man in striped polo leaning against brick wall

Michael Ristich

Academic Specialist; Graduate Faculty
Office: 269 Bessey

Research Areas

Rhetorical Theory, Critical Theory, Pedagogy, Radical Politics


Mike Ristich teaches primarily in the First-Year Writing Program in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at MSU. He has also taught courses in the Citizen Scholars Program and the Center of Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities. In addition to researching curriculum design and effective teaching, his work focuses on the intersections of rhetorical and critical theory.


Ph.D., Wayne State University, 2013.
B.A., Western Michigan University, 2005.

Representative Work

“Peer-Observation as Conversational Learning.” Lily Conference: Advancing Teaching and Learning, Traverse City, MI, October 2019.

“Disruption, Design Thinking, and Experience Architecture: Three Paradigms for Thinking about AI in Rhetoric and Composition.” Computers and Writing Conference, East Lansing, MI, June 2019.

“Identifying and Enacting Values and Best Practices for Blended/Hybrid Writing Courses.” Computers and Writing Conference, East Lansing, MI, June 2019.

“Politics, Shame, and Rhetorical Appropriation.” Twelfth Biennial Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition, Louisville, KY, October 2018.

“The Fall of the Public Sphere and the Future Work of Rhetorical Education, or, Rhetoric with an “Anarchist Squint.” The 18th Biennial Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Minneapolis, MN, June 2018.

“The Classroom as Site of ‘Transcritical Exchange.’” The Eleventh Biennial Thomas R. Watson Conference, Louisville, KY, October 2016.

“On Being Insistent: Rancière, the Ontological Turn, and the Rhetoric of Theory Today.” The 17th Biennial Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Atlanta, GA, May 2016.

“Rhetoric, Imagination, and the Inability to Feel the Pain of Others.” 2014 Cultural Rhetorics Conference, East Lansing, MI, December, 2014.

“Against Empathy: Defining, Encouraging, and Enacting Rhetorical Sympathy.” The Tenth Biennial Thomas R. Watson Conference, Louisville, KY, October, 2014.

Sample Courses Taught

AL 110: “Writing and Civic Life”
WRA 1004/0102: “Preparation for College Writing”
WRA 110: “Science and Technology”
WRA 115: “Law and Justice in America”
WRA 130: “Radical Thought in America”
WRA 150: “The Evolution of American Thought”
IAH 206: Artificial Intelligence as “Liberatory Technology” 

Academic or Research Affiliations 

Citizen Scholar Program

2016-217 Fellow, Walter and Pauline Adams Academy for Instructional Excellence and Innovation, Michigan State University

Social Media

Twitter: @mjristich

WeChat: Mikejr16