Skip to main content

Behind the Blue: Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies With Jeff Rice

By Amy Jones-Timoney and Kody Kiser


The University of Kentucky’s Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies (WRD) is dedicated to the study and teaching of writing practices, public rhetoric and digital media. The department serves over 5,000 UK undergraduates each year, and the writing, rhetoric, and digital studies major offers UK students three tracks:

  • professional writing and editing (for those who want careers in editing and publishing or writing for/within a nonprofit or business);
  • rhetorical theory and practice (for those who want to get involved in public advocacy, government or law); or
  • digital studies (for those who want to write and produce content for electronic spaces and understand how those spaces are designed).

The department also offers a minor in writing, rhetoric, and digital studies, as well as a minor in professional and technical writing.

This week’s guest on "Behind the Blue" is Jeff Rice, the Martha B. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies at UK. He writes on media and network theory and brings national speakers to campus to speak on digital media. From 2012-15, he co-directed Wired, the College of Arts and Sciences residential college.

On this episode, Rice discusses the diversity of careers that benefit from a writing, rhetoric, and digital studies background, what he’s learned from students over the years, his thoughts on the “most tattooed department on campus,” and more.

Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of "Behind the Blue" each week. UK's latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue.

Click here for "Behind the Blue" on iTunes.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue