John Duffy


Francis O’Malley Director, University Writing Program; Associate Professor of English, Department of English

B.A., Boston College; M.A., University College, Dublin; M.A., Columbia University; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

John Duffy has published on the ethics of writing, the rhetoric of disability, and the historical development of literacy and rhetoric in cross-cultural contexts. He recently co-edited the essay collection Literacy, Economy, and Power, and his book, Writing from These Roots, was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Book Award by the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Duffy is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In 2015, Duffy was elected to the Executive Committee of the Conference on College Communication and Composition. He teaches courses in rhetoric, writing, and literature. 

Recent Writing
​"The Good Writer: Virtue Ethics and the Teaching of Writing." ​ College English. Volume 79, Number 3, 2017.
"Guns and Slavery."  Notre Dame Magazine. October 22, 2015.
"Reconsidering Virtue." The Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning.
     Special Section: Rhetoric and Ethics. Volume 21, Winter 2015-2016, 3-8.  
"Writing Involves Ethical Choices." In Adler-Kassner, L and E. Wardle. Naming What We Know: Threshold 
    Concepts in Writing Studies.
Logan: Utah State, 2015.
“Ethical Dispositions: A Discourse for Rhetoric and Composition.” JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics.
     34. 1-2 (2014).
Literacy, Economy, and Power: Writing and Research after Literacy in American Lives. Eds. John Duffy,
     Julie Nelson Christoph, Eli Goldblatt, Nelson Graff, Rebecca S. Nowacek, and Bryan Trabold.
     Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2014. 
"The Ethics of Metaphor." Chronicle of Higher Education: The Conversation. December 2, 2013.
"Virtues of Conversation: Ethics in the Writing Center." Another Word, October 8. 2012.
"Virtuous Arguments." Inside Higher Ed. March 16, 2012.
Editor (with Melanie Yergeau), Special Issue: Disability and Rhetoric, Disability Studies Quarterly (31.3). 2011.
“The Pathos of ‘Mindblindness’: Autism, Science, and Sadness in ‘Theory of Mind’ Narratives” (with
     Rebecca Dorner). Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies (5.2): 201-215. 2011. 
Writing from These Roots: The Historical Development of Literacy in a Hmong- American Community.
     Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2007.

Recent Talks
"Sites of Resistance: Teaching Writing in a Post-Truth Culture." Invited Lecture, St. John Fisher College,
    Rochester, NY. August 31, 2017.
"Toward a Common Language: Teaching Ethical Argument in the Disciplines." Invited Lecture, Rochester
    Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. August 30, 2017.
"The Futures of College Writing." Invited Panelist, Symposium Sponsored by the
    University of Denver Writing Program, University of Denver, Denver, CO. June 15, 2017.
"Radical Humilities: Post-Truth, Ethics, and the Teaching of Writing." Keynote Speaker.
     Annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.
     April 7, 2017
"Facts Matter! A Guide to Critical Thinking." Invited Panelist. American Democracy Project’s
    Civic Leadership Academy. South Bend, IN. March 22, 2017.
"The Man in the Work: Reflections on Harvey Graff." Conference on College Composition and
    Communication, Portland, OR. March 21, 2017.
"Cultivating Incivility." Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland, OR.
     March 20, 2017.
"As a Matter of Fact: Ethical Writing in a Post-Truth Culture.” Invited Lecture. Belmont University,
     Nashville, TN. February 20, 2017. 
"Enactments of Virtue.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Houston, TX. 
    April 8, 2016.
"Talking With Strangers: The Ethical Dimensions of Teaching Writing.” Invited Lecture.
     Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. October 29, 2015.
"Wherever the Just Exchange Their Messages: Teaching Writing as Ethical Discourse.” Invited Lecture.
    University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. October 9, 2015.
"Good People, Speaking Well: The Work of a Writing Center.” Keynote Address. East Central Writing
    Centers Association Conference, Notre Dame, IN. April 10, 2015.
“Rhetorical Virtues: The Ethical Discourse of the Writing Classroom.” Reimagining Student Writers Series.
    Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. April 1, 2015.
"Beyond Civility: Addressing the Crisis in American Public Discourse." Saturday Scholars Series,
    University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN. November 22, 2014.
"Ethical Dispositions: A Discourse for Rhetoric and Composition." Keynote Address, Watson Conference,
    University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. October 17, 2014.
"Rhetorical Virtues: Toward an Ethical Public Discourse." Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study,
    Notre Dame, IN. April 22, 2014.
"Would You Fight for Prince Harry? (And Other Problems in the Rhetorical Tradition)." Eastern
    Correctional Facility, Wawarsing, Ulster County, NY. April 11, 2014.
"Moral Imaginations: The Work of a University Writing Program." Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.
    April 7, 2014.

Contact Information

338 Decio Hall
(574) 631-9796
Mailing Address:
205 Coleman-Morse