Gesa Kirsch, PhD

Faculty - Full-Time
Gesa Kirsch
Professor of Rhetoric and Composition
Director of the Writing Center
Phone

Gesa E. Kirsch’s research focuses on feminist rhetorical studies, archival research, ethics and representation, and innovation and creativity. She has authored, coauthored, and co-edited numerous books, articles, and book chapters, including More than Gold in California: The Life and Work of Dr. Mary Bennett Ritter, a critical edition of an historically significant memoir, Feminist Rhetorical Practices: New Horizons for Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy Studies, co-authored with Jacqueline Jones Royster, winner of the Winifred Bruce Horner Outstanding Book Award, and Beyond the Archives: Research as a Lived Process, co-edited with Liz Rohan.

She has won a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend; the Richard Braddock Award for best article in CCC; the Mee Family Prize for distinguished research, Bentley University’s highest distinction; and two Innovation in Teaching Awards. She has served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Louisville and Syracuse University. Prior to joining Soka University, she taught at Bentley University, Wayne State University, and served as the Associate Executive Director for Higher Education at the National Council of Teachers of English.

  • PhD University of California, San Diego
  • BA United States International University (now Alliant International University) San Diego
  • Feminist rhetorical studies
  • Ethics, gender and diversity
  • Qualitative and Archival Research Methodologies
  • Environmental rhetoric
  • Women in the history of medicine, STEM fields and start-ups
  • Creativity, Innovation, and Value-Sensitive Design

 BOOKS

  • Kirsch, Gesa E., editor. More Than Gold in California: The Life and Work of Dr. Mary Bennett Ritter. A republication of Dr. Ritter’s memoir, first published in 1933, with a critical introduction, historical images, photos, and artifacts. Globe Pequot P, Two Dot series. 2017.
  • Royster, Jacqueline Jones and Gesa E. Kirsch. Feminist Rhetorical Practices: New Horizons for Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy Studies. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2012. Second printing December 2012. Winner 2014 Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E., and Liz Rohan, editors. Beyond the Archives: Research as a Lived Process. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2008. Second printing April 2010.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E., Faye Spencer Maor, Lance Massey, Lee Nickoson-Massey, and Mary P. Sheridan-Rabideau, editors. Feminism and Composition: A Critical Sourcebook. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2003.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. Ethical Dilemmas in Feminist Research: The Politics of Location, Interpretation, and Publication. Albany: State University of New York P, 1999.
  • Mortensen, Peter, and Kirsch, Gesa E, editors. Ethics and Representation in Qualitative Studies of Literacy. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 1996. Third printing 2003.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. Women Writing the Academy: Audience, Authority, and Transformation. Studies in Writing and Rhetoric Series. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1993. Second printing 1995.
  •  Kirsch, Gesa E. and Patricia Sullivan, editors. Methods and Methodology in Composition Research. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1992. Multiple printings.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. and Duane Roen, editors. A Sense of Audience in Written Communication. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990. 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

