Dr. Brenda Helmbrecht

Brenda Helmbrecht


associate chair

Teaching Associate Mentor

English Major Advisor


Dr. Helmbrecht is on sabbatical for the 2018-19 Academic year and will not be holding office hours.


Ph.D. Rhetoric and Composition, Miami University, Ohio, 2004
M.A.  Rhetoric and Composition, Miami University, Ohio, 1999
B.A.  English, Truman State University, 1997 

Teaching and Research Interests

Composition Theory and Pedagogy
Rhetorical Theory
Writing Assessment
Developmental Writing
Feminist Pedagogy
Women’s Rhetoric
Visual Rhetoric
Film Studies
Feminist Film Theory 

Current Research

My current research seeks to understand how California's Catholic missions operate today as largely uncontested tourist attractions that promote collective memories about California's history.  As is true with most state-sanctioned historical sites, visitors trust the "official" historical accounts they encounter at the missions.  However, I contend that the missions are complex rhetorical sites that further a re-telling of missionary and indigenous life that is anachronistic and perhaps even dishonest.  While missions ostensibly celebrate California history, they could also be seen today as time capsules that reinforce the cultural and racial assumptions that influenced missionaries centuries earlier.

Selected Publications

"From Product Reviews to Political Commentary: Performances in Amazon.com Reviews." Harlot: A Revealing Look at the Arts of Persuasion.  With Meredith Love.  (April 2016).

"Looking Outside the Image: Trusting 'A Few Bad Apples' in Errol Morris's Standard Operating Procedure."  The Cine-Files. 5.  (Fall 2013).

"The Bustin' and Bitchin' Ethe of Third-Wave Zines." College Composition and Communication. 61.1 (September 2009).  With Meredith Love.   

"Performing in the Binary Gap:  Provoking Social Transformation through Images." Feminist Teacher.  18.1 (2007).  With Meredith Love.  

"Giving Grades, Taking Tolls: Re-Evaluating Our Role in the Assessment of Student Writing."  Teaching English in a Two Year College.  34.3 (March 2007). 

"Graduate Students Hearing Voices:  (Mis)Recognition and (Re)Definition of the JWPA Identity."  Untenured Faculty as Writing Program Administrators Institutional Practices and Politics. Deborah Dew and Alice Horning. Eds.  October 2007.   With Connie Kendall.


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