Inaugural Conference of the Association of Rhetoric & Writing Studies

October 13-14, 2016 | El Paso, Texas

Featured Speakers

Barry Maid  |  Brian McNely  |  Lisa Meloncon


Plenary Speaker

Barry Maid, Ph.D.

Arizona State University

“A Major Decision:

How Your Writing Major Can Help Faculty As Well As Students”

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Brahma Room


As the CCCC Committee on the Major has documented, the number of majors in writing and rhetoric has doubled in the last decade, and in Fall 2015 the Committee completed an updated list of 141 majors. In his plenary talk, Dr. Maid will discuss the ways that a well-constructed writing major, one based on student needs and institutional context, can benefit both students enrolled in the major and faculty who teach in the program.

Barry Maid has been an advocate for Rhetoric & Writing Studies (RWS) for more than 25 years. He was instrumental in moving the major in Technical and Professional Writing from the Department of English to a newly established Department of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). He was also instrumental in creating the major in Technical Communication at Arizona State University (ASU). In addition, Dr. Maid served on the CCCC Committee on the Major from its inception in 2005 until 2016 as this committee worked to document writing majors across the country in diverse institutional types and units.


Brian McNely, Ph.D.

University of Kentucky

“If You Build it, Will They Come?

A Primer on Recruiting and Development for Independent Writing Departments

Friday, October 14, 2016
Angus Room


Brian McNely is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky (UK). He has led undergraduate program development at both Ball State University (BSU) and the University of Kentucky, designing minors in Professional Writing and Emerging Media (BSU) and Professional and Technical Writing (UK). Currently, Dr. McNely oversees recruiting and development of the undergraduate majors and minors in Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies at Kentucky, one the fastest growing programs in UK's College of Arts and Sciences.

Lisa Meloncon, Ph.D.

University of Cincinnati

“Majors, Majors, Everywhere Nor Any Discipline to Think”

Friday, October 14, 2016
Angus Room


Dr. Meloncon will provide a data-driven overview of the various types of undergraduate writing majors that provides a level of nuance few scholars have discussed. In doing so, Dr. Meloncon raises important questions about disciplinarity, ownership, and what the future may hold.


Lisa Meloncon is immediate Past President of the Council of Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) and a member of the WomeninTC steering committee ( Dr. Meloncon’s research area is programmatic and curricular issues. She has published widely in this area, including an award-winning article (with Sally Henschel) in Technical Communication on undergraduate degree programs in technical and professional communication and a forthcoming article (with J. Blake Scott) in Composition Forum titled “Writing and Rhetoric Majors, Disciplinarity, and Techne.”