Interim Head, Department of English
Cynthia Nitz Ris, Professor Educator in the Department of English and Comparative Language, teaches primarily in the field of Composition Studies. 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, structural equity within universities, and the use of legal issues and popular culture in composition pedagogy to foster understanding and analysis of complex civic issues.
Select Disciplinary Publications
Griegel-McCord, Michele, Cynthia Ris, and Lisa Beckelhimer, “Lessons Learned: Navigating Online Teaching and Learning in English Studies.” Eds. Susan Spangler and Will Banks, English Studies Online: Programs, Practices, Possibilities. Parlor Press, 2021.
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
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).