Dr. Erin Branch

Dr. BranchI come to Wake Forest from a background in secondary education and from graduate training in Rhetoric & Composition. When people ask me what I study, I tell them that rhetoricians study how people use words to convince other people to do stuff. While that might be an oversimplification, I chose this field because I wanted to know more about how language (and other tools, but mostly language) work “in the street.” That is, how have writers effectively used language to advance knowledge claims, to construct identities, and to persuade readers to change their thinking and behavior?  I also became interested in the “rules” governing this language use, particularly the role of genres. My research focuses on food writing and on women’s autobiography, but I am also interested in disciplinary academic writing, especially in the social and natural sciences. In my teaching, I strive to help students become aware of the generic and rhetorical resources that both enable and constrain all writing activities.