Ben  Wetherbee

Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Director of Undergraduate Mentored Research, and Coordinator of Writing

Ben Wetherbee directory photo


Degree Major Emphasis Institution Year
Ph.D. Rhetoric and Composition The University of Louisville 2015
M.A. Rhetoric and Composition Miami University (Ohio) 2011 
B.A. English The University of Michigan 2008 


Dr. Ben Wetherbee joined the Science & Arts faculty in 2016. He is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, with a specialization in rhetoric and writing. He is also the Director of Undergraduate Mentored Research and the Coordinator of Writing.

Dr. Wetherbee’s research interests include the theory and history of rhetoric, writing pedagogy, film theory, and the intersections of rhetoric and poetics. His work has appeared in The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics, Literacy in Composition Studies, Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society, The Henry James Review, Enculturation, Composition Studies, as well as several edited collections. He also regularly presents research at the Rhetoric Society of America conference, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and the Thomas R. Watson Conference, among others.

In addition to first-year writing, Dr. Wetherbee teaches courses in rhetoric, literature, and professional communication. He also founded and editsThe Drover Review, an online journal of scholarly and essayistic writing by Science & Arts students, which showcases outstanding student writing and serves as a teaching resource for writing-intensive courses across campus.

A Michigan native, Dr. Wetherbee enjoys sailing, writing, and following hockey fandom past the point of healthy distraction. He can (with varying levels of success) play any instrument with strings and frets.

Research, Presentations & Publications

Book Chapters & Journal Articles

  • “The Other Toulmin Model: Concepts, Topoi, Evolution.” Forthcoming in Re-Inventing Rhetoric Scholarship: 50 Years of the Rhetoric Society of America, edited by Roxanne Mountford and Dave Tell, Parlor, 2019.

  • "Dystopoi of Memory and Invention: The Rhetorical ‘Places’ of Postmodern Dystopian Film.” Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics, vol. 2, no. 2, 2018, pp. 116-34.

  • Literacy and Rhetoric as Complementary Keywords.” Literacy in Composition Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2017, pp. 103-12.

  • “Jameson, Burke, and the Virus of Suggestion: Between Ideology and Rhetoric.” Henry James Review, vol. 36, no. 3, 2015, pp. 280-87.

  • “The Cinematic Topos of Disability and the Example of Avatar: A Rhetorical Critique.” Ethos: A Digital Review of Arts, Humanities, and Public Ethics, vol. 2, no. 2, 2015, pp. 40-59.

  • “Picking Up the Fragments of the 2012 Election: Memes, Topoi, and Political Rhetoric.” Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society, vol. 5, no. 1, 2015.

  • “The Audiovisual Palimpsest: Rhetoric, Poetics, and Heteroglossia in Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Reading Mystery Science Theater 3000: Critical Approaches, edited by Shelley S. Rees, Scarecrow, 2013, pp. 13-29.

  • Wetherbee, Ben, and Stephanie Weaver. “‘You Know the Business and I Know the Chemistry’: The Scientific Ethos of Breaking Bad.” Excursions, vol. 4, no. 1, 2013, [17 pp.].

  • “Toward a Polyphonic Model of Student Coauthorship: A Response to Joseph Harris and Julie Lindquist.” JAC, vol. 32, no. 3-4, 2012, 743-51.

Book Reviews

  • Review of Mikhail Bakhtin: Rhetoric, Poetics, Dialogics, Rhetoricality, by Don Bialostosky. Composition Studies, vol. 46, no. 1, 2018, pp. 174-77.

  • “The Descent of Evolutionism.” Review of Rhetorical Darwinism: Religion, Evolution, and the Scientific Identity by Thomas M. Lessl. Enculturation, vol. 18, 2015. Web.