Elizabeth A. Vander Lei

Elizabeth Vander Lei


Professor Vander Lei graduated from Calvin College with a degree in English in 1985. She then attended Arizona State University, where she received an MA in English as a second language in 1987 and a PhD in rhetoric and composition in 1995.


Favorite books

  • Marilynne Robinson’s Lila
  • All of Annie Dillard's non-fiction
  • Stanley Wiersma's poetry in Purpaleanie and Other Permutations and Style and Class


  • Volunteering at the Neland Avenue CRC Children’s Garden
  • Taking Kevin, her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, on walks
  • Traveling with her spouse

Additional information

Recent activities

Professor Vander Lei is academic dean for the Division of Arts, Languages, and English and the Division of Social Sciences and Contextual Disciplines.

Academic interests

  • Corpus linguistics and the speeches of Malcolm X
  • Religious faith and the teaching of writing
  • Writing across the disciplines


  • Renovating Rhetoric in Christian Tradition (co-edited with Tom Amorose, Beth Daniell, Anne Gere). University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014.
  • Real Texts: Reading and Writing across the Disciplines, 2nd ed. (co-authored with Dean Ward). New York: Pearson Longman, 2011.
  • Negotiating Religious Faith in the Writing Classroom (co-edited with Bonny Kyburz). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Boynton/Cook, 2005.

Recent articles

  • “Where the Wild Things Are: Christian Students in the Figured Worlds of Composition Research.” In Mapping Religious Rhetoric, edited by Michael John DePalma and Jeffrey Ringer, 65–84. New York: Routledge, 2014.
  • “‘Ain’t We Got Fun?’: Teaching Writing in a Violent World.” In Renovating Rhetoric in Christian Tradition, 89–104.
  • “Introduction.” In Renovating Rhetoric in Christian Tradition, ix–xvi.

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