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Patricia L. Bizzell


English Department
Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies


Distinguished Professor of Humanities Emerita
Ph.D., Rutgers University

Fields: Expository Writing; Theory and Practice of Rhetoric; American Literature to 1900; American Women's Literature, Jewish Literature

•  CV (PDF) »

Email: pbizzell@holycross.edu


I am a Distinguished Professor of English Emerita, retired as of September 2019. In 41 years at Holy Cross, I founded and directed a writing-across-the-curriculum program and a peer-tutoring facility (now grown into our Writing Center); and I served as Director of both the College Honors Program and the English Honors Program, Chair of the English Department, and Speaker of the Faculty (head of the faculty senate).

 I am a Fellow of the Rhetoric Society of America, of which I am a past president. From the Conference on College Composition and Communication I won the Outstanding Book Award in 1992, for the first edition of "The Rhetorical Tradition," co-authored with Bruce Herzberg, and the Exemplar Award for lifetime achievement in 2008. I taught at Sogang, the Jesuit university in Seoul, South Korea, in 2011, and held the Cardin Chair in the Humanities at Loyola University Maryland in 2015-16.

Since I arrived at Holy Cross in 1978, I have taught academic writing at both the first-year and upper-division undergraduate levels almost every year, and I have always loved coaching writing with students of diverse backgrounds. I’ve valued teaching rhetoric theory and practice at both the beginning and advanced levels. I’ve also enjoyed teaching courses on the American nineteenth century, taking a rhetorical approach to the many social justice issues that animated written, oral, and visual texts of this era. Sample syllabi for some of these courses are available on this website.

My current research interests focus on topics among those addressed in the collection I co-edited with Lisa Zimmerelli, "Nineteenth-Century American Activist Rhetorics" (MLA, 2021), particularly rhetorics involving African American rights and Asian immigration agitation. I also continue to explore relationships between religion and rhetoric, as seen in my work on both Jewish and Jesuit rhetorics.

I can be reached most easily via my Holy Cross email address, pbizzell@holycross.edu. I live in Worcester, Massachusetts with my husband, David Suhl.