Center for Rhetoric in Society

Investigate. Narrate. Engage.

Learn About Us

Language is a part of the way we try to make things better, reveal inequities, and rectify them. At the Center for Rhetoric in Society, our mission is to empower speakers and writers in professional and public contexts to challenge unethical discourse and develop positive communication strategies. Use the three radio buttons below to learn more about the center and our work.

The outside of Shanks Hall on a clear day

Who We Are

Virginia Tech’s Center for Rhetoric in Society (CRS) was formed in 2006 in the Department of English. The CRS, originally named the Center for Rhetoric and Writing Research, started as a part of the department’s Writing Center. From the beginning, we have served as an incubator for projects, programs, and original research activities.

People presenting research at a meeting in the CRS

What We Do

How does language inspire people to action? How does writing change society, and why? We search for answers by studying everything from the communication strategies of national social change movements to everyday rhetorics that often go unnoticed and unexamined. We share our findings at conferences and in publications and through outreach programs and other events.

Two students collaborate on a project

Our Projects

All of our research and creative projects combine methods developed in rhetoric and writing studies with methods across the disciplines. Through externally funded research and outreach, we seek to translate analysis into action. Our latest research considers the role of technology and multimodality in contemporary discourse.

Work With Us

We are always looking for new collaborators and graduate assistants. If you have a project that connects with our mission or if you are studying at Virginia Tech and pursuing an advanced degree related to rhetoric, composition, or technical communication, we would be happy to hear from you. Learn more about opportunities to get involved with the center and contact us if you’d like more information.

At the Center for Rhetoric in Society, we value opportunities to work with others. We have a history of productive partnerships, and we welcome new collaboration opportunities with other academic units, community organizations, corporations, scholars, and activists in Virginia, the United States, and internationally. Please contact us to learn more.

The Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society is committed to providing intellectual and professional growth for its graduate assistants. Applicants from across the curriculum are welcome although preference will be given to those with a background in rhetoric, composition, professional or technical writing/communication and who are pursuing advanced studies in one or more of those areas. Please visit our assistantships page to learn more.

Visit Us

If you are interested in learning more about the center, we invite you to visit us. We are located on the third floor of Shanks Hall on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.