James Porter

James PorterProfessor, Department of English and Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies

279 Bachelor Hall
Oxford Campus


  • PhD, University of Detroit (1982)
  • MA, The University of Michigan
  • BA, John Carroll University

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Rhetoric theory and history
  • Professional communication
  • Digital rhetoric
  • Rhetorical ethics
  • Intellectual property
  • Online writing instruction

Selected Publications


McKee, Heidi A., & Porter, James E. (2017). Professional communication and network interaction: A rhetorical and ethical approach. New York: Routledge. 

McKee, Heidi A., & Porter, James E. (2009). The ethics of Internet research: A rhetorical, case-based process. New York: Peter Lang.

Porter, James E., Sullivan, Patricia, & Johnson-Eilola, Johndan. (2008). Professional writing online (3rd ed.). Boston: Longman. 

Porter, James E. (1998). Rhetorical ethics and internetworked writing. Greenwich, CT: Ablex. (Won Computers & Writing award for Distinguished Book.) 

Sullivan, Patricia, & Porter, James E. (1997). Opening spaces: Writing technologies and critical research practices. Greenwich, CT: Ablex. (Won NCTE award for Excellence in Technical and Scientific Communication, Best Book.)

Porter, James E. (1992). Audience and rhetoric: An archaeological composition of the discourse community. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall/Studies in Writing and Culture. 

Selected Articles and Chapters (Since 2009)

Porter, James E. (2020). Foreword: Interacting with friends, enemies, and strangers. In Jessica Reyman & Erika M. Sparby (eds.), Digital ethics: Rhetoric and responsibility in online aggression (pp. xv-xxii). New York: Routledge.

Porter, James. (2020). Recovering a good rhetoric. In John Duffy & Lois Agnew (eds.), Rewriting Plato's legacy: Ethics, rhetoric, and writing studies. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press.

McKee, Heidi A., & Porter, James E. (2018). The impact of AI on writing and writing instruction. Digital Rhetoric Collaborative, Sweetland Center for Writing, University of Michigan. http://www.digitalrhetoriccollaborative.org/2018/04/25/ai-on-writing/

McKee, Heidi A., & Porter, James E. (2018). Corporate response to employee social media missteps: A rhetorical and ethical lens. In Bastiaan Vanacker & Don Heider (eds.), Ethics for a digital age, volume 2 (pp. 51-77). New York: Peter Lang.  

Porter, James E. (2018). Rhetoric, copyright, techne: The regulation of social media production and distribution. In Jonathan Alexander & Jacqueline Rhodes (eds.),The Routledge handbook of digital writing and rhetoric (pp. 259-268). New York: Routledge.

McKee, Heidi A., & Porter, James E. (2018). Digital media ethics and rhetoric. In Jonathan Alexander & Jacqueline Rhodes (eds.), The Routledge handbook of digital writing and rhetoric (pp. 401-411). New York: Routledge.

Porter, James E. (2017). Professional communication as phatic: From classical eunoia to personal AI. Business & Professional Communication Quarterly, 80(2), 174-193. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2329490616671708

Cummings, Lance, Frey, Renea, Ireland, Ryan, Martin, Caitlin, McKee, Heidi, Palmeri, Jason, & Porter, James E. (2016). Kairotic design: Building flexible networks for online composition. In James P. Purdy & Dànielle Nicole DeVoss (Eds.), Making space: Writing instruction, infrastructure, and multiliteracies. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. http://www.digitalrhetoriccollaborative.org/makingspace/ch7a.html

Gries, Laurie, [& Porter, James E.]. (2016). An advocate for rhetoric and writing at the university: An interview with James Porter. Composition Forum33http://compositionforum.com/issue/33/james-porter-interview.php

Porter, James E.  (2014). Framing questions about MOOCs and writing courses. In Steven D. Krause & Charles Lowe (Eds.), Invasion of the MOOCs: The promise and perils of massive open online courses (pp. 14-28). Anderson, SC: Parlor Press. http://www.parlorpress.com/invasion_of_the_moocs

Porter, James E. (2013). MOOCs, “courses,” and the question of faculty and student copyrights. In Clancy Ratliff (Ed.), The CCCC-IP annual: Top intellectual property developments of 2012 (pp. 2-18). The Intellectual Property Caucus of the CCCC. http://www.ncte.org/cccc/committees/ip/2012developments

Porter, James E. (2013). How does rhetoric theory inform the practice of technical communication? In Johndan Johnson-Eilola & Stuart A. Selber (Eds.), Solving problems in technical communication (pp. 125-145). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

McKee, Heidi, & Porter, James E. (2012). The ethics of conducting writing research on the Internet: How heuristics help. In Lee Nickoson & Mary P. Sheridan (Eds.), Writing studies research in practice: Methods and methodologies (pp. 245-260). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

McKee, Heidi A., & Porter, James E. (2012). The ethics of archival research. College Composition and Communication64, 59-81.

Porter, James E. (2011). Response: Being rhetorical when we teach intellectual property and fair use. In Martine Courant Rife, Shaun Slattery, & Dànielle Nicole DeVoss (eds.), Copy(write): Intellectual property in the writing classroom (pp. 263-272). Anderson, SC: Parlor Press. http://wac.colostate.edu/books/copywrite/

McKee, Heidi, & Porter, James E. (2010). Legal and regulatory issues for technical communicators conducting global Internet research. Technical Communication57, 282-299.

McKee, Heidi, & Porter, James E. (2010). Rhetorica online: Feminist research practices in cyberspace. In Eileen E. Schell & K.J. Rawson (Eds.), Rhetorica in motion: Feminist rhetorical methods and methodologies (pp. 152-170). Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Porter, James E. (2010). Rhetoric in (as) a digital economy. In Stuart A. Selber (Ed.), Rhetorics and technologies: New directions in writing and communication (pp. 173-197). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.

Porter, James E. (2009). Sustaining a research center: Building the research and outreach profile for a writing program. In Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, Heidi A. McKee, & Richard (Dickie) Selfe (Eds.), Technological ecologies and sustainability. Computers and Composition Digital Press. http://ccdigitalpress.org/tes/

Porter, James E. (2009). Recovering delivery for digital rhetoric. Computers & Composition, 26, 207-224. (Won Ellen Nold Award for Best Article in Computers and Composition.)

McKee, Heidi, & Porter, James E. (2009). Playing a good game: Ethical issues in researching MMOGs and virtual worlds. International Journal of Internet Research Ethics2.

McKee, Heidi, & Porter, James E. (2008). The ethics of digital writing research: A rhetorical approach. College Composition and Communication59, 711-749.

Porter, James E. (2004). Why technology matters to writing: A cyberwriter’s tale. Computers & Composition20(4), 375-394.

Grabill, Jeffrey, Porter, James E., Blythe, Stuart, & Miles, Libby. (2003). Institutional critique revisited. Works & Days, 41/42, 218-237.

Porter, James E., Sullivan, Patricia, Blythe, Stuart, Grabill, Jeffrey T., & Miles, Libby. (2000). Institutional critique: A rhetorical methodology for change. College Composition and Communication51, 610-642.  (Won Braddock Award for Best Article in CCC.)

Work in Progress

Porter is currently working on a project pertaining to rhetoric, humanism, technology, and techne in the 21st-century university (an historical-institutional critique).