to Jun Xu's Website.
am currently an Acting Instructor of the English Undergraduate
Programs and the Interdisciplinary Writing Program at the
University of Washington. My research interests are rhetorical
theories, the rhetoric of science, the history and philosophy
of science, the philosophy of language, as well as the pedagogy
of interdisciplinary writing.
I received my Ph. D from the Department of English in June,
2012. My Ph.D dissertation is entitled Where Knowledge
Thrives: The Role of the Metaphorical in Scientific Process.
Its writing was supported by an Alvord Dissertation Fellowship.
I received Master degree in English language and rhetoric
in March, 2008. My master's essay, titled Austen's Fans
and Fans' Austen, was awarded the Himmelman Graduate
Before joining the Department of English,
I received a Ph. D degree in bioorganic chemistry from the
Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington in
March 2005, and also had worked as a postdoctoral fellow for
one and a half years, first in bioorganic chemistry and then
pharmaceutics. I did research on bacterial genomes, the mechanisms
of bacterial antibiotic production, the causes of antibiotic
resistance, and the alterations of antibiotic structures through
organic synthesis and gene manipulation.
Before walking into a classroom to teach an English writing
class for the first time, I had taught Chemistry for more
than a decade, in classes ranging from a large one with over
two hundred students to an intimate one of fifteen, in both
Chinese and English, and as a teaching assistant, a lab instructor,
or a lecturer. The challenge that I had not yet encountered
was how to teach students from different disciplines in a
classroom. My experience makes me aware, however, that the
main problem students have is how to articulate their own
thinking or idea in professional ways during the learning
process. Hence, I have adopted Stephen Toulmin's view--not
new but still vital--that there is an underlying logical structure
in various disciplinary practices, and I share the perspective
of the many books that advocate the teaching of argument as
the focus of college composition. The core of my teaching
strategy is to bridge the gap between a vague thought and
a specific, complex argument contextualized in an ongoing
academic conversation-specifically, to synthesize and shape
arguments through thinking, reading and writing so that students
are capable of adapting their writing through adopting the
writing styles of their disciplines. Pragmatically, my task
is to make the techniques of teaching argument effective in
a well situated and designed course that consistently and
unswervingly applies them from start to finish.
347A, Biographies of Women Scientists,
Spring quarter 2013.
199B, Interdisciplinary Writing/Natural Science,
Spring quarter 2013.
281A, Intermediate Expository Writing, Winter quarter 2013.
199C, Interdisciplinary Writing/Natural Science,
Winter quarter 2013.
370A, English Language Study, Autunm quarter 2012.
199B, Interdisciplinary Writing/Natural Science, Autunm quarter 2012.
281C, Intermediate Expository Writing, Summer quarter 2012.
131A5, Composition: Exposition, Spring quarter 2011.
281F, Intermediate Expository Writing, Winter quarter 2011.
281B, Intermediate Expository Writing, Autumn quarter 2010.
131H, Composition: Exposition, Spring quarter 2010.
131T, Composition: Exposition, Autumn quarter 2009.
131H, Composition: Exposition, Spring quarter 2009.
131T, Composition: Exposition, Winter quarter 2009.
131P, Composition: Exposition, Autumn quarter 2008.
221, Principles of Chemistry III, Spring quarter,
152A, General Chemistry, Winter quarter, 2007.
241A, Organic Chemistry Laboratory, Spring quarter,
152B, General Chemistry, Winter quarter, 2001.
142, General Chemistry, Autumn quarter, 2000.
220, Principles of Chemistry II, Summer quarter,1999.
Chemistry, 1996-1997 academic year.
Nutrition and Hygiene of Foods, 1996 Autumn semester.
Chemistry Laboratory, 1991-1992 academic year.
readings on rhetorical
metaphor and science.
readings on the
rhetoric of science.
readings on interdisciplinary
readings on scientific
theory and theories about science.
readings on critical
and Philosophy of Science
readings on the
history of science.
readings on the
history and philosophy of molecular biology.
2008 - Jun 2012 Ph. D., English, UW.
Mar 2006 - Mar 2008 M.A., English, UW.
Sep 2000 - Mar 2005 Ph. D.,Chemistry, UW.
Sep 1997 - Jul 2000 Visiting scholar, Chemistry,
Mar 1993 - Jun 1994 Visiting scholar, Biochemistry,
Sep 1990 - Jan 1993 M.S., Organic Chemistry. Yunnan
Sep 1986 - Jul 1990 B.S., Chemistry, Yunnan U.
Spring Quarter 2013 Acting Instructor, English, UW.
Winter Quarter 2013 Acting Instructor, English, UW.
