Don Bialostosky


C 526



Don Bialostosky is a Professor in the Composition: Literacy, Pedagogy, and Rhetoric group who is also active in the literature program. He received his PhD in English in 1977 from the University of Chicago.

Don is the author of a long list of chapters and articles on the Romantics, with particular attention to Wordsworth and Coleridge, and on pedagogy, rhetoric, and dialogics.

He is the author of two books, Making Tales: The Poetics of Wordsworth's Narrative Experiments (U of Chicago P, 1984) and Wordsworth, Dialogics, and the Practice of Criticism (Cambridge UP 1992). He is co-editor of the collection, Rhetorical Traditions and British Romantic Literature (Indiana UP, 1995). He has been a leading figure in thinking through the uses and consequences of the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, especially with reference to pedagogy, composition, and rhetoric.

His current projects include an introduction to poetry entitled “How to Play a Poem” and a collection of essays on Bakhtin and rhetoric.

You can browse his Academia page.

Professional Service

He served on the MLA Delegate Assembly, the Board of Directors of the Society for Critical Exchange, the Executive Committees of the Conference on College Composition and Communication and of the Association of Departments of English; he served as President of ADE in 2001. He was head of Penn State's English department from 1996 through 2001. He has also taught at the University of Utah, the University of Washington, SUNY Stony Brook, and the University of Toledo, where he was a Distinguished University Professor of English.


Don regularly teaches undergraduates in Seminar in Composition, Introduction to Critical Reading, History of Criticism and senior seminars on Wordsworth. In addition to teaching Pitt’s required graduate courses History of Criticism and Seminar in Pedagogy, he has recently taught seminars entitled, Poetry as Utterance: Theory and Pedagogy, Research in Bakhtin School Rhetoric and Poetics, History of Rhetoric: Tropes and Figures, History of Rhetoric: Romantic Writers and Classical Rhetoric, and Rhetorical Criticism of Literature. He won the GSO "Outstanding Graduate Teacher" award at Penn State in 1994.


Mikhail Bakhtin: Rhetoric, Poetics, Dialogics, Rhetoricality
Wordsworth, Dialogics, and the Practice of Criticism
How to Play a Poem