Refereed Journal Articles
“Composing (with/in) XR: How Students Name their Experiences with Immersive Technologies.” With Christine Bachen. Computers and Composition, 62, December 2021.
While scholars of computers and writing would readily recognize XR technologies as composing technologies, different terminology used to describe these technologies and the act of creation could make it hard for students to recognize the rhetorical features and possibilities of their XR work. As scholars of writing, we need to know how students understand the technology in their own words to think about how to support their critical digital literacy work with XR. In this article, we share survey results revealing patterns in the ways students name and describe work with XR technologies. This data provides an opportunity for instructors and scholars of computers and writing to reflect on their own naming practices and on the power of naming in both reflecting and shaping students’ dispositions towards technologies and towards themselves as users and composers of them.
“Public Memory as Community-Engaged Writing: Composing Difficult Histories on Campus.” With Matt Kroot and Lee M. Panich. Community Literacy Journal 15.2 (2021).
Colleges and universities across the United States and beyond are recognizing the public memory function of their campus spaces and facing difficult decisions about how to represent the ugly sides of their histories. While the official responses from administrations are often slow and conservative in nature, we argue that campus public memory and public history provide an opportunity for community-engaged writing as well. We specifically focus on the ways students and community members use digital technologies as a powerful means for creative counter-narratives that challenge entrenched institutional interests that may elide or even misrepresent difficult histories, shaping the landscape of remembrance and engagement for the communities represented.
“Haunting Women’s Public Memory: Ethos, Space, and Gender in the Winchester Mystery House.” Rhetoric Review 40.2 (2021): 107-122.
Examines the rhetorical construction and circulation of San Jose’s “Winchester Mystery House” to consider the role of spatiality in shaping women’s public memory. Built in the late 19th-century by the heiress to the Winchester Rifle Company fortune, the sprawling Victorian mansion is now a popular tourist attraction that has become a metonymy for the architect herself, whose memory remains shrouded in stories of séances, seclusion, and mystery. I argue that the image circulated of Winchester in her own time and into the present is a result less of what she did, believed, said or didn’t say and more a result of the public’s reading of the spatial rhetorics of her house itself, that unlikely domestic space. The house challenges our limited notions of space—particularly domestic space—with implications for other sites of women’s public memory and the ethos of the woman rhetor (that is, speaker or, as the case may be, builder).
In this article, we describe the major assignments from our team-taught course, Virtual Santa Clara, which drew on the affordances of extended reality (XR) technologies and public memory scholarship from the fields of rhetoric and anthropology to represent Native Ohlone history and culture on our campus. Based on our experience, we argue for the affordances of producing small-scale XR projects–using technologies such as 360° images and 3D models–to complement and contribute to larger-scale XR digital projects that are founded on deep community collaboration. In a landscape where exciting technological work so often tends to entail thoroughly developed, large-scale projects, we argue for the value of more modest contributions, both as scaffolded pathways into technology work for teachers and students and as a means of slowing down the process of technology adoption in order to better respond to ethical, humanistic, and decolonial considerations. Our own incremental process enabled us to proceed with more care, more caution, and, ultimately, a more collaborative framework going forward.
“Educational Progress-Time and the Proliferation of Dual Enrollment.” With Brice Nordquist. Invited Commentary. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 64.3 (Winter 2020): pp. 251-257.
In this commentary, we use the occasion of the proliferation of dual enrollment to examine the discursive construction of difference between high school and college literacies, and its effects on teachers and students. This discursive divide has real, material consequences. It informs (and constrains) literacy practices and pedagogies, becomes a barrier to access (particularly when operationalized in testing procedures), contributes to dropout and attrition, exacerbates unequal power and resources in communities, and justifies hierarchical relations between high school and college faculty and staff. By deconstructing the definitions of high school and college and the metaphors of containment they rely on, we hope to shift the conversation about dual enrollment and related “bridge” programs away from one of transference or articulation between the high school and college to a more dynamic sense of emergence and negotiation as practiced in our programs and classrooms.
This article traces the role of Progressive Era high school alumnae clubs in reconstructing the pedagogies and culture of the public high school to reflect their own needs as alumnae, marshaling in a “domesticated” curriculum for women. Focusing on a case study of a large, single-sex, urban high school and alumnae club in the South, I analyze the rhetorical strategies women used to make the case for domestic sciences and follow the uptake of this curriculum and the club’s values within the high school by the beginning of the twentieth century, as the work of the club was increasingly pit against traditional academics. This case study provides insights into the broader history of women’s clubs, women’s education, domestic sciences, and their intersection in Progressive Era education reform.
In this article, we forward a perspective on interdisciplinarity and diversity that reconsiders the notion of expertise in order to “unstick” discussions of graduate education reform that have been at an impasse for some 45 years. As research problems have become increasingly complex and demand scholars who both specialize narrowly within a discipline AND understand the importance of contributions from other disciplines, we reimagine the dissertation committee as a group of diverse participants from within and beyond the academy who contribute their knowledge and skills to train the next generation of scholars and researchers to be members of interdisciplinary teams. Graduate students, then, are not expected to be “interdisciplinary” themselves, but to work in interdisciplinary and diverse teams to come to new insights on their research areas and prepare for careers interacting with a range of academic and non-academic stakeholders.
“Frameworks for Collaboration: Articulating Information Literacy and Writing/Rhetoric Goals in the Archives.” With Nadia Nasr. Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Language, Literature, Composition, and Culture 18, no. 1 (2018): 176-184.
In this article, a composition scholar and university archivist explore the overlap between the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing and the Framework for Success in Information Literacy for Higher Education. We argue that analysis of the overlap between these two documents helps us articulate a new set of reasons for faculty to connect with their allies in libraries and archives to teach undergraduate research and writing.