Autumn Quarter 2013 Acting Instructor, English, UW.
Summer Quarter 2012 Instructor, English, UW.
Spring Quarter 2011 Instructor, English, UW.
Winter Quarter 2011 Instructor, English, UW.
Autumn Quarter 2010 Instructor, English, UW.
Spring Quarter 2010 Instructor, English, UW.
Autumn Quarter 2009 Instructor, English, UW.
Spring Quarter 2009 Instructor, English, UW.
Winter Quarter 2009 Instructor, English, UW.
Autumn Quarter 2008 Instructor, English, UW.
Summer Quarter 2007 RA, Pharmaceutics, UW.
Spring Quarter 2007 TA, CHEM 221, Chemistry, UW.
Winter Quarter 2007 TA, CHEM 152A, Chemistry, UW.
Oct 2005 - Oct 2006 Postdoc, Pharmaceutics, UW.
Mar 2005 - Sep 2005 Postdoc, Chemistry, UW.
Spring Quarter 2001 TA, CHEM 241A, Chemistry, UW.
Winter Quarter 2001 TA, CHEM 152B, Chemistry, UW.
Autumn Quarter 2000 Grader, CHEM 142, Chemistry, UW.
Summer Quarter 1999 TA, CHEM 220,Chemistry, UW.
Aug 1996 - Aug 1997 Screenwriter of a TV Series,
Kunming 110, Kunming TV station.
Oct 1995 - Sep 1997 Lecturer and Graduate Coordinator,
Chemistry, Yunnan U.
Jul 1993 - Sep 1995 Assistant Professor, Chemistry,
2010 NCA 96th Annual Convention
SESSION: Remembering and Forgetting in Rhetorics of Science
PAPER: In the Shadow of the Double Helix: The Discourse of DNA Sequencing
2010 RSA : Research Network
PROSPECTUS: Where Knowledge Thrives:
Productive Metaphors in Molecular Biology
2009 RSA Summer Institute: Science and Its Publics
PAPER: The Double Helix.
2003 Volcano Conference of Bioorganic Chemistry.
TALK: A Tale of Two Methylations
– Biosynthetic Study of Rifamycin B. [PowerPoint
2002 Volcano Conference of Bioorganic Chemistry, Feb. 22nd.
Genetic Manipulation of Post-PKS Genes in Amycolatopsis
Dec 2006 Special Seminar Talk given to the Schoool of Pharmacy
at Yunnan U:
on the Post-PKS Modification Steps of Rifamycin B
Biosynthesis in Amycolatopsis mediterranei
2011 Alvord Fellow in the Humanities.
2009 Nominee of Webber Teaching Award.
2009 Barbara Bronson Himmelman Graduate Award.
Apr 1997 Winner of Faculty Speech Competition of “Pedagogical
Theory and Practice.”
May 1996 Yunnan Governmental Award of Significant Contribution
in Natural Science Research.
Apr 1996 Winner of Faculty Teaching Competition.
Dec 1992 Award of Outstanding Graduate Students.
Dec 1991 Award of Outstanding Graduate Students.
Mar 1991 Award of Outstanding Undergraduate Research.
Nov 1990 Yunnan Governmental Award of Outstanding Undergraduate
Jun 1990 Honor Student Award of Yunnan University.
Dec 1989 First-rate Outstanding Undergraduate Students
Dec 1988 First-rate Outstanding Undergraduate Students
Dec 1987 First-rate Outstanding Undergraduate students
Jun 1988 Winner of students’ Essay Writing Competition.
Dec 1987 Silver metal of Women’s Pentathlon of Sports
Dec 1986 Silver metal of Women’s Pentathlon of Sports
2010-Present Member of National Communication Association.
2009-Present Member of College Composition and Communication.
2009-Present Member of National Council of Teachers of English.
2006-Present Member of Modern Language Association.
2006-Present Member of Rhetoric Society of America.
2003-2007 Member of American Pharmaceutical
2003-2007 Member of American Chemistry Society.
1995-1997 Director of Student Debate Team
of the Department of
Chemistry, the champion team of Yunnan U.
1995-1997 Member of Faculty Basketball Team
of Yunnan U.
1995-1997 Member of Faculty Chorus of Yunnan
1990-1993 Member of Graduate Student Basketball
1990-1993 Member of Student Soccer Team
of Yunnan U.
1986-1989 Member of Track and Field Team
of Yunnan U.
Austen's Fans and Fans' Austen
Jounral of Lieteray Semantics,
40 (1), (2011), 81-97.
