Jim Webber, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Associate Director, Core Writing Program
James Webber


Jim Webber's first book, An Alternate Pragmatism for Going Public, explores how writing teachers, scholars and administrators respond to contemporary K-16 education reforms. Webber is now working on a second book about the rhetoric of venture philanthropists engaged in K-12 public education reform. This project explores how prominent public figures, such as former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, promote voluntary actions by nonprofit organizations, families and corporations as ways of reforming the teaching profession. 

Webber frequently incorporates community and public engagement in his teaching, offering graduate seminars on this topic, designing undergraduate courses around this aim and helping the Core Writing program support teaching through this lens.

Research interests

  • Composition's public context
  • Public discourse about education
  • Rhetorics of public policy, expertise, and political economy
  • Composition pedagogy/programs

Courses taught

  • English 101: Composition I (Fall 2017)
  • English 401b/601b: Advanced Nonfiction Writing (Spring 2017)
  • English 400a/600a: Topics in Writing/The Rhetoric of Hip Hop (Spring 2017)
  • English 401b/601b: Advanced Nonfiction Writing (Spring 2017)
  • English 400b/600b: Topics in Professional Writing/Strategic Planning and Public Engagement
  • English 101: Composition I (Fall 2016)
  • English 732: Problems in Writing/Community Engagement in Rhetoric and Composition (Spring 2016)
  • English 401b/601b: Advanced Nonfiction (Spring 2016)
  • English 101: Composition I (Fall 2015)
  • English 400a/600a: Topics in Writing/The Rhetoric of Graphic Fiction and Nonfiction (Fall 2015)
  • English 100J: Composition Studio (Fall 2014)
  • English 738R: Theory and Practice of Professional Writing (Fall 2014)
  • English 101: Composition I (Spring 2014)
  • English 400a/600a: Topics in Writing/Writing for Nonprofit Groups and Organizations (Spring 2014)
  • English 735: Composition's Discourse of Expertise (Fall 2013)
  • English 401b/601b: Advanced Nonfiction (Fall 2013)
  • English 321: Advanced Expository Writing (Spring 2013)
  • English 400b/600b: Topics in Professional Writing/Innovation in Professional Writing (Spring 2013)
  • English 101: Composition I (Fall 2012)
  • English 400A/600A: Topics in Writing/Writing in College and Beyond (Fall 2012)

Selected publications


  • An Alternate Pragmatism for Going Public. Utah State University Press. 2017.


  • "Toward an Artful Critique of Reform: Responding to Standards, Assessment, and Machine Scoring." College Composition and Communication 69.1 (2017): 118-45.
  • "Expanding the 'We' of Composition: Teachers, Scholars, Disciplinarity, Feminism." JAC 28.3-4 (2008): 475-502.
  • "(Re)Charting the (Dis)Courses of Faith and Politics, or Rhetoric and Democracy in the Burkean Barnyard." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 38.3 (2008): 311-34. (with Michael-John DePalma and Jeffrey M. Ringer)


  • Ph.D., Composition Studies, University of New Hampshire, 2012
  • M.A., English, University of New Hampshire, 2005
  • B.A., English and Spanish, Augsburg College in Minnesota, 1999