1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

James Seitz

Associate Professor and Director, Academic and Professional Writing Program

322-B Bryan Hall

Office Hours:

By appointment.

Class Schedule:

W 2:00 - 3:30


Ph.D. New York University 1990
M.A. University of New Mexico 1985
B.A. University of California at Santa Barbara 1980


I study and teach the intersections among composition, literature, and creative writing—fields that are usually separated in the curriculum but that I find most interesting when explored together.  To my mind the curricular divisions within English Studies are more harmful than enabling, and I look for productive ways to bring different realms of literacy into contact.  My literature courses are courses in writing just as my writing courses are courses in literature—and by and large I think my students value the interplay.  I also like to bring my interests in music, film, television, art, and athletics into my courses, from first-year writing to fourth-year literature.  My graduate teaching focuses on pedagogy and curriculum development, with an emphasis on how we can make the teaching of English and the Humanities more meaningful for today’s students.


Autobiography, Rhetoric, Writing Program


  • “Writing from the Inside:  Rethinking Literacy by Narrating the Classroom.”  Reader: Essays in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy Fall 2009:  141-46.
  • “Content in Composition Studies:  Four Ways of Discussing a Difficult Subject.”  Writing on the Edge 15 (Spring 2005):  15-35.  (Co-authored with Mariolina Salvatori, Judith Goleman, and Patricia Donahue.)
  •  “From Private to Public Classrooms:  ‘Inadequate’ Student Texts in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.”  Ethics of Inquiry: Issues in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Pat Hutchings, ed.  Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2002.  65-73. 
  • “Changing the Program(s):  English Department Curricula in the Contemporary Research University.”  Beyond English Inc.:  Curricular Reform in a Global Economy. Eds. David B. Downing, Claude Mark Hurlbert, and Paula Mathieu.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann, 2002.  151-63.
  •  “From Dismay to Collaboration:  Reimagining the Student in Higher Education.”  Association of Departments of English Bulletin No. 127 (Winter 2001):  41-43.
  • “Academic Freedom as Collective Action:  Fighting Faculty Passivity at the Large Research University.”  Democratic Culture 4 (Fall 2000):  15-24.
  • "Literature Learns to Write:  The Possibilities and Pleasures of Role-play."  Critical Theory and the Teaching of Literature.  Eds. James Slevin and Art Young.  Urbana:  NCTE, 1996.  328-40.
  • "Eluding Righteous Discourse:  A Discreet Politics for New Writing Curricula."  Writing Program Administration 16 (Spring 1993):  7-14.
  • "A Rhetoric of Reading."  Rebirth of Rhetoric:  Essays in Language, Culture, and Education.  Ed. Richard Andrews.  London:  Routledge, 1992.  141-55.
  • "Roland Barthes, Reading, and Roleplay:  Composition's Misguided Rejection of Fragmentary Texts."  College English 53 (Nov. 1991):  815-25.
  • "Composition's Misunderstanding of Metaphor."  College Composition and Communication 42 (Oct. 1991):  288-98.

Invited Lectures

  • “Re-Telling Our Tales: Narratives of Teaching and the Graduate Curriculum.”  The Graduate Program in Cultural Rhetoric, Syracuse University.  Syracuse, NY: November 14, 2012.
  • “Learning to Teach: Developing the Intellectual Substance of Student Group Work.”  Symposium on Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh.  June 11, 2012.
  • “Metaphor, Inquiry, and the Tales We Tell Ourselves.”  The College of Arts and Sciences, George Washington University. Washington DC:  February 22, 2010.
  •  “A Deeper Look at Writing across the Curriculum.”  Seton Hill University.  Greensburg PA, May 2002.
  • “Writing across the Curriculum:  An Introduction.”  Seton Hill University.  Greensburg PA, May 2001.
  • “Literacy, Lies, and Videotape:  A New Curriculum for Teachers of Writing.”  Special Forum at the Annual Convention of the Modern Language Association.  Washington DC, December 2000.
  • “From Dismay to Collaboration:  Re-imagining the Student in Higher Education.”  Special session of the Modern Language Association at the Annual Convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication.  Minneapolis MN, April 2000.
  • “Why Write across the Curriculum?”  Marywood University.  Scranton PA, March 2000.
  • “Metaphor, Curriculum, Literacy.”  Temple University Writing Center.  Philadelphia PA, December 1999.
  • “Beyond-the-Disciplines Writing Assignments.”  Sweetland Writing Center at the University of Michigan.  Ann Arbor MI, November 1999.
  • “Making English Matter.”  Featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Western Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English.  La Roche College, Pittsburgh PA, September 1999.
  • "Teaching Teachers of Literacy."  Institute for the Study of Literature, Literacy,and Culture.  Temple University, Philadelphia PA, April 1998.
  • "What We Write about When We Write about Student Writing."  The Writing Program at Syracuse University.  Syracuse NY, August 1995.
  • "'The Center Is Not The Center':  Derrida and Basic Writing."  The Writing Program at Long Island University.  Brooklyn NY, September 1993.


  • Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Pittsburgh, 2005
  • David and Tina Bellet Teaching Excellence Award for the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 2003
  • Carnegie Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2001-02