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Christopher JusticeChristopher Justice

Klein Family School of Communications Design

Contact Information:

Phone: 410.837.6259

M.A., Loyola College
B.A., Rutgers College
Chris Justice's C.V.

From 2007-2012, I served as a lecturer and the university's first full-time writing program administrator and helped establish its new, stand-alone University Writing Program. Prior to that appointment, I was an assistant professor of English and mass communication at the Community College of Baltimore County, where I also served as coordinator for The Center for Learning and Teaching Excellence and faculty adviser for the student newspaper.

I'm a writing, environmental and film studies scholar who studies "fish tales" or "fishery discourse" through two distinct theoretical frameworks. The first draws interdisciplinarily upon scholarship in writing studies, grammatology, biosemiotics, posthumanism and animal studies to examine how fish use "writing systems." More specifically, I apply theories from the above fields to fish behaviors and fishery dynamics to learn more about how fish communicate. Additionally, my scholarship, positioned at the intersections of the environmental humanities and writing studies, develops a new approach to understanding human-fish relations--known as icthyoliteracy--that can help people better understand the extraordinary influence and agency fish have over human and non-human communication.

The second draws upon my role as an ecocritic specializing in environmental rhetoric and discourse. I study how people write about the ecological "place" known as a fishery and how diverse, multimodal discourses—including literary, journalistic, cinematic and scientific texts—influence how we conceptualize, regulate, and interact with fisheries, especially those in the Chesapeake Bay. I am deeply interested in how humans rhetorically and discursively construct fisheries in various media. Additionally, I have a background in film studies and study film genres (horror, film noir), visual representations of the monstrous, autuerism, the American New Wave, exploitation films and ecomedia / ecotrauma films.

My research as a doctoral candidate in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Language, Literacy, and Culture program can help humans learn more about their own writing practices, particularly as they relate to embodied writing, interspecies communication, non-discursive communication, and related topics. My work also has direct applications to fishery conservation by elucidating our relationships to fish and untangling the complex representations we use to portray fish and fisheries. Ideally, my work provides a map for how humanities scholars can engage in more applied research.

In the classroom, I’m obsessed with how students learn to write their ways into--and out of--the University and their disciplines. What I try to offer students is the appreciation that ideas, words and images will transform reality if they're wisely analyzed, coherently organized, uniquely expressed and professionally presented. I approach my classes with these two critical questions: What can I do as a professor to help my students become better learners and thinkers? And what can I do as a writing professor to help them become better writers?

I write widely and publish frequently. My writing has appeared in numerous publications and presses. For more information about my work, please visit my website (

I live in Owings Mills with my two children and enjoy film noir, horror films, detective fiction, hiking, bird watching, fly-fishing, bass playing and rooting for the New Jersey Devils and San Francisco 49ers.

Thanks for your time.