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Jeff Ringer UTK English

Jeffrey M. Ringer

Jeffrey M. Ringer

Associate Professor


Jeff Ringer conducts research in two areas: religious rhetorics, particularly as they relate to evangelical Christian rhetorics, and writing transfer. Regarding the former, Ringer has published widely in the field and has sought to understand more deeply the problems and possibilities for civil discourse and rhetorical education latent within contemporary evangelical Christian discourse. His emphases in that scholarly trajectory have ranged from qualitatively investigating the writing of evangelical Christian students at public universities to rhetorically analyzing the environmentalist rhetoric of Katharine Hayhoe and the use of the term “evangelical” on Twitter in 2019. With Mike DePalma and Paul Lynch, Ringer helped edited Rhetoric and Religion in the Twenty-First Century: Pluralism in a Postsecular Age, a collection that is forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press in 2023.

Ringer’s current research centers on writing transfer. With his colleague Sean Morey, he recently published “Posthumanizing Writing Transfer” in College English, and he is currently collaborating with an advanced undergraduate student to design a qualitative study that considers how writing technologies might inform writing transfer. Ringer’s current book project takes a historical turn and asks when and why the field of rhetoric and writing studies started thinking about writing and rhetorical education in terms of learning transfer. Employing a version of Foucault’s genealogical method, Ringer is examining the conditions that give rise to several emergences of writing transfer—historical moments when writing was articulated with one or more theories of learning transfer—and asking what those emergences can tell us about the field’s current, sustained interest in writing transfer.

Ringer teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in composition theory and pedagogy, rhetorical education, and religious rhetorics.


  • Ph.D., University of New Hampshire
  • M.A., University of Vermont
  • B.A., Lee University



  • Rhetoric and Religion in the Twenty-First Century: Pluralism in a Postsecular Age. Southern Illinois University Press. Coedited with Mike DePalma and Paul Lynch. Forthcoming, Fall 2023.
  • Vernacular Christian Rhetoric and Civil Discourse: The Religious Creativity of Evangelical Student Writers. Studies in Rhetoric and Communication. New York: Routledge, 2016.
  • Mapping Christian Rhetorics: Connecting Conversations, Charting New Territories. Studies in Rhetoric and Communication. New York: Routledge, 2015. Co-edited with Michael-John DePalma. (Winner of the Religious Communication Association’s Book of the Year award for 2015).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Posthumanizing Writing Transfer.” With Sean Morey. College English vol. 83, no. 4, March 2021, pp. 289-311.
  • “To Splinter and Split: Mapping the Use of the Term Evangelical on Twitter in the Age of Trump.” New Directions in Rhetoric and Religion. Edited by Jim Vining. Lexington Books, 2021. With Emily Murphy Cope, Holland Prior, and Megan Von Bergen.
  • “The Inventive Work of the Christian Mind.” Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning vol. 25, 2019-2020, pp. 1-18.
  • “Working With(in) the Logic of the Jeremiad: Responding to the Writing of Evangelical Christian Students.” College Composition and Communication. 2017.
  • Adaptive Remediation and the Facilitation of Transfer in Multiliteracy Center Contexts.” Computers and Composition. Published online, April 2016. In print, Fall 2016. With Kara Poe Alexander and Michael-John DePalma.
  • “Adaptive Transfer, Genre Knowledge, and Implications for Research and Pedagogy: A Response.” Journal of Second Language Writing 22.4 (December 2013). With Michael-John DePalma.
  • “Adaptive Transfer, Writing Across the Curriculum, and Second Language Writing: Implications for Research and Teaching.” WAC and Second Language Writers: Research towards Linguistically and Culturally Inclusive Programs and Practices. Ed. Michelle Cox and Terry Zawacki. Anderson, SC: Parlor P, 2013. With Michael-John DePalma.
  • “The Dogma of Inquiry: Composition and the Primacy of Faith.” Rhetoric Review 32.3 (Summer 2013): 349-65.
  • “The Consequences of Integrating Faith into Academic Writing: Casuistic Stretching and Biblical Citation.” College English 75.3 (January 2013): 272-99.

Professional Service

  • President, Rhetoric and Religious Traditions Special Interest Group, Conference on College Composition and Communication, current.