Wenzel S C, Williamson R M, Grünanger C, Xu J, Gerth
J, Martinez R A, Moss S J, Carroll
Grond S, Unkefer C J, Müller R
and Floss H G.
On the Biosynthetic Origin of Methoxymalonyl-Acyl Carrier
Protein, the Substrate for Incorporation of “Glycolate” Units
and Soraphen A.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 128 (44),
Kubota T, Brunjes M, Frenzel T, Xu J, Kirschning A, Floss
Determination of the Cryptic Stereochemistry of the First
PKS Chain-extension Step in Ansamitocin Biosynthesis by
Chembiochem., 7(8), (2006)
Xu J, Wan E, Kim C J, Floss H G and Mahmud T.
Identification of Tailoring Genes Involved in the
Modification of the Polyketide Backbone of
Rifamycin B by Amycolatopsis mediterranei S699.
Microbiology, 151(Pt8), (2005)
Xu J, Mahmud T, Floss H G.
Isolation and Characterization of 27-O-Demethylrifamycin
Methyltransferase Provides New Insights
into the Post-PKS
Modification Steps During the Biosynthesis
of the Antitubercular Drug Rifamycin B
Arch Biochem Biophys.,15; 411(2),
Mahmud T, Xu J, Choi Y U.
Synthesis of 5-epi-[6-2H2]Valiolone and Stereospecifically
Monodeuterated 5-epi-Valiolones: Exploring the Steric Course
of 5-epi-Valiolone Dehydratase in Validamycin biosynthesis.
J. Org. Chem., 66 (15), (2001)
Yu T W, Bai L, Clade D, Hoffmann D, Toelzer S, Trinh KQ, Xu
Moss S J, Leistner E, Floss H G.
The Biosynthetic Gene Cluster of the Maytansinoid Antitumor
Agent Ansamitocin from Actinosynnema
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A, 99(12),
Yan Q Y, Chao K M, Xu J, Lin R, Li Y, Gu C M.
Purification and Characterization of a New Electrophoretic
Variant of SBTi-A2 from Soybean(G.max)
Seed Storage Protein.
Journal of Fudan University, Vol.35,
Xu J, Wang C Y.
The Determination of L-ascorbic Acid by Cucumber Tissue
Food Science, No.10, (1995) 47-49.
Xu J, Wang C Y.
Research on Phenol Tissue Sensors.
Chemistry (The Chinese Chemical
Society, Taiwan, China),
Vol.52 (1994) 31-36.
Wang C Y, Xu J.
Developments in the Analysis of Fluoride
Fluoride, Vol.26 (1993) 197-203.
Zhang G X, Li R Y, Xu J.
Research on the Technology of Producing
Chemical Reagents, Vol.17, (1991)
2. Ying C X, Xu J.
Research on the Properties of Amaranthine Pigment
Journal of Yunnan University, Vol.12,
1. Xu Jun
Yunnan University Newsletter,(1988)
Where Knowledge Thrives:
The Role of the Metaphorical in Scientific Process
Ph. D. dissertation concerns one of the major issues in the
rhetoric of science, the function of metaphors in scientific
discourse. Entitled Where Knowledge Thrives: The Role of the Metaphorical in Scientific Process, it explores the relation between
knowledge production and a metaphorical kind of language that
posits, specifies, and guides research on what is as yet unknown.
An appropriate term for this kind of language is quasi-metaphor;
its special function is to project the characteristics of
a known referent within an established epistemic category
to a virtual referent in a known or unknown epistemic category.
My goal is to unite two opposite views about scientific language:
one held by positivists and scientists, that scientific language
must be clear, brief, and trope-free; the other held by post-structuralists
and epistemologists, that scientific language is ultimately
metaphorical, and it thus never has had the precision claimed
by the positivists. I argue that scientific language is and
must be simultaneously precise and open-ended in order to
articulate knowledge as well as accommodate the unceasing
production of knowledge. My methodology is to establish a
theoretical frame in negotiation with metaphor theories and
then apply it to case studies.
1   More than Words:
2   From the Surprising to the Unsurprising:
Metaphors and the Production of Knowledge
3 The Word PHLOGISTON Had to Die:
A Quasi-metaphors and a Scientific Revolution
4 GENE, Survival of the Materialized:
Before a Quasi-metaphor Met a Chemical
Fruits of the Gene:
Productivity of a Quasi-metaphor
5 At the Edge of Knowledge:
A Quasi-metaphorical definition of Scientific Revolution
6   On Precision and Vagueness:
of English, Box 354330
George Dillon (Department of English)E-Mail
Prof. Herbert Blau (Department of English)E-mail
Prof. Leah Ceccarelli (Department of Communication)E-mail