J. W. Hammond

J. W. Hammond


  • Assistant Professor, Rhetoric and Composition
  • Academy of Teaching Excellence
  • Ph.D., English and Education, University of Michigan


My research and teaching center on writing studies, social justice, and science and technology studies, paying particular attention to the cultural histories and afterlives of sociotechnical systems for evaluating writing. My approach to historical scholarship, which I call “social justice historiography,” weaves together composition history and critical theories of race and disability to investigate how assessments configure “writing” as a proxy for identity, ability, and worth. In this vein, I’m currently at work on a book project that remaps the early history of writing education in the United States through the coordinates of race, (dis)ability, and biopolitics, documenting how writing assessment technologies shaped and were shaped by eugenic rhetoric—and by resistance to it. More broadly, my publications center on issues of design and (in)justice, excavating hidden meanings, histories, and uses of ostensibly ordinary sociotechnical systems related to teaching (e.g., automated assessment algorithms) and research (e.g., knowledge infrastructures for synthesizing and circulating scholarship). Through my collaborations with scientists and science educators, I also investigate the rhetoric of science, focusing on ethical aims and claims in science education. My work can be found in College Composition and CommunicationReview of Research in EducationAssessing Writing, the Journal of Writing AssessmentEcology and EvolutionChange: The Magazine of Higher Learning, and Scientific American, as well as in edited collections such as Rhetorical Machines, (Re)Considering What We Know, and Writing Assessment, Social Justice, and the Advancement of Opportunity.  

Links of Interest


  • Writing Assessment
  • Rhetoric & Composition History
  • Social Justice & Education
  • Critical Theories of Race & Disability
  • Science, Technology, & Society Studies
  • Knowledge Commons & Infrastructures