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)

I study decision-making in medical and scientific contexts. My rhetorical analyses of deliberative decision-making have resulted in a related curiosity about science and medicine's evidential backstage—or all the work that goes on behind the scenes when doctors and scientists attempt to make matter matter (cf. Barad). In Bodies in Flux: Scientific Methods for Negotiating Medical Uncertainty (in press, University of Chicago Press), I explore four specific backstage scientific methods for evincing disease: 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 related 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 our 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 cancer care biomarkers.


(3) Dignity and the Posthuman Patient

What is human dignity in the age of the posthuman patient? How do rhetorics of human dignity shape nonhuman things? How do nonhuman things shape human dignity and professional healthcare practices? This second book project includes, among other objects of study, a site-based investigation of contemporary biomedical practices among occupational therapists who collaborate with assistive technologies.


(4) Precarious Rhetorics (co-edited with Wendy Hesford & Adela Licona)

Our edited collection couples materialist and rhetorical analytic frameworks with interdisciplinary understandings of precarity as a way to draw attention to and critique how people, environments, and things structurally condition de/valuation and the “slow death" of particular peoples and populations (cf. Berlant, 2007; Puar, 2010; Cacho, 2012).


Related publications include:

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


*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 ]

Digital Protest & Online Activism (A Digital Media Seminar)

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

Assistant Professor, English

Book Review Editor, Journal of Business & Technical Communication

Director, OSU's Business & Professional Writing Program


The Ohio State University

Department of English

506 Denney Hall

164 Annie & John Glenn Ave.

Columbus, OH 43210


(614) 292.6065 (o)

(614) 292.7816 (f)


[ email ]