Professor; Director of Professional Writing
email
Humanities Building 201
(205) 934-8572

Research and Teaching Interests: Rhetorical Theory, Composition Pedagogy, Academic Writing, and Professional Writing

Bruce McComiskey. Office Hours: By appointment

Education:
  • BA, Illinois State University, English Education
  • MA, Illinois State University, English
  • PhD, Purdue University, English

I grew up in the suburbs north of Chicago, but I’ve lived nearly half of my life in the South. Following a four-year stint in North Carolina, I moved to Birmingham in 1998. UAB has given me the opportunity to do what I love most — teach writing.

I’ve always been interested in language because I know how powerful it is. Recent surveys show that employees who write well are promoted faster and higher in their companies than employees who write poorly. No matter what major you’ve chosen to study, a solid ability to write will benefit your career. I mainly teach courses in academic and professional writing, so I teach the kinds of writing that UAB students will do both during school and throughout their careers.

My own writing focuses on rhetoric, which is the study of how language either succeeds or fails in its intended purposes. I approach this subject from a number of very different perspectives. For example, I have written about ancient Greek philosophies of rhetoric, about social perspectives on the teaching of writing, and about the central role that composition plays in the discipline of English studies. Each writing project that I complete teaches me something new about the communication process, and I always bring these new experiences directly into my writing classes.

  • Writing in Birmingham
  • Advanced Composition
  • Academic Writing
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Classical Rhetorical Theory
  • Modern Rhetorical Theory
Books:
Articles:
  • “Performative Rhetorical Strategies in the Rule of the Community (Dead Sea Scroll 1QS),” Journal of Communication and Religion 38 (No. 3, 2016):89-106.
  • "Bridging the Divide: The (Puzzling) Framework and the Transition from K-12 to College Writing Instruction,” College English 74 (No. 6, 2012):537-40.
  • “Laws, Works, and the End of Days: Rhetorics of Identification, Distinction, and Persuasion in Miqsat Ma’aseh ha-Torah (Dead Sea Scroll 4QMMT),” Rhetoric Review 29 (No. 32010):221-38.
  • Member, Executive Committee, Conference on College Composition and Communication, 2015-2018
  • Recipient of the James L. Kinneavy Award, 1998
  • Rhetoric Society of America
  • National Council of Teachers of English
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