Senior Instructor II
Department of Rhetoric and Composition


Brief Biography

Richard Byford is a senior instructor II at the Department of Rhetoric and Composition at The American University in Cairo.

He has now been teaching rhetoric and composition, freshman courses and English as a second language for over 20 years, teaching mainly Middle Eastern students; although he has also spent four years teaching in Japan. As a result, he is extremely experienced in understanding the needs and problems faced by Middle Eastern students, and he has developed his teaching materials and pedagogical approaches accordingly. In his RHET 103/201/2010/1020 classes he has focused on teaching research writing through the use of Japanology topics, believing that, at times, it is useful for the students to see how other areas of the globe function. He has also taught and lectured SEMR 200/199/123/1023 Celebrating Ideas, which focuses on seminal texts; Comparative Religion 135; and has also been course supervisor and lecturer for Comparative Religion 210.

Byford has served on the department’s grants committee and the promotions committee. Furthermore, as committee chair of the curriculum committee he was instrumental in setting up the department’s fledgling writing minor; and again as chair, brought about important changes in the curricula of 101 and 102. He is currently chair of the department’s hiring committee. He has also served with distinction on the history department’s search committee for a new chair for comparative religion 2011-2012.

Presentation of a paper on sacred space in the Japanese surreal novel, April 2005 at the conference, “From Cairo to Calcutta: Theoretical, Literary, and Historical Perspectives on Sacred Space”

Panelist discussing the importance of educational links with the Far East in the panel, “The Current and Future Role of the East in the Middle East,” April 2012.

    • “The Buddha in the Dunes: The Aesthetics of Alienation and the Sacred in the Surreal Japanese Novel.” In Humanist Perspectives on Sacred Space.Eds, Blanks & Clough. AUC Press: Cairo, 2011.

    Research Interest
    • Japanese culture and religion
    • History of the Egyptian deserts
    • Hieroglyphs and their grammar

    University Senator 2010 – 2012 and Senate Secretary, 2011 – 2012

    Nominated for an AUC Award in Excellence for Teaching 2012