Oregon State University

Vicki Tolar Burton

Professor of English; Program Liaison, Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture; WIC (Writing Intensive Curriculum) Director

Oregon State University
Moreland 354
2550 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331 USA
Tel: 541-737-1663
Email contact form


  • Ph.D. Auburn University
  • M.A.T. Duke University
  • B.A. Wake Forest University


Areas of specialization

Rhetoric and Composition, History of Rhetoric and Literacy, Pedagogy, Writing Across the Curriculum; Eighteenth-century British Literature, Life Writing, Spiritual Writing.

Vicki Tolar Burton does cross-disciplinary research and scholarship in literacy, rhetoric, pedagogy, and writing across the curriculum.  She is particularly interested in historical studies, archival work, and women’s writing and rhetoric.  Her bookSpiritual Literacy in John Wesley’s Methodism:  Reading, Writing, and Speaking to Believe, was published in 2008 by Baylor University Press in their Rhetoric and Religion series.  Her articles and essays have  appeared in College Composition and Communication, College English, Rhetoric Review, and Across the Disciplines, as well as in a number of collections on the history and  theory of  rhetoric, including Walking and Talking Feminist Rhetorics: Landmark Essays and Controversies (2010). She teaches courses in the history of rhetoric, the teaching of writing, English grammar, and literature.  In the summer she offers a writing workshop for thesis and dissertation writers across the curriculum.  Since 1993 she has directed OSU’s Writing Intensive Curriculum Program and is currently serving as Transitional Director of Baccalaureate Core Implementation which is updating the university’s general education curriculum.  For more information, see http://wic.oregonstate.edu/director.


Spiritual Literacy in John Wesley’s Methodism:  Reading, Writing, and Speaking to Believe.  Baylor University Press, 2008.

Selected Publications

“Activity Systems, Genre, and Research on Writing Across the Curriculum.”  College Composition and Communication.  February, 2010 (forthcoming).

“The Writer’s Personal Profile:  Students Self Assessment and Goal Setting at Start of Term.”  Across the Disciplines.  Fall, 2009.  With Tracy Ann Robinson.    

“Re-reading The Account of Hester Ann Rogers.” Angels and Impudent Women:  Women in Methodism.  Ed. Norma Virgoe.  Oxford, UK: Wesley Historical Society, 2007.  41-52. 

“Something for the People to Read’: John Wesley’s Book Inventory (1791).”   John Wesley: Tercentenary Essays.   Ed. Jeremy Gregory. Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester. 85 (Summer and Autumn 2003): 227-49.

“John Wesley and the Liberty to Speak.” College Composition and Communication. 53 (Sept. 2001): 65-91.

“Investigating the Practices of Student Researchers: Patterns of Use and Criteria for Use of Internet and Library Sources.” Computers and Composition 17.3 (Fall 2000): 309-28. Burton, Vicki Tolar and Scott Chadwick.

“The Speaker Respoken: Material Rhetoric as Feminist Methodology.” College English 61 (No. 5, May 1999): 545-73.

“The Account of Hester Rogers: Rhetorical Functions of a Methodist Mystic’s Journal.” The Changing Tradition: Women in the History of Rhetoric. Ed. Christine Sutherland. Calgary, Canada: University of Calgary Press, 1999. 109-118.

“Walking in Light, Walking in Darkness: The Story of Women’s Changing Rhetorical Space in Early Methodism.” Rhetoric Review, 14 (Spring 1996) 336-54.

Administrative responsibilities

Director, Writing Intensive Curriculum, 1993 to present

Grants, awards and honors

Bronze Telly Award (International Documentary Film Competition) for Writing Across Borders, co-producer.  (2006)   

Technology Resource Fee Grant, OSU.   Co Principal Investigator.  Two TRF grants received for project to develop OSU Write, the university blog project.  (2006)

Northwest Academic Computing Consortium Grant. Co-Principal Investigator (2005)

Fellow, Center for the Humanities, Oregon State University. (1998-1999; 2002-2003.)

Library Research Travel Grant, OSU Valley Library, for travel to John Rylands Library, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. (2002)

College of Liberal Arts Faculty Research Award. (2000)

Participating Investigator, State Department-sponsored University Affiliations Grant between with six institutions in the Tunisian University System  (1998-2001)

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend. (1998)

Bill Wilkins Faculty Development Award for integrating teaching, scholarship, and administration.  OSU College of Liberal Arts (1998)

Oregon State University Library Research Travel Grant to the Frank Baker Collection of Early Methodist Documents, Archives, Duke University, to examine pre-1800 writings by women. (1996)

Oregon State University Women's Faculty Development Grant (1994)

Research Grant for Study of Women in the History of Methodism, Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church, for travel to collections of early Methodist documents (Princeton U., Johns Hopkins U., Drew U., Emory U.) ( 1992)

Personal Websites

Course Information

Contact Info

Writing, Literature, & Film 238 Moreland Hall 541.737.3244
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