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Kristi McDuffie

Profile picture for Kristi McDuffie

Contact Information

294 English Building
608 S. Wright St.
608 S Wright
M/C 718
Urbana, IL 61801
Director of Rhetoric


Kristi McDuffie is the Director of Rhetoric at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Undergraduate Rhetoric Program serves over 3,500 students per year in earning the Composition I graduate requirement. In this role as writing program administrator, she leads a team of Rhetoric program staff and over seventy writing teachers a semester. She directs curriculum, oversees mentoring and professional development, leads staffing and scheduling, heads programmatic hiring, and liaises with campus partners and student support services. She is also the Editor and one of the lead authors for the programmatic textbook, I Write: A Writing Guide for the Undergraduate Rhetoric Program at the University of Illinois.

She also maintains an active research agenda that investigates the intersections of digital writing, rhetorical theory, and social justice. Her recent projects and publications investigate hashtag feminism, citizenship rhetorics, and Internet research methods. She is an active member of the writing studies community and serves as a section editor of Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy and regularly serves on Council of Writing Program Administrator committees. She is also an member of the Illinois Articulation Initiative communication panel. 


Ph.D. in English Studies, concentration in Rhetoric and Composition, 2015, Illinois State University

M.A. in English, concentration in Rhetoric and Composition, 2010, Eastern Illinois University

B.S. in Finance, 2003, University of Illinois

Awards and Honors

Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence Award, University of Illinois, 2021

Online Course Development Grant, LAS Online, University of Illinois, 2021

Outstanding Alumni Graduate Award, Eastern Illinois University, 2020

Provost’s Faculty Retreat Grant, University of Illinois, 2019

Courses Taught

Rhetoric 105: Writing and Research

Rhetoric 233: Advanced Composition (Genre Studies Topic)

English 380: Topics in Writing Studies (Hashtag Activism, Digital Rhetoric)

English 481: Composition Theory and Practice

English 593: Professional Seminar in the Teaching of Rhetoric

Recent Publications

Hashtag Activism: Case Studies of Digital Protests & Online Social Movements. Co-edited collection with Melissa Ames. Forthcoming with Utah State University Press, November 2022. Contributions include collaborations on “Introduction: The Vibrancy and Urgency of Hashtag Activism: Making Connections and Contributions”; “Affecting Digital Activism: A Comparative Study of #MarchForOurLives and #WomensMarch,” and “Capturing a Moving Target: Talking about Ethical Research Practices for Hashtag Activism.”

“Archiving Affect & Activism: Hashtag Feminism and Structures of Feeling in Women’s March Tweets.” Co-authored with Melissa Ames. First Monday, vol. 26, no. 2, 2021. Available at

“From Selfies to Celebrities: #FeministsAreUgly as Cultural Critique or Cultural Confusion?” Computers & Writing 2016 and 2017 Conference Proceedings. WAC Clearinghouse, 2018. 

“Color-Blind Rhetoric in Obama’s 2008 ‘Race Speech’: The Appeal to Whiteness and the Disciplining of Racial Rhetorical Studies.” Rhetorics of Whiteness: Post-Racial Hauntings in Popular Culture, Social Media, and Education. Ed. Tammie M. Kennedy, Joyce Irene Middleton, and Krista Ratcliffe. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2017.