions for, and obstacles to, social change—in classrooms and in the realms of living experience that have been underrepresented in the academy.
Our students come from a range of interdisciplinary backgrounds, and most complete their programs on average in five years. RCTE is home to a nationally recognized and highly innovative writing program, which offers writing teacher and writing program administrator preparation that is second to none. RCTE graduate students work as editors, coordinators, and research assistants on projects ranging from faculty development programs to partnerships with local schools, diverse local communities, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Drawing on such experiences and on our workshops on writing for publication and preparing for the job search, virtually all of our graduates who do national searches secure tenure-track positions, and many are now leading programs and publishing noted research in universities across the country.
RCTE is also closely connected to many highly respected journals, including Rhetoric Review; Community Literacy Journal; Works & Days; Kairos; The Writing Instructor; Orion Magazine; Advances in the History of Rhetoric; The Journal of Global Literacies, Technologies, and Emerging Pedagogies; Literacy in Composition Studies; Technoculture; Women’s Studies in Communication, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, and others.
As scholars, teachers, and students we believe that the future of intellectual inquiry and social transformation must be envisioned across a plurality of historical traditions. For this reason, we define rhetoric in broad terms as a global human activity that has the power to change the world. We teach, study, and produce digital, spatial, alphabetic and non-alphabetic literacies. We are also committed to transdisciplinary research and teaching practices that are informed by the relationships we build across everyday cultures and languages within and beyond our academic institutions. Finally, we are dedicated to questioning the geopolitical implications of borders and shifting the historical horizon to those who have been excluded from deliberation and debate.
Matthew Abraham, Director