James Beitler, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of English
On Faculty since 2013

Phone: (630)752-5529
Fax: (630)752-5555


Ph.D., English and Education, University of Michigan (2009)

M.A., Systematic and Historical Theology, Wheaton College (2004)

B.A., English, Wheaton College (2002)

About James Beitler

My primary interests include rhetorical theory and criticism, the teaching of writing, and hermeneutics. Much of my scholarship focuses on the rhetorical activity of truth and reconciliation commissions, and I’m particularly interested in the ways that TRCs draw on the rhetorical resources of the field of transitional justice as they do their work. At Wheaton College, I serve as the coordinator of the Composition and Research course. I love teaching and talking with others about teaching, and I take great delight in helping my students write more effectively. I also enjoy golfing, traveling with my family, and reading books with my son.

Membership in Professional Societies

  • Conference on Christianity and Literature
  • Conference on College Composition and Communication
  • Modern Language Association
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • Rhetoric Society of America


Remaking Transitional Justice in the United States: The Rhetorical Authorization of the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission. New York: Springer, 2013. Print.

“Making More of the Middle Ground: Desmond Tutu and the Ethos of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” Relevant Rhetoric: A New Journal of Rhetorical Studies 3.1 (Spring 2012): 1-22. Web.

Review of Managing Vulnerability: South Africa’s Struggle for a Democratic Rhetoric by Richard C. Marback. Rhetoric Review. (Forthcoming)

Selected Presentations

“Igniting Innovation: Teaching Literacy in the Art of Making New.” National Council of Teachers of English. Las Vegas, NV. 16 November 2012.

“‘We Joined a World’: Identifying with the Rhetorical Tradition of Truth Commissions to Reframe the Past in Greensboro.” Rhetoric Society of America 15th Biennial Conference. Philadelphia, PA. 27 May 2012.

“Two Roads Diverged: Employing E-Portfolios to Promote Disciplinary and Transdisciplinary Learning.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. St. Louis, MO. 23 March 2012.

“Times They Are A-Changin’: Engaging the Citizen Scholar.” National Collegiate Honors Conference. Phoenix, AZ. 22 October 2011.

“Teaching Mysteries: Embracing ‘Metaphysical Wonderment’ in the Liberal Learning Classroom.” The Midwest Conference on Christianity and Literature. Fort Wayne, IN. 22 September 2011.

“Remixing Nov. 3rd, 1979: Civil Rights & the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Louisville, KY. 18 March 2010.

“Reading ‘Empowering Rhetorics’ in the Writing Classroom.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. San Francisco, CA. 13 March 2009.

“Enacting Truth and Reconciliation on Your Behalf: The Rhetoric of Proxy.” Rhetoric Society of America 13th Biennial Conference. Seattle, WA. 25 May 2008.

“Responsible Civic Identity and Globalization: How Can Discourse Studies Inform Schooling?” Special Interest Group: Language and Social Processes. American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. New York, NY. 27 March 2008.

“‘One Small Step’ for Greensboro: Using Intertextuality as a Rhetorical Device to Construct Authority for the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” 7th Annual Biennial Symposium of the Association for Rhetoric and Communication in South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa. 22 June 2007.

“Constitutive Rhetoric as Rhetorical Prompt: Analyzing the South African TRC Report.” Inscription Conference: Intersections of Faith and Learning in English Studies. Abilene, TX. 29 September 2006.

“A Discourse of Value: The Rhetoric of Wendell Berry’s Essay ‘A Remarkable Man.’” Inquiries into Rhetoric and the Christian Tradition. Chicago, IL. 20 May 2005.

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