Maureen Goggin

Ross-Blakley Hall 224
PO Box 871401
Director of Writing, Rhetorics, Literacy; Professor
TEMPE Campus


Maureen Daly Goggin's research oeuvre can be divided into four major interrelated strands: history of rhetoric; feminism, visual rhetoric, and material culture; discursively constructed racial, gendered, and sexual identities; and writing studies. These four strands are held together by a common scholarly interest in the ways in which discursive practices are created, circulated, taught, and learned, and the interdynamic roles they play in creating personal and cultural identities.

In one strand of her research, she traces the complex history of what historian Robert Connors called the “transmogrification” of rhetoric in the late 19th century, the concomitant emergence of composition, and the subsequent post-WW II disciplinary formation of rhetoric and composition. Her work in this area has appeared in numerous articles and chapters in edited collections, and is most fully explored in her book "Authoring a Discipline: The Post-World War II Emergence of Rhetoric and Composition," (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2000). This focus also informs the collection she edited, "Inventing a Discipline: Rhetoric Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Young" (NCTE, 2000). This latter work recognizes not only the enormous contributions Young has made to reviving rhetorical invention but also, in a larger sense, it recognizes the role his mentoring has played in helping to invent the discipline of rhetoric and composition. A compilation of current rhetoric scholarship conducted by his former students, it offers a glimpse into the discipline in the process of inventing itself.

A second major strand of Goggin's research opens new ground, particularly within feminist methologies and visual rhetoric and material culture studies, by shifting attention away from the visual artifact as interpreted text toward the material practices that construct and circulate it. More specifically, in this line of inquiry she examines needlework as a form of meaningful mark-making—a polysemous system of writing. Among the projects that comprise this area, she traces the history of needlework sampler making to demonstrate the ways in which rhetorical practices once formed can be displaced, transformed and then erased as they emerge in new constellations that establish new relationships among rhetors, interlocutors, artifacts, and locations. In this work, she offer a methodology for theorizing and historicizing praxis. Her scholarship in this area has appeared in journals and edited collections. This strand also figures prominently in four edited collections on Women and Material Culture that she co-edited with Beth Fowkes Tobin: "Women and Things, 1750-1950: Gendered Material Strategies" (Ashgate, 2009); "Women and the Material Culture of Needlework and Textiles, 1750-1950" (Ashgate, 2009); "Material Women, 1750-1950: Consuming Desires and Collecting Practices" (Ashgate, 2009); and "Women and the Material Culture of Death" (Ashgate, 2013). She coedited a fifth book in this area with Andrea Feeser and Beth Fowkes Tobin, "The Materiality of Color: The Production, Circulation, and Application of Dyes and Pigments, 1400-1800" (Ashgate, 2012).

A third strand of Goggin's scholarship explores intersections among race, gender, and sexuality in everyday texts, and appears in journal articles and edited collections. It also informs the collection "Racialized Politics of Desire in Personal Ads" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008) that she co-edited with Neal A. Lester. The essays in this volume examine how complex intersections among the social categories of race, gender and sexuality within personal ads reveal a dynamic tapestry of power relations and hierarchies. By focusing on how, in each instance, African Americans both construct and are constructed discursively in the brief narrative space of personals, this collection offers a substantively new genre-based exploration of the politics of desire.

Within the fourth strand of research on writing studies, including research methods and composition pedagogy, Goggin has published numerous articles and book chapters on the history of composition, on teaching writing, and on preparing writing teachers. This work also figures into the two textbooks: "Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings" (W.W. Norton, 2006) co-authored with Richard Bullock, and "Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings and Handbook" (W.W. Norton, 2008) co-authored with Richard Bullock and Francine Weinberg. Both of these books are now in a 4th revised edition (2008; 2010; 2013; 2015). With Richard Bullock, Goggin also authored four revised editions of a pedagogical book "A Guide to Teaching with the Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings" (2007; 2010; 2013; 2016). She is currently working on a fifth revision of these works. Her latest book is "Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Studies(2018).

Taken together, Goggin's past and ongoing research permits her to draw together a number of her scholarly interests, namely, in the history of rhetoric, rhetorical theories, the relationship between discursive practices and disciplinarity, the role of discourse in constructing sites of knowledge production and distribution, and the discursive construction/performance of race, class, and gender. These various scholarly threads also inform, and are informed by, her teaching of rhetorical traditions, classical rhetoric, theories of invention, history of English studies, cross-disciplinary discourse studies, material culture, and research methods.


  • Ph.D. Rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University
  • M.A. English, Northeastern University
  • B.S. Education, Northeastern University

Research Interests

Material Culture
Visual Rhetoric
History of Rhetoric
Women's History
Gender and race
Composition Pedagogy
Teaching of Wriitng
Research Methods



Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
ENG 390 Methods of Inquiry
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
ENG 494 Special Topics
ENG 655 Disciplinary Discourses
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
ENG 390 Methods of Inquiry
ENG 501 Approaches to Research
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
ENG 394 Special Topics
ENG 604 Interdisciplinary Culture Stds
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
ENG 390 Methods of Inquiry
ENG 501 Approaches to Research
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
ENG 205 Intro to Writing, Rhet, Lit
ENG 500 Research Methods
Spring 2015
Course Number Course Title
ENG 205 Intro to Writing, Rhet, Lit
ENG 604 Interdisciplinary Culture Stds