Cynthia Ris

Cynthia Ris , J.D., Ph.D.

Professor Educator

Professor, Educator

McMicken Hall


A&S English - 0069

Professional Summary

Cynthia Nitz Ris, Professor Educator in the Department of English and Comparative Language, teaches primarily in the field of composition. Her scholarship and coursework are in the areas of first-year experience, online education, legal rhetoric, and the rhetoric of civil discourse. Service interests focus on promotion of shared governance through work on the University Faculty Senate and the UC AAUP Chapter, and on eLearning through work on unit and university-level IT-related committees. Her composition reader, Law and Order, provides insight into the breadth and complexity of law and the usefulness of studying its rhetorical complexity; readings include law-related and legal texts including a closing argument in the murder trial of Medgar Evers, legal briefs on federal case considering music piracy, and Supreme Court oral arguments on free speech in educational settings. Conference presentations include best practices in online teaching and the use of legal issues and popular culture in composition pedagogy to foster understanding and analysis of complex civic issues.
Select Publications (including forthcoming)
Ris, Cynthia Nitz. “Who is Watching the Sheriff?: When ‘Honesty and Integrity’ Are Called Into Question.” Chapter in The World of Walt Longmire. Ed. Rachel Schaffer and John Scaggs. McFarland. Anticipated publication date: Spring 2018.
Malek, Joyce, Cynthia Ris, Catherine O’Shea, and Christina LaVecchia, Eds. Student Guide to English Composition, 1001, 2012-2014. Hayden McNeil, 2012
Ris, Cynthia. Law and Order, A Longman Topics Reader. Longman/Pearson Publishers.  Oct. 2012
Beckelhimer, Lisa, Michele Griegel-McCord, and Cynthia Nitz Ris.  “From Memoirs to Museums: Enhancing Rhetorical Awareness through Public Texts.” Ohio Journal of English Language Arts 49.2 (2009): 14-22


B.A.: Texas A&M University

J.D.: University of Michigan

Ph.D.: University of Cincinnati 2003

Research and Practice Interests

Research and practice interests include Online Education; Service-Learning; First-Year Experience; and Legal Rhetoric (including in Popular Culture).