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Spencer Todd Bennington:

Research and Scholarship






Spencer Todd Bennington, Founder of Rhetorical Roundhouse

Thank you for taking a look at my research portfolio! Below you can access my current CV, full dissertation, and select conference presentations to get a better idea of how my work explores connections between fields like Professional and Technical Communication, embodied non-Western and Martial Arts Studies. I've also included a few resources from other scholars that I find particularly useful. For more information about my pedagogy, be sure to see my "teaching and training" page.


Teaching. Learning. Transforming.

Professional Documents for Download

Select Conference Presentations

Embodying the Dao: Tae Kwon Do Poomsae as Moving Meditation

Presented at the 6th annual Martial Arts Studies Conference. 2020.

This presentation covers some of the theoretical work I explore more fully in my dissertation, specifically the concept of embodied topoi. Click here to download the full abstract.

On Taekwondo as Rhetoric, with Spencer Bennington

The Martial Arts Studies Podcast, May 28th, 2020.

This was a lovely discussion I had with the truly marvelous Dr. Paul Bowman, father of Martial Arts Studies and all around great guy. I discussed the concept of embodied rhetorics and how they can be understood in Tae Kwon Do Click here for more episodes!

Complex Commonplaces and Bodily Composition: Martial Arts Approaches to Pedagogical Problems

A Panel presentation by the Martial Arts Special Interest Group at CCCC's

Presented Online in April 2020

I explore the concept of Embodied Topoi as it relates to Writing Studies. For the full panel abstract, click here. 

Rhetorical Roundhouse Kicks: Tae Kwon Do as Political Argument from Hyper-nationalism to Reunification Dialogues.

Presented at the 5th Annual Martial Arts Studies Conference. 2019.

This was the first conference I've ever attended where I left knowing I had found my niche. The scholars I had the pleasure of interacting with in the field of Martial Arts Studies are nothing short of amazing. 

Accountability as Sustainability in Technical Communication Programs

Presented at the Association for Teachers of Technical Writing Conference. 2019.

It was a delight to be able to present with my dear friends/mentors/colleagues aka the "Shrimp Basket" at ATTW in 2019. I spoke about using lessons learned from Daoist rhetorics to help professionalize writing instructors. Full proposal for download here. 

Tae Kwon Do and the Rhetorical Roundhouse Kick: Toward Embodied Invention Strategies in the Writing Classroom 

Presented at the Conference for College Composition and Communication. 2019.

This is the first time I ever presented my research regarding Tae Kwon Do and embodied non-Western rhetorics to an academic audience. I was nervous, so I started with a poomsae demonstration XD

Additional Resources for Research

Here are just a few sources to explore if you're interested in learning more about non-Western rhetorics, embodiment, and connections to Martial Arts Studies generally or Tae Kwon Do more specifically. 

The American Society for the History of Rhetoric (ASHR) is doing a wonderful job of expanding the scholarly canon when it comes to discussions of the "history of rhetoric." I especially respect and enjoy the scholarship of Xing Lu and Debra Hawhee, but the ASHR page contains MANY teaching/research resources worth investigating. 


The best place to start exploring martial arts as an academic object of study is the Martial Arts Studies Journal. The MAS community is a vibrant interdisciplinary group of scholars dedicated to a multifaceted, collaborative approach to research. I would be nowhere as an academic were it not for the hard work and amazing scholarship of people like Paul Bowman, Ben Judkins, and Udo Moenig. For research specific to Tae Kwon Do, I also recommend Alex Gillis's book A Killing Art. You may also be interested in the International Academic Conference for Tae Kwon Do (IACT). 

As far as embodiment is concerned, I'm eternally indebted to Ben Spatz's discussion of "technique" in What a Body Can Do. Understanding Daoism as an embodied practice is also central to what I research and Schipper's book is invaluable for that. In Writing Studies, Barry Kroll is the grandmaster when it comes to connecting a serious study of martial arts to Composition. If you are a regular at CCCC's, be sure to check out the Martial Arts Special Interest Group. Finally, I'm impressed by the amount of research Paul McCarthy and the Cognitive Kali folks at UCLA have made available concerning martial arts and wellness. 

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Related Blog Posts: Research Updates

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