This article locates the development of US high schools in relation to both common schools and colleges in the nineteenth century, attending to the gendered, raced, and classed distinctions at play in this development. Exploring the differences in the conceptualization and status of high schools for white male, white female, and mixed-gender African American high schools in Louisville, Kentucky, this article reminds us of the ways these institutional types have been situated and socially-inflected across time, structured in relation to broader political discourse that transcends explicit pedagogical concerns. It argues for the recovery of high schools as a historically significant site in the history of college composition instruction.
Nineteenth-century women gained access to significant higher education opportunities under the auspices of the urban, public high school (as well as at seminaries, academies, normal schools, and other variously named institutions) even when they did not matriculate into colleges proper. Women made great strides in all forms of higher education in the last half of the nineteenth century, but particularly in high schools and academies; while remaining underrepresented in colleges until 1978, women constituted a majority of graduates from high schools as early as 1870. This trend held true both nationally and in the local context of Louisville, where women outpaced men in high school graduation numbers eight to four in 1861 and by forty-two to twenty-nine by 1895. Still representing only a small minority of white women in the city, these early women high school graduates were envoys into higher education on behalf of their gender. Their high rates of matriculation and graduation were due at least in part to the impressive academic and professional opportunities granted to them at a time when other avenues to academic and professional advancement remained limited.
In the early twentieth century, students produced and used a variety of texts to commemorate their school experiences and foster a sense of community among themselves. Through the compositional practices and values associated with these texts—particularly those of school literary annuals and memory books—the genre of the modern school yearbook emerged. This article draws on primary sources to trace the emergence of the yearbook as a form and practice at one Louisville high school for girls, where yearbooks both reflected and shaped the experience of high school for students who manifest complex genre knowledge and identity work in their compilations and inscriptions.
Though largely debarred from public rhetorical performance as adult women, young women in the nineteenth century US received rhetorical training and performed their original compositions before large public audiences as high school students. Their access to the academic platform stemmed in part from their politically contained position as students and “girls” in this context. But students used these opportunities to intervene in political debates and to comment on their experiences as women and students. These rhetorical interventions represent an important part of our rhetorical history, shedding light on a significant rhetorical opportunity for many young women across the US.
This essay responds to the keynote papers of the 2013 Watson Symposium and 2014 Watson Conference on “Responsivity.” In it, I reflect on our own scholarly efforts to define and enact responsivity as historical activities.
The classroom activity described in this webtext is my attempt to think through the ways that the multimodal nature of closed captioning as a language practice could intersect productively with a translingual approach to language. Part of rhetorical awareness for a globalizing citizenry is an acknowledgement of the complexity of language choices—even and especially in contexts where language is seemingly transparent, standard, unquestioned.
This essay responds to Jeanne Gunner’s “Disciplinary Purification: The Writing Program as Institutional Brand” (in the same volume), asserting the physical presence of writing researchers and teachers in writing programs and administrative positions at present as constituting an interest group with the power to resist co-optation of the writing program “brand.”
As the field of Composition pays more attention to the diverse composing practices encouraged by new media, it becomes increasingly incumbent on scholars, researchers and teachers to consider the affordances as well as the limitations or challenges of these practices for students and other composers: both material and ideological, personal and political. In considering writing with sound, then, we must also consider writing and reading of individuals without access to sound. As we consider the translation of meaning across modes, the transformation of material across compositions and recompositions, we might be reminded also of the complexity of translation also within and across languages, such as that from sounds to written symbols in Closed Captioning.
This essay draws on work in composition and translation studies that acknowledges the complexity and importance of cross-language translation in a global economy and values difference and negotiation of meaning—even occasional incomprehension—in language use to consider Closed Captioning (CC) policies and practices in America (Cronin; Horner et al.; Prendergast; Venuti; White).
“Unsettling Archives in the Classroom.” With Nadia Nasr. Unsettling the Archives. Eds. Gesa Kirsch, Romeo Garcia, Caitlin Burns, and Dakoda Smith. Forthcoming. 25 mss pages.
“Dueling Enrollments: Historicizing the High School/College Divide.” With Brice Nordquist. The Dual Enrollment Kaleidoscope: Reconfiguring Perceptions of First-Year Writing and Composition Studies. Eds. Casey Moreland and Christine Denecker. Forthcoming.
In this chapter, we trace the history of the high school-college divide. By tracing out how the present-day institutional forms of the high school and college emerged historically, this chapter interrogates the metaphors of containment that shape our current practice and seeks to recover possibilities for other arrangements and conceptualizations.
“Methodological Haunting: The Ephemeral Experience of the House Tour.” The Ephemeral Experience of the House Tour. Eds. Jennifer Burgess & Gavin P. Johnson.
I examine the spatial rhetorics of San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House, a famous “haunted” house tour. Applying the insights of feminist new materialists, I frame the house itself as a rhetorical performance by a woman—Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune—otherwise famously private and ostensibly silent in public settings. To recover this woman as a rhetor, then, I pursue not the traditional textual or artifactual archive, but instead the house itself and, more particularly, the ephemeral experience of the house tour as evidence, framing the house as an ongoing rhetorical performance involving Winchester and those (both researchers and the public) who seek to know her.
“No Longer Here: Remembering Japanese American Internment Through School Yearbooks.” Contested Commemoration in U.S. History: Diverging Public Interpretations. Eds. Klara Bender and Melissa Szlezák. New York: Routledge, 2019.
This chapter presents yearbooks as complex sites of collective remembrance that simultaneously efface and subtly memorialize instances of discrimination and national shame as they intersect with student experiences at school. It examines high school yearbooks from California’s Santa Clara