Our graduate programs in WRAC aim to prepare the next generation of researchers, thinkers, teachers, and innovators in the discipline of rhetoric and writing and in related fields both inside and outside of academia. Our goal is to help model new visions of humanities scholars and practitioners. This vision guides our recruitment, our curriculum, our support packages, and our mentoring philosophy. It asks a lot of both students and faculty, but it also makes the program an exciting place to be.

Because we aim to create an innovative and energetic environment for research, teaching, and community engagement, we offer a broad array of curricular, co-curricular, extra-curricular, and community engagement opportunities, and a nationally renowned faculty. Our learning community offers students a unique academic space to explore scholarly, intellectual, and pedagogical pathways in rhetoric and writing studies. We work to provide an intellectual community that seeks out and welcomes all individuals, and that openly makes space for the broadest possible spectrum of diversity across categories of age, life experience, gender, abilities, race, ethnicity, class, religion, spirituality, sexual orientation, and geographic identification. Every member of our academic community has something important to contribute to our intellectual community and to the future of our discipline.

Interdisciplinary Ties

We have strong interdisciplinary ties to other programs and research centers at MSU, especially to:

African and African American Studies

Teacher Education

American Indian and Indigenous Studies

Chicano/Latina Studies

Cultural Heritage Informatics

Asian Pacific American Studies

Matrix (Center for Humane arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online)

Native American Insitute

Center for Gender in a Global Context

MSU Museum

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

Digital Humanities

Writing Center

Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH)

WIDE Research Center

A Bit About Our History and Our Future

The graduate programs in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Cultures (WRAC) have a complicated history. Founded in 2002 as an independent graduate-level Rhetoric and Writing (RW) Program in the College of Arts & Letters (CAL), we mark our formal beginnings in Fall 2003, when our first five RW PhD students and seven Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing (DRPW) MA students began their studies at MSU. Since that time, our program—and our national reputation—has quickly grown.

In 2004, the English department’s Critical Studies in the Teaching of English (CSTE) program joined us and became the Critical Studies in Literacy and Pedagogy (CSLP) MA program and PhD concentration. In 2010, we joined the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Cultures, which is home to the Professional and Public Writing undergraduate major and to the university’s first-year writing program.

After more than 20 years, our programs are thriving; research groups, collectives, and writing groups come together each year to promote collaborative scholarship among students and between faculty and students. These collaborations have resulted in dozens of conference presentations (and other speaking engagements), workshops, grant proposals, articles, book chapters, and books. Many members of our community have graduated and moved on to college, university, and industry employment and to other graduate programs.

As we look forward to our future as a program, we remain invested in building and maintaining a supportive, innovative space for knowledge-making—a process of reflection and revision that includes graduate student input and collaborative practices of innovation.