Paul Butler

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Associate Professor

Paul Butler specializes in Rhetoric and Composition. He is the author of Style in Rhetoric and Composition and Out of Style, nominated for MLA’s Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize; the W. Ross Winterowd Outstanding Book Award, the CCCC Book Award, the Rhetoric Society of America Book Award, and Reflections’ Outstanding Book Award for Civic Scholarship, among other honors. He has presented his scholarship at national and international conferences on topics ranging from style and the public sphere to global economic literacy. His interests also include community literacy, alternative composition histories, environmental rhetoric, WAC/WID initiatives, and digital/multimodal composition.

A member of the College English editorial board, he is a reviewer for several journals, and his essays appear in JAC, Rhetoric Review, WPA, and other venues. He has served in national roles for the Conference on College Composition and Communication and the Research Network Forum. At the University of Houston, he chairs the English Department’s Lower Division Committee, is working to develop its undergraduate concentration in Public and Professional Writing, and helped design its Ph.D. program in Rhetoric, Composition, and Pedagogy.


  • Ph.D., Syracuse University
  • M.A., J.D., University of Colorado, Boulder
  • M.A., Middlebury College
  • B.A., Colorado College

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Selected Publications

Out of Style: Reanimating Stylistic Study in Composition and Rhetoric Style in Rhetoric and Composition: A Critical Sourcebook


  • How So? The Writer's Style. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015.
  • Style in Rhetoric and Composition: A Critical Sourcebook. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.
  • Out of Style: Reanimating Stylistic Study in Composition and Rhetoric. Logan: Utah State University Press, 2008. (url)

Articles or Chapters

  • “Style’s Centrality in Composition Studies.” Foreword to The Centrality of Style. Ed. Michael Duncan and Star Medzerian Vanguri. New York: Parlor Press (2013): vii-x.(url)
  • “The Sound of Silence.” Authorship Contested: Cultural Challenges to Ownership, Originality, and Identity. Ed. Amy Robillard and Ron Fortune (accepted; under review by Southern Illinois UP for publication)..
  • "Reconsidering the Teaching of Style." English Journal 100.4 (2011): 77-82. (url)
  • "Revisiting the Evidence: A Reply to Donald Lazere.” JAC: A Quarterly Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics 31.1-2 (2011): 314-22.
  • "Forget about Community: Narrative, Ethnographic Writing, and (Alternative) Discourse." Open Words: Access and English Studies 4.2 (2010): 23-47.(url)
  • "The Stylistic (Re)Turn in Rhetoric and Composition." Style in Rhetoric and Composition: A Critical Sourcebook. Ed. Paul Butler. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010. 1-10. (url)
  • "Style and the Public Intellectual: Rethinking Composition in the Public Sphere.” JAC: A Quarterly Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics 28.1-2 (2008): 55-84. (url)
  • “Style in the Diaspora of Composition Studies.” Rhetoric Review 26 (2007): 5-24. (url)
  • “The GED as Transgender Literacy: Performing in the Learning/Acquisition Borderland.” Reflections: Writing, Service-Learning, and Community Literacy 6.1 (2007): 27-39.(url)
  • “Composition as Countermonument: Toward a New Space in Writing Classrooms and Curricula.” WPA: Writing Program Administration 29.3 (2006): 11-24. (url)
  • “Copyright, Plagiarism, and the Law.” Authorship in Composition Studies. Ed. Tracy Hamler Carrick and Rebecca Moore Howard. Boston: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006. 13-26. (url)
  • "Embracing AIDS: History, Identity, and Post-AIDS Discourse." JAC: A Quarterly Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics 24.1 (2004): 93-111. (url)
  • “Coming into the Field: Intersections of the Personal and Professional in Graduate Student and Faculty Narratives.” With Susan M. Adams, Damian Baca, Justin Bain, Amy E. Robillard, and Eileen E. Schell. Dialogue: A Journal for Writing Specialists 8.1 (2002): 5-34. (url)
  • “Imitation as Freedom: Reforming Student Writing.” The Quarterly: Journal of the National Writing Project 24.2 (2002): 25-32. (url)
  • “Toward a Pedagogy of Writing Immersion: Using Imitation in the Composition Classroom.”Journal of College Writing 4 (2001): 107-14. (url)

Teaching and Administration

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  • ENGL 1303: First-Year Writing I – Rethinking Place, Time, and Technology
  • ENGL 1304: First-Year Writing II – Reading and Writing Popular Culture
  • ENGL 3340: Advanced Composition – Style and Rhetoric in Persuasive Writing
  • ENGL 3341: Business and Professional Writing – Writing to Work
  • ENGL 3396: Writing in the Public Sphere
  • ENGL 6300: Teaching College English and Composition
  • ENGL 7371: Rhetoric and Composition: Style
  • ENGL 7372: Composition’s Counter-Histories
  • ENGL 8318: Rhetoric and Composition Seminar I
  • ENGL 8395: Community Literacy and Public Engagement
  • ENGL 8395: Environmental Rhetoric (forthcoming)
  • ENGL 8399: Rhetoric, Composition, and the Public Sphere

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  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication
  • Rhetoric Society of America
  • International Society for the History of Rhetoric
  • Modern Language Association
  • Conference of College Teachers of English

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