Image of an older, French man playing the accordian sitting on a bridge along the Seine in Paris, France.

Composing and connecting along the Seine. Is that you, Heraclitus? (2014)

christa teston, phd

Pile of unorganized stencils of alphabetic letters and numbers at a flea market in Paris, France.
Typography stamps and stencils organized in a wooden, divided container. Found in Paris, France flea market.

Typographic chaos and order in Paris flea market (2014)

Typically, my research involves decision-making in medical and scientific contexts. But in my book project, I'm interested in that which precedes formal decision-making: medical and scientific evidences. Mol, Moser, and Pols (2010) argue that “good care” in medicine is “persistent tinkering in a world full of complex ambivalence and shifting tensions” (14). In my book project currently under review at University of Chicago Press (tentative title: Bodies in Flux: Scientific Methods for Negotiating Medical Uncertainty), I explore four specific tinkering practices concerning medical evidences: visualization, assessment, synthesis, and computation. Each case study describes medical and scientific practice as a kind of quixotic empiricism that involves human, nonhuman, and computational partnerships.


Other projects in progress include,

(1) New Directions in Rhetoric and Materiality (co-edited with Barbara Biesecker & Wendy Hesford)

Barbara, Wendy, and I invite proposals for monographs or edited collections for this book series, published through The Ohio State University Press. Here is the call.


(2) Biomedical Attunement

This project involves studying not-quite-human, biomedical materials’ suasive potential. To do this, I analyze genetic biomarkers’ prognostic potentiality in cancer care. I pair Rickert’s (2013) theory of rhetorical attunement with scholarship in feminist materiality (Barad; Bennett; Braidotti; Frost; Haraway) as a theoretical framework with which to understand the suasiveness of a novel colon cancer biomarker—ERCC1.


(3) Dignity and the Posthuman Patient

Dignity discourse creates a sense of shared humanity by distinguishing humans from nonhumans. Yet, our posthuman predicament indicates humans have always been both embodied and embedded within nonhuman matter(s) (cf. Alaimo; Barad; Bennett; Braidotti), particularly in medical contexts. What, then, is human dignity in the age of the posthuman patient? I explore this question by conducting a case study of dignity discourse in palliative care practices (inspired by Jeanette Pols's investigation of nurses, dignity, and patient washing practices).


Publications in progress include,

  • Teston, C. (under review). Rhetoric, precarity, and mHealth technologies. Rhetoric Society Quarterly.
  • Teston, C. (forthcoming). Rendering and reifying brain sex science. In Scot Barnett and Casey Boyle (Eds.) Rhetoric, Through Everyday Things. University of Alabama Press.


Related publications include,


*Winner of NCTE’s award for best article reporting qualitative or quantitative research in technical or scientific communication


Miscellaneous flea market finds organized and for sale within wire baskets placed on their side. Found in flea market in Paris, France.

Flea market miscellany in Paris, France (Feb 2014)

Only after becoming engaged with and a part of the very community and activities I study am I able to understand ways in which rhetoric (material-discursive phenomena) does work. In the classroom, therefore, I design learning experiences for students based on the philosophy that we learn best by doing. That is, I aim to facilitate a supportive classroom environment that encourages experiential, problem-based, collaborative learning.


[ graduate seminars ]

Research Methods (Fall 2015)

Writing Controversies: A Composition Seminar (Spring 2014)

Rhetorics of Medicine, Science, and Public Policy (Fall 2012)

Literacy: Histories, Practices, and Controversies (Fall 2011)


[ undergraduate seminars ]

Rhetoric and Community Service (Service Learning Course)

Professional Writing Seminar: Crisis Communications

Environmental Writing

Business Writing

Technologies and the Future of Writing

Advanced Prose

Honors Writing: Science and Technology


Blue, black, and white crosswalk sign in Paris, France. Has peeled off stickers and graffiti on top and a large street light behind it.

Parisian palimpsest (2014)

Christa Teston, PhD

Assistant Professor, English

Interim Director, Business & Technical Writing

Book Review Editor, Journal of Business & Technical Communication


The Ohio State University

Department of English

506 Denney Hall

164 West 17th Avenue

Columbus, OH 43210


(614) 292.6065 (o)

(614) 292.7816 (f)


[ email ]