Spencer Schaffner

Associate Professor of English and Writing Studies


PhD, University of Washington, 2005

Teaching Interests

the rhetoric of protest and dissent, visual composition, writing pedagogy


/ See course website at http://go.illinois.edu/metaspencer

Research Interests

writing and public shaming, online reviewer cultures, brain-based writing disorders


Science, Technology, and Digital Media, Teacher Training, Writing Studies, Ecocriticism/Environmental Humanities

Work(s) in Progress

A book on the gamification of online reviewing



  • Schaffner, Spencer. Writing as Punishment in Schools, Courts, and Everyday Life. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2019.
  • Schaffner, Spencer. Binocular Vision: the Politics of Representation in Birdwatching Field Guides. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2011.

Publication Photo Publication Photo

Book Contributions

  • Schaffner, Spencer. "Mockumentaries Meet New Media." Too Bold for the Box Office: A Study in Mockumentary. Ed. Cynthia Miller. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2012.
  • Schaffner, Spencer. "Ecosee: Image, Rhetoric, and Nature." Field Guides to Birds: Images and Image/Text Positioned As Reference. Comp. Sean Morey. Ed. Sid Dobrin. New York: SUNY UP, 2008. 95-111.

Journal Articles

  • Schaffner, Spencer. "Biocultural Diversity and the Problem of the Superabundant Individual." RCC Perspectives forthcoming (2013):
  • Prior, Paul, and Spencer Schaffner. "Bird Identification as a Family of Activities: Motives, Mediating Artifacts, and Laminated Assemblages." Ethos: Journal for the Society of Psychological Anthropology 39.1 (2011): 51-70.
  • McDowell, Jacqueline , and Spencer Schaffner. "Football, it’s a Man’s Game: An Exploration of Gendered Discourse in 'The Gender Bowl'." Discourse & Society 22.5 (2011): 1-19.
  • Schaffner, Spencer. "Environmental Sporting: Birding at Superfund Sites, Landfills, and Sewage Ponds." Journal of Sport and Social Issues 33.3 (2009): 206-230.


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