Brian Graves

214 Karpen Hall CPO 2130


Office Hours

  • Mon: 

    • 1 - 2 p.m.
  • Tue: 

    • 11:00 a.m. - noon
  • Wed: 

    • 1 - 2 p.m.
  • Thu: 

    • 11:00 a.m. - noon
  • Fri: 

    • 1 - 2 p.m.
Other times by appointment.

Whether you are inside the academy or outside, doing politics or business, practicing philanthropy or chicanery, now is the time to start studying critically the floods of good rhetoric and rhetrickery that sweep over you daily.  Your fate, like mine, depends at least partly on the quality of your listening to the rhetoric that hits you, and the quality of your responses.

Wayne Booth, The Rhetoric of RHETORIC

Questions about language drive most of my teaching and research: how does language affect our thinking, our learning, and our relationships with others? How can we learn to attend more critically to the ways that we and others use language, so that we can listen, understand, and disagree more honestly and constructively? The questions root deeply in my own story, from learning three (English, Greek, and Hebrew) alphabets simultaneously as a toddler, to interrupting a Southern Appalachian upbringing with a three-year sojourn in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic when I was a teenager. My efforts to make sense of this cross-cultural mishmash have carried me through academic studies in US, Western, Latin American, and ancient Near Eastern history; Spanish language and literatures; biblical languages and literatures; religion and theology; and writing studies (rhetoric and composition). I have also worked as an ESL teacher with refugees; a bilingual social worker with mostly undocumented immigrants; a hospital chaplain intern; and an adjunct instructor of humanities, history, religion, and basic writing at several NC community colleges. I joined the English Department as a lecturer in 2012.



MA, Western Carolina University
MDiv, Wake Forest University
MA, Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
BA, Mars Hill College

Recent Teaching

HUM 124: The Ancient World
LANG 120: Academic Writing and Critical Inquiry
LANG 352: The English Language & the Teaching of Writing
LIT 328: Ethnic Literatures: U.S. Latina/o Literature
LIT/CLAS 365: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible

Recent Presentations and Publications

“What We Say When We Talk about Writing: Seeking Common Ground across the Curriculum.” Presented at Conference on College Composition and Communication, March 15, 2018.

"Trees and Forest: Developing a Sustainable Assessment of First-Year Writing for Transfer." Presented at 2017 Conference on College Composition and Communication, March 17, 2017.

"Reestablishing WAC/WID: Grassroots Campus Activism." Presented with Jessica Pisano and Patrick Bahls at Eleventh Annual Fall Conference of the Carolinas Writing Program Administrators, September 13, 2016.

"Supporting and Sustaining Our Faculty and Ourselves." Presented with Jessica Pisano at Tenth Annual Fall Conference of the Carolinas Writing Program Administrators, September 15, 2015.

"But I thought we couldn't do that!": Using the Corpus of Contemporary American English in First-Year Composition Classes." Presented at 37th Annual Philological Association of the Carolinas Conference, UNC Asheville, March 22, 2013.

"Manipulating Language in Meaningful Contexts: Reconsidering Grammar in Basic and First-Year Composition Instruction." Presented at Ninth Annual TESOL/Applied Linguistics Graduate Students Conference, UNC Asheville, February 18, 2012.