Professional Profile

Gerald J. Alred is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and internationally known as author of numerous articles and books that reflect his scholarly and teaching interests. His articles include “Bridging Cultures: The Academy and the Workplace” and “Academic and Practitioner Perspectives on Essential Works in Technical Communication,” an adaptation of lectures (see photos and text) that he presented in Hannover, Germany.

His most important articles include “Essential Works on Technical Communication” in the 50th Anniversary Issue of Technical Communication. He is also author of “‘We Regret to Inform You’: Toward a New Theory of Negative Messages,” which was selected for the Bedford Bibliography, and “Are Textbooks Contributions to Scholarship?,” published in College Composition and Communication. His article “Teaching in Germany and the Rhetoric of Culture,” published in the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, is based on his interest in cross-cultural studies and his experiences as Guest Professor at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. At Giessen he has taught courses in the theory, practice and pedagogy of business and technical writing. Read his comments on technical writing and the humanities in an interview with the Giessener Anzeiger, a regional newspaper in Germany (translation).

His books include The Business Writer’s Handbook (11th), Fortune and Book-of-the-Month Club selections, the Handbook of Technical Writing (11th), and The St. Martin’s Bibliography of Business and Technical Communication. His other books with Bedford/St. Martin’s include The Professional Writer: A Guide for Advanced Technical Writing, Writing That Works (12th), and The Business Writer’s Companion (8th). He is also author of Business and Technical Writing: An Annotated Bibliography of Books, 1880-1980 with Scarecrow Press and Writing from A to Z with McGraw-Hill Publishing Company.

Professor Alred is a recipient of the prestigious Jay R. Gould Award for “profound scholarly and textbook contributions to the teaching of business and technical writing.” He is also a recipient of a UWM Outstanding Teaching Award and is an Associate Fellow in the Society for Technical Communication for his “continuous and outstanding contributions as an educator and author of textbooks, handbooks, and research publications.” He has regularly taught distance education courses, one of which is described by a former student in an article she wrote for Intercom.

He is a Founding Member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, and he has been Associate Editor of the International Journal of Business Communication for qualitative, historical, and theoretical submissions. He co-founded an institutional partnership between the University of Applied Sciences and Arts at Hannover, Germany, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Professor Alred’s biography has appeared in Marquis’ Who’s Who and Who’s Who in Academia. In 2009, he developed the website and works with Wright State University to preserve and make widely available the music and history of the Inland Children’s Chorus.