James Beitler, Ph.D.

Associate 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 areas of interest include rhetorical theory and criticism, composition pedagogy, community-based writing, and writing program administration. Much of my research focuses on the rhetorical activity of truth and reconciliation commissions, and I am 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 First-Year Writing. I love teaching and talking with others about teaching, and I take great delight in helping my students write more effectively. I also enjoy traveling with my family and reading books with my two boys.

I am co-leading Wheaton in England with Professor Nicole Mazzarella in the summer of 2017. For more information on the program, click here.

Courses Taught


ENGW 103    First-Year Writing (4 credits)

ENGW 104    First-Year Writing (2 credits)

ENGW 214    Rhetorical Writing

ENGW 333    Writing for Social Change

ENGW 444    Special Topics in Writing: Writing about Place

ENGW 471    Composition Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy

ENGL  225    Topical Seminar: Persuasion

ENGL  431    Christianity and Fantasy

CORE  101    First-Year Seminar: “What is Justice?” (fall 2016)

B.R.I.D.G.E.  Introduction to Academic Writing




“An Advent Witness: C.S. Lewis and the Rhetoric of Goodwill.” Religion and the
(forthcoming spring/summer 2017)

“‘Inescapable Networks of Mutuality’: The Development of Transitional Justice in
the United States.” Transitional Justice. Ed. Christine Bell. London: Routledge. Print. 127-148. (reprint, forthcoming September 2016)

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

Review of Managing Vulnerability: South Africa’s Struggle for a Democratic
, by Richard C. Marback. Rhetoric Review 32.4 (2013): 490-493.

“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.

Selected Presentations


“‘An Apologist and a Rhetor’: C.S. Lewis and the Ethos of Ecumenism.” Rhetoric Society of America, 26-29 May 2016, Atlanta, GA.

“Defining Transitions: Building WPA Agency in Changing Times.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, 6-10 April 2016, Houston, TX.

“‘The Pilgrims’ Way’: A Call for Occasional Scholarship in English Studies.” Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature, 2-3 October 2015. Belton, TX.

“Writing for Residents and Resident Aliens: Christian Formation, Hospitality, and the Teaching of Writing.” Faith and Teaching: Virtue, Practice, and Imagination, Kuyers Conference, 1-2 October 2015. Grand Rapids, MI.  

“WPAs across the Disciplines: Creating Sustainable Writing Programs through
Interdisciplinary Work.” Council of Writing Program Administrators Annual Conference, 12-19 July 2015. Boise, ID.

“The Hospitality of Composition: Creating Habitable Sites for Writing on Campus.” College English Association, 26-28 March 2015, Indianapolis, IN. (with Geoffrey Hagberg)

“Records and Responsivity: Engaging a College’s Communities of Practice through its Archives.” Thomas R. Watson Conference, 16-18 October 2014, Louisville, KY.

“‘I’ve Translated You From the Dead’: The Rhetoric of Translation in Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull.” Midwest Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature, 20-21 March 2014, Wheaton, IL.

“From Transitory to Transformational: Writing Center Praxis as Travel.” International Writing Center Collaborative at CCCC, 19 March 2014, Indianapolis, IN.

“Counterbalancing Contempt with Care: Identity and Identification in Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull.” Western Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature, 16-18 May 2013, Azusa, CA.

“Igniting Innovation: Teaching Literacy in the Art of Making New.” National Council of Teachers of English, 15-18 November 2012, Las Vegas, NV.  

“We Joined a World”: Identifying with the Rhetorical Tradition of Truth Commissions to Reframe the Past in Greensboro.” Rhetoric Society of America, 25-28 May 2012, Philadelphia, PA.

“Two Roads Diverged: Employing E-Portfolios to Promote Disciplinary and
Transdisciplinary Learning.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, 21-24 March 2012, St. Louis, MO.

“Embracing Two Types of E-Portfolios in the First-Year Composition Classroom to Facilitate the Transfer of Learning.” National Council of Teachers of English, 17-20 November 2011, Chicago, IL.

“Times They Are A-Changin’: Engaging the Citizen Scholar.” National Collegiate Honors Conference, 19-23 October 2011, Phoenix, AZ.

“Teaching Mysteries: Embracing ‘Metaphysical Wonderment’ in the Liberal Learning Classroom.” The Midwest Conference on Christianity and Literature, 22-24 September 2011, Fort Wayne, IN.  

“Making More of the Middle: The Rhetoric of Desmond Tutu and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” Rhetoric Society of America, 28-31 May 2010, Minneapolis, MN.  

“Remixing Nov. 3rd, 1979: Civil Rights & the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation
Commission.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, 17-20 March 2010, Louisville, KY.

Media Center