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Brian Ballentine

Professor & Chair; Coordinator, Professional Writing and Editing

Prior to completing my Ph.D., I was a senior software engineer for a major medical corporation designing user-interfaces for web-based radiology applications and specializing in human computer interaction. My past industry experience as a software developer and technical writer continues to influence my research on professional and technical communication specifically intersections of rhetoric and technology including the digital humanities and code, software, and open source development. Many of my publications contend with pedagogical concerns and address writing instruction and curriculum development. My current research interests connect the digital and environmental humanities including digital representations of animals and the environment. Within the broad field of the environmental humanities, I also research on connections across rhetoric, risk, and hydraulic fracturing. 


  • Technical Communication
  • Technical writing & software development 
  • Writing pedagogy & curriculum development
  • Digital and environmental humanities 

Selected Publications:

  • Ballentine, Brian D. (forthcoming 2021). Hunting Firearms: Rhetorical Pursuits of Range and Power. In Nathan Kreuter, Ryan Skinnell & Lydia Wilkes (Eds)., Rhetoric and Guns. (6800 words). Utah State UP.  
  • Ballentine, Brian D. Rhetoric, Risk, and Hydraulic Fracturing: One Landowner’s Perspective. Communication Design Quarterly, 7(1), 54-63. [special issue on Environmental communication in the age of unreason: New research, roles, and the technical communicator’s responsibilities in shaping environmental discourse]. 
  • Ballentine, Brian D. (2016). Using process model notation to map the buying and selling of complex software solutions. A qualitative study's implications for practice and pedagogy. Technical Communication63(3), 212-230. 
  • Ballentine, Brian D. (2016). Linux on the education desktop: Bringing the 'glocal' into the technical communication classroom. In Kirk St.Amant and Madelyn Flammia (Eds.), Teaching and training for global engineering: Perspectives on culture and professional communication practices. (pp. 69-90). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.  
  • Ballentine, Brian D. (2015). Creativity counts: Why study abroad matters to technical and professional communication. Technical Communication Quarterly24(4), 291-305.  
  • Ballentine, Brian D. (2015). Textual adventures: Writing and game development in the undergraduate classroom. Computers & Composition. 37, 31-43. 
  • Ballentine, Brian D. (2014). Procedural literacy and the future of the digital humanities. In William Hart-Davidson & Jim Ridolfo (Eds.), Rhetoric and the digital humanities. (pp. 277-85). Chicago, IL: U. of Chicago Press. 
  • Ballentine, Brian D. (2013). Fighting for attention: Making space for deep learning. In Randall McClure & James Purdy (Eds.), The new digital scholar (pp. 83-105). Medford, NH: American Society for Information Science and Technology. 
  • Ballentine, Brian D. (2011). Couture et écriture: What the fashion industry can teach to the world of writing. In Danielle N. DeVoss, Martine Courant Rife & Shaun Slattery (Eds.), Copy(write): Intellectual property in the writing classroom (pp. 327-346). West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press. 
  • Ballentine, Brian D. (2010). English and engineering, pedagogy and politics. In David Franke, Alex Reid, & Anthony Di Renzo (Eds.), Design discourse: Composing and revising programs in professional and technical writing (pp. 219-239). W. Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press. 
  • Ballentine, Brian D. (2010). Requirements specifications and anticipating user needs: Methods and warnings on writing development narratives for new software. Technical Communication57(1), 26-43.