  • Royster, Jacqueline Jones and Gesa E. Kirsch. “Ethics and Action: Feminist Perspectives on Facing the Grand Challenges of Our Time.” After Plato: Rhetoric, Ethics and the Teaching of Writing. Editors John Duffy and Lois Agnew. Utah State UP, 2020. 117-140.
  • Fancher, Patricia, Gesa E. Kirsch and Alison Williams. “Feminist Practices in Digital Humanities Research: Visualizing Women Physicians’ Networks of Solidarity, Struggle and Exclusion.” Peitho Journal 20.2 Winter 2020. Available online. https://cfshrc.org/article/feminist-practices-in-digital-humanities-research-visualizing-women-physicians-networks-of-solidarity-struggle-and-exclusion/
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “Sit Down and Write, Get Up and Move.” Explanation Point: Publishing in Rhetoric and Composition. Danielle DeVoss and John Gallagher, eds. Logan: Utah State UP, 2019: 17-20.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E, and Patricia Fancher. “Social Networks as a Powerful Force for Change: Women in the History of Medicine and Computing.” Remembering Women Differently: Refiguring Rhetorical Work. Lynee Lewis Gaillet and Helen Gaillet Bailey, eds. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2019. 21-38.
  • Mastrangelo, Lisa, David Gold, Nicole Khoury, Michael Faris, Rebecca Dingo, Rachel Riedner, Jennifer Wingard, Gesa E. Kirsch, and Jacqueline Jones Royster. "Changing the Landscape: Feminist Rhetorical Practices: New Horizons for Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy Studies, Five Years Later.” Peitho Journal 20.2 (2018): 160-97. Available on line. http://peitho.cwshrc.org/files/2018/04/Coalition_ChangingtheLandscape_20.2.pdf
  • Royster, Jacqueline Jones and Gesa E. Kirsch. “Social Circulation and Legacies of Mobility for Nineteenth-Century Women: Implications for Using Digital Resources in Socio-Rhetorical Projects.” Circulation, Writing and Rhetoric. Eds. Laurie E. Gries and Collin Gifford Brooke. Logan: Utah State UP, 2018. 170-188.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “The Challenge of Making our Work Matter in Dark Times: Afterword.” In Making Future Matters. Editors Rick Wysocki and Mary P. Sheridan. Computers and Composition Digital Press, an imprint of Utah State UP. 2018. http://ccdigitalpress.org/book/makingfuturematters/kirsch.html
  •  Kirsch, Gesa E. “Afterword: Serendipity and Ethics in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Research.” Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Research. Editors Maureen Daly Goggin and Peter N. Goggin. Utah State UP, 2018. 267-273.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “Sex, Labor, and Bodies: The Regulatory Power of Rhetoric.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 46.5 (2016): 459-464.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “Reflections: New Ethical Questions for Archival Researchers.” Provocations: Reconstructing the Archives featuring the work of Erin R. Anderson, Trisha N. Campbell, Alexandra Hidalgo and Jody Shipka. Ed. Patrick W. Berry, Gail E. Hawisher, and Cynthia L. Selfe. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital P/Utah State UP, 2016. Web.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “Creating Visions of Reality: A Rhetoric of Response, Engagement, and Action.” JAC: A Journal for Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics. 34.1 & 2 (2014): 25-47.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “A Land Ethic for Urban Dwellers.” Environmental Rhetoric and Ecologies of Place. Routledge Studies in Rhetoric and Communication. Ed. Peter N. Goggin. New York: Routledge, 2013. 69-83.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “Developing a Sustainable Land Ethic in 21st Century Cities.” Eco-Architecture: Harmonisation between Architecture and Nature. Ed. Carlos A. Brebbia. Southampton, U.K.: Wessex Institute of Technology Press, 2012. 139-147.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “The Challenges of Conducting Ethically Responsible Research.” Practicing Research in Writing Studies: Reflexive and Ethically Responsible Research. Ed. Katrina M. Powell and Pamela Takayoshi. New York: Hampton Press, 2012. 409-414.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “New Methodological Challenges for Writing Studies Researchers.” Writing Studies Research in Practice: Methods and Methodologies. Ed. Lee Nickoson and Mary P. Sheridan. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2012. xi – xvi.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E., and Jacqueline Jones Royster. “Feminist Rhetorical Practices: In Search of Excellence.” College Composition and Communication, 61.4 (2010): 640-672. 
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “From Introspection to Action: Connecting Spirituality and Civic Engagement.” College Composition and Communication 60 (2009): W1-W15.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “Creating Spaces for Listening, Learning, and Sustaining the Inner Lives of Students.” Journal of the Assembly on Expanded Perspectives on Learning14 (Winter 2008-2009): 56-67.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “Being on Location: Serendipity, Place, and Archival Research.” Beyond the Archives: Research as a Lived Process. Eds. Gesa E. Kirsch and Liz Rohan. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2008. 20-27.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E., and Maureen Goldman. “Women, Leadership, and Social Change: Past and Present.” The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations 5.6 (2006): 125-132. Available on line at www.Diversity-Journal.com
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Friendship, Friendliness, and Feminist Fieldwork." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 30.4 (Summer 2005): 2163-2172. 
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “Walking in the Footsteps of a Historical Subject.” Peitho: Newsletter of the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition 9.1 (2004). 1-5.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Ethics and the Future of Composition Research." Composition Studies in the New Millennium: Rereading the Past, Rewriting the Future. Ed. Lynn Z. Bloom, Donald A. Daiker, and Edward M. White. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2003. 129-141.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Response to 'Practicing for Romance'." What They Don't Learn in School: Literacy in the Lives of Urban Youth. Ed. Jabari Mahiri. New York: Peter Lang, 2004. 181-184.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. and Joy Ritchie. "Beyond the Personal: Theorizing a Politics of Location in Composition Research." College Composition and Communication 46 (1995): 7-29. Republished in Cross-Talk in Composition Theory: A Reader. Second edition. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 2003. 523-546.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. “Toward an Engaged Rhetoric of Professional Practice.” JAC: A Quarterly Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Rhetoric, Writing, Multiple Literacies, and Politics 22.2 (Spring 2002): 414-421.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E., Min-Zhan Lu, Deborah Brandt, Ellen Cushman, Anne Ruggles Gere, Anne Herrington, Richard Miller, and Victor Villanueva. "The Politics of the Personal: Storying Our Lives Against the Grain." College English 63 (2001): 41-62.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Reflecting on Ethical Dilemmas in Feminist Research." JAC: A Quarterly Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Rhetoric, Writing, Multiple Literacies, and Politics. Electronic publication, December 15, 1999. http://jac.gsu.edu/jac/Reviewsreviewed/kirsch.htm
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Reflecting on Collaboration in Feminist Empirical Research: Some Cautions." Feminist Empirical Research: Emerging Perspectives on Qualitative and Teacher Research. Ed. Sharon James McGee and Joanne Addison. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1999. 158-162.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. and Peter Mortensen. "Reflecting on Authority." On Writing Research: CCCC Braddock Essays, 1975-1998. Ed. Lisa Ede. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. 334-335.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Response to David Seitz." College English 60 (1998): 344-345.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Conference on the Growing Use of Part-time/Adjunct Faculty: Reflections from NCTE Participants." Forum: Newsletter of the Non-Tenure Track Faculty Special Interest Group. In College Composition and Communication 49 (1998): A13-A15.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Multivocal Texts and Interpretive Responsibility." College English 59 (1997): 191-202.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "A Comment on 'Teaching and Learning as a Man.'" College English 58 (1996): 966-68.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. and Joy Ritchie. "Beyond the Personal: Theorizing a Politics of Location in Composition Research." College Composition and Communication 46 (1995): 7-29.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "The Politics of I-Dropping." College Composition and Communication 45 (1994): 381-383.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. and Peter Mortensen. "On Authority in the Study of Writing." College Composition and Communication 44 (1993): 556-72. Winner of the Richard Braddock Award. 
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Methodological Pluralism: Epistemological Issues." Methods and Methodology in Composition Research. Ed. Gesa Kirsch and Patricia Sullivan. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1992. 247-269.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Writing Up and Down the Social Ladder: A Study of Experienced Writers Composing for Contrasting Audiences." Research in the Teaching of English 25 (1991): 33-53.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Experienced Writers' Sense of Audience and Authority: Three Case Studies." A Sense of Audience in Written Communication. Ed. Gesa Kirsch and Duane Roen. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990. 216-230.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Theories and Research on Audience in Written Communication." A Sense of Audience in Written Communication. Ed. Gesa Kirsch and Duane Roen. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990. 13-21.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Authority in Reader-Writer Relationships." Reader: Essays in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy 21 (1989): 56-67.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Response to 'Only One of the Voices: Dialogic Writing Across the Curriculum.'" College English 51 (1989): 99-101.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Students' Interpretations of Writing Tasks: A Case Study." Journal of Basic Writing 7 (1988): 81-90.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Authority in Reader-Writer Relationships." Reader: Essays in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy 21 (1989): 56-67.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Response to 'Only One of the Voices: Dialogic Writing Across the Curriculum.'" College English 51 (1989): 99-101.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Students' Interpretations of Writing Tasks: A Case Study." Journal of Basic Writing 7 (1988): 81-90.
  • Kirsch, Gesa E. "Writing Across the Curriculum: The Program at Third College, University of California, San Diego." WPA: Writing Program Administration 12 (1988): 47-55.
  • 2001-2020, Professor of English, Director of the Valente Center for the Arts & Sciences; Director of Women's Leadership Institute, Bentley University
  • 1997-2000, Associate Executive Director for Higher Education, National Council of Teachers of English
  • 1988-1997, Assistant and Associate Professor of English; Director of Gender Studies, Wayne State University

INVITED VISITING POSITIONS

  • 2019, Thomas R. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor of Rhetoric and Composition, University of Louisville
  • 2016, Visiting Scholar, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, University of California Santa Barbara
  • 2015, Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities, Syracuse University
  • 2010, Visiting Professor of English, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • 2008, Visiting Professor of English, University of New Hampshire
  • 1995, Visiting Associate Professor, Director of Women's Studies, University of Oregon
  • Summer Research Grants, Bentley University, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2014, 2010, 2008, 2004, 2003, 2001 for research and scholarly publication.    
  • Innovation in Teaching Awards, Bentley University, 2018, 2004. 
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, NEH Summer Stipend, 2017.
  • Mee Family Prize for a Lifetime of Research Excellence, Bentley University highest recognition for scholarly achievement, 2015.
  • Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award for Feminist Rhetorical Practices: New Horizons for Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies, co-authored with Jacqueline Jones Royster. Awarded by the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition Studies, 2014
  • Excellence in Scholarship Award, Bentley University. Recognition for accumulated record of scholarly productivity, leadership in the discipline, and demonstrated influence on the work of others, 2013.
  • Dean’s International Travel Grants, Bentley University, 2012, 2005 to present research at the International Conferences
  • Publication Awards, Bentley University, for excellence in scholarly publications, 2007, 2006, 2004.
  • Patrina Foundation Grants to support Institute for Women in Leadership, Bentley University, 2004 and 2003.
  • Pew Charitable Trusts, Grant for Preparing Future Faculty Project (PFF) on behalf of NCTE, 1999.
  • Richard Braddock Award for the best article in College Composition and Communication, "On Authority in the Study of Writing" (with Peter Mortensen), Vol. 44 (1993): 556-72. 1994.
  • Research Grant, National Council of Teachers of English Research Foundation, 1989-1990.