August 4, 2016

The Department of Writing and Rhetoric is pleased to welcome assistant professor Dustin Edwards to the UCF community. Edwards researches and teaches digital-material rhetoric, and he has particular specializations in public writing and circulation, writing infrastructures, and intellectual property.

“I’m thrilled to join the department of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Central Florida,” Edwards says. “The undergraduate major in Writing and Rhetoric and the commitment to writing at the university were huge draws for me. Traditionally, a focus on writing and rhetoric is found in English departments, if at all. UCF’s stand-alone department in Writing and Rhetoric is unique, and it provides students opportunities to produce writing that does meaningful work in the world. “

Edwards received his Ph.D. in English with an emphasis in Composition and Rhetoric from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. At Miami, he taught courses in digital writing and rhetoric, business writing, and first-year writing. Additionally, he was Assistant Director of the Howe Writing Initiative, a writing center that promotes the practice, teaching, and assessment of writing and communication within a business college.

Edwards’ current research focuses on writing in digital environments, and especially looks at how writing circulates—how it travels, how it moves—in online spaces. His work has appeared in journals such as Computers and Composition and Harlot, and is forthcoming in edited collections. He is working on a book that bridges classical rhetoric with circulation studies.

“Circulation is an increasingly important concern in our digital age. Not only do writers need to have strategies and tactics to get their writing to circulate, but they also need to know how to navigate networks where writing is already circulating. Even in an age of social media platforms where writing can ‘go viral,’ the promise for circulation is not a sure bet. There’s a rhetorical level—how can my writing resonate with audiences so that it may spread further? But there’s also an infrastructural level—what role do proprietary platforms play in the circulation of digital materials? At UCF, I’m excited to work with students to think about both of these concerns.”