John Duffy

Duffy Profile

Professor of English

Specialty: Ethics, rhetoric, literacy, writing pedagogy

Degrees: BA, Boston College; MA, University College, Dublin; MA, Columbia University; PhD, University of Wisconsin

John Duffy has published on the ethics of writing, the rhetoric of disability, and the historical development of literacy in cross-cultural contexts. In his most recent book, Provocations of Virtue: Rhetoric, Ethics, and the Teaching of Writinghe examines the ethical dimensions of teaching writing in a post-truth world. John is co-editor of Literacy, Economy, and Power, and his book Writing from These Roots, was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Book Award by the Conference on College Composition and Communication. He has published essays in CCC, College English, Rhetoric Review, JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics, and elsewhere. John is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. He teaches courses in rhetoric, writing, and literature.

Recent Writing


Recent Talks

  • “Habits of the Heart: How to Argue as a Decent Human Being.” Invited Speaker. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. October 31, 2019.
  • "What We Teach When We Teach Writing: Writing Instruction as a Moral Practice” Invited Speaker. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. October 31, 2019.
  • “Teaching Ethical Writing in Unethical Times.” Invited Speaker. Rhetoric Society of America, Purdue Chapter, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. November 10, 2017.
  • “Ethics and the Ethical Writer.” Invited Speaker. St. Mary’s College, South Bend, IN. November 3, 2017.
  • “The Character of Argument: Ethics in the College Classroom.” Invited Speaker. United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO. October 31, 2017
  • “Toward a Common Language: Teaching Ethical Argument in the Disciplines.” Invited Speaker. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. August 30, 2017
  • “Sites of Resistance: Teaching Writing in a Post-Truth Culture.” Invited Speaker. St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY. August 31, 2017.
  • “The Futures of College Writing.” Invited Panelist. Symposium Sponsored by the University of Denver Writing Program, University of Denver, Denver, CO. June 15, 2017.
  • “Radical Humilities: Post-Truth, Ethics, and the Teaching of Writing.” Keynote Speaker. Annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. April 7, 2017.
  • “As a Matter of Fact: Ethical Writing in a Post-Truth Culture.” Invited Speaker. Belmont University, Nashville, TN. February 20, 2017.
  • “Talking With Strangers: The Ethical Dimensions of Teaching Writing.” Invited Speaker.  Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. October 29, 2015.
  • “Wherever the Just Exchange Their Messages: Teaching Writing as Ethical Discourse.” Invited Speaker.  University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. October 9, 2015.
  • “Rhetorical Virtues: The Ethical Discourse of the Writing Classroom. Invited Speaker. Reimagining Student Writers Series, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. April 1, 2015.


Contact Information
338 Decio Hall
(574) 631-9796

Postal address
Department of English
233 Decio Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556