Faculty Profile


Tom Amorose

Professor of English

Email: tamorose@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2089
Office: Marston 232

Education: BA, Ohio State University, 1972; PhD, University of Washington, 1978
Specialties: Composition theory, expository writing, Renaissance literature

Thomas Amorose teaches early-English literature and creative nonfiction, as well as essay-writing. His research is in the field of what he calls the “rhetoric of ultimate things”—the way human beings use language to agree upon the meanings of fundamental parts of human life and then cooperate to act on those shared meanings. On the side, he is a state forest steward and board member of a conservation land trust.


Renovating Rhetoric in Christian Tradition

University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014

Elizabeth Vander Lei, Thomas Amorose, Beth Daniell, and Anne Ruggles Gere, eds. Renovating Rhetoric in Christian Tradition. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014

Selected Publications

“Resistance to Rhetoric in Christian Tradition” (chapter), Renovating Rhetoric in Christian Tradition. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh Press, 2014.

"Composition and the Culture of the Small College/University" (co-authored introductory article, as guest editor), Special Issue on Composition at the Small College/University, Composition Studies, 32.2 (Fall, 2004).

"WPA Work at the Small College or University: Re-Imagining Power and Making the Small School Visible" (reprinted article), in The Allyn & Bacon Sourcebook for Writing Program Administrators. Eds. Irene Ward and William J. Carpenter (Allyn & Bacon, 2002).

See CV for additional publications.

Why I Teach at SPU

I choose to teach because college was a transformative experience for me, and I want my students to have that same life-altering four years in their early adulthood. I realize that it is an enormous privilege, and lucky coincidence, that my students and I have the freedom, relative wealth, and safety from violence to undertake this re-fashioning of (their) young American lives. Most people living now, or ever, aren’t in the same fragile, beautiful boat as we are. This being so, our privilege demands we teach and learn to serve others and to conserve the natural world; we do not live for or by ourselves in some artificially sealed, hyper-mediated space, as much as we are told we do, or should. This process of teaching and learning is what you might call Kingdom work. A college education feels like the best place where it can happen, so I return to the classroom each year in perpetual hope that I can matter to my students’ development and that they might return the favor. We always work it out.