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Derek N. Mueller

Derek N. Mueller, Professor of Rhetoric and Writing

Derek N. Mueller, Professor of Rhetoric and Writing and Director of the University Writing  Program
Derek N. Mueller, Professor of Rhetoric and Writing

Department of English
315 Shanks Hall 
181 Turner Street, NW 
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-1738 |

Dr. Derek N. Mueller is a professor of rhetoric and writing. His teaching and research attends to the interplay among writing, rhetorics, and technologies.

Mueller regularly teaches courses in visual rhetorics, writing pedagogy, first-year writing, and digital media. He continues to be motivated professionally and intellectually by questions concerning digital writing platforms, networked writing practices, theories of composing, and discipliniographies or field narratives related to writing studies/rhetoric and composition.

Along with Andrea Williams, Louise Wetherbee Phelps, and Jen Clary-Lemon, he is coauthor of Cross-Border Networks in Writing Studies (Inkshed/Parlor, 2017). His 2018 monograph, Network Sense: Methods for Visualizing a Discipline (Colorado State University Open Press’s #writing Series) argues for thin and distant approaches to discerning disciplinary patterns. His other work has been published in Kairos, Enculturation, Present Tense, Computers and Composition, Composition Forum, and JAC.

Mueller earned his Ph.D. from Syracuse University’s Composition and Cultural Rhetoric program in 2009. He holds an M.A. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City  and a B.A. from Park University. 

For further information, please visit Mueller’s personal website.

  • Theories and Practices of Composition
  • Research Methods and Methodologies
  • New Media and Digital Rhetorics
  • Network Studies
  • Digital Humanities
  • Ph.D., 2009, Composition and Cultural Rhetoric, Syracuse University
  • M.A., 2000, English, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • B.A., 1996, English, Park College
  • Computers & Composition Distinguished Book Award for Network Sense: Methods for Visualizing a Discipline, 2018
  • CCCC Research Impact Award for Network Sense: Methods for Visualizing a Discipline, 2019
  • Claude English Award, for leadership, service, and professional achievement, Park University, 2019
  • Catch the Spirit Award, Native Vision, Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, 2016


Network Sense: Methods for Visualizing a Discipline. #writing series. Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado, 2017.

Cross-Border Networks in Writing Studies co-authored with Jennifer Clary-Lemon, Louise Wetherbee Phelps, and Andrea Williams. Anderson, SC: Inkshed/Parlor P, 2017. 

Journal Articles

“Polymorphic Frames of Pre-tenure WPAs: Seven Accounts of Hybridity and Pronoia,” coauthored with Laura Davies, Matt Dowell, Alanna Frost, Mike Garcia, Rik Hunter, and Kate Pantelides, Kairos 21.1 (August 2016). Web.

“Eight Years a “Wooden Opponent”: Genre Change (and its Lack) in Campus Timely Warnings,” co-authored with Kate Pantelides and Gabe Green, Present Tense 5.3 (May 2016). Web.

“Mapping the Resourcefulness of Sources: A Worknet Pedagogy,” Composition Forum 32 (Fall 2015). Web.

“How to Travel in Time,” audio cut-up for “William S. Burroughs Teaches Writing” Response, Enculturation (Feb. 2015). Web.

“Lessons in Generative Design, Publishing, and Circulation: What EM-Journal’s First Year Has Taught Us,” co-developed with Jana Rosinski, Becky Morrison, Chelsea Lonsdale, and Adam Nannini, Kairos 17.2 (Jan. 2013). Web.

“Grasping Rhetoric and Composition by Its Long Tail: What Graphs Can Tell Us About the Field's Changing Shape,” College Composition and Communication 64.1 (Sept. 2012): 195-223. PDF

“Views from a Distance: A Nephological Model of the CCCC Chairs' Addresses, 1977-2011,” Kairos 16.2 (Jan. 2012). Web.

“Tracing Rhetorical Style from Prose to New Media: 3.33 Ways,” Kairos 16.2 (Jan. 2012). Web.

Book Chapters

“Style Conventions,” coauthored with Julie Mengert. Understanding Rhetoric Virginia Tech Custom. Boston: Macmillan, 2018. 27 pp.

“Welcome to the Virginia Tech Composition Program.” Understanding Rhetoric Virginia Tech Custom. Boston: Macmillan, 2018. 25 pp.

“New Materialisms, Networks, and Humanities Research,” coauthored with Laurie Gries, Jenny Bay, and Nathaniel Rivers. Networked Humanities: Within and Without the University. Jeff Rice and Brian McNely, eds. New Media Theory ser. Anderson, SC: Parlor P, 2018. 85-102.

“Every Mad Scientist Needs a Tower, a Monster, and a Telegraph Wire: Blogs as Research and Pedagogy Laboratories for Graduate Students,” coauthored with Krista A. Kennedy for Metamorphosis: The Effects of Professional Development on Graduate Students. Eds. Andréa D. Davis and Suzanne Webb. X ser. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead P, 2017. 139-154.

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