Walker Smith

Assistant ProfessorWriting

Walker P. Smith earned his doctorate in rhetoric and composition at the University of Louisville and holds a graduate certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Oklahoma State University. In addition to serving as assistant director of composition at the University of Louisville, he has taught a wide range of writing courses, such as developmental writing lab, academic writing and research, and professional and technical communication. His approach to teaching draws from investments in linguistic justice and writing pedagogies that emphasize transfer.

His scholarly focus is on rhetorics of religion and spiritual community as they intersect with critical theories and histories of gender and sexuality. His recent research draws from archival research and field methods and is informed by rhetorical theories of genre, activity, and institutional change. He is currently at work on a monograph of rhetorical camp, or how camp operates as embodied persuasion in moments of protest.

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Research, Scholarship, Creative Work in Progress

Walker P. Smith. "Rhetorical Legitimacy: How Occluded Genres Become Institutionalized in the U.S.'s Top 30 Most Influential Churches." Manuscript in progress.


Parker Routt, Veronica Pulley, Kolby Sanders, Lydia Peach, Cora Alward, Josh Vogeler, Jacob Morris, & Walker P. Smith. “Uses and limitations of AI chatbots: Implementing ChatGPT in the first-year writing classroom.” Forthcoming in Teaching and Generative AI: Pedagogical Possibilities and Productive Tensions, edited by Beth Buyserie and Travis Thurston. Expected Spring 2024.

Smith, Walker P. "The Actively Enforced Policy: A Tactical Technical Model for Assessing and Intervening in Genre Uptake." In Tactical Approaches to Technical Communication, edited by Miles Kimball and Hilary St. Sarat-Peter. Forthcoming, expected Spring 2024.

Smith, Walker P. "Archival Research as Institutional Critique." Peitho, vol. 26, no. 1, Fall 2023 issue.

Smith, Walker P. "Teaching Through the Archives: Text, Collaboration, and Activism." Book Review. Community Literacy Journal, Spring 2023 issue, vol. 17, no. 2.

Gesa Kirsch, Romeo García, Caitlin Burns Allen, & Walker P. Smith, Editors. Unsettling Archival Research: Engaging Critical, Community, and Digital Archives. Southern Illinois University Press, Winter 2023.

Smith, Walker P. "The Rhetorical (Im)possibilities of Recovering George Barr: Toward a Decolonial Queer Archival Methodology." In Unsettling Archival Research: Engaging Critical, Communal, and Digital Archives. Southern Illinois University Press, Winter 2023.

Smith, Walker P., & Gesa Kirsch. "Introduction to Part I: Unsettling Archival Studies." Across the Disciplines. 2021.

Smith, Walker P. "Archive: Developing Critical Pedagogical Approaches." Freshman English Newsletter. 2021.

External Awards, Honors, Grants

Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Writing, The University of Louisville, 2022-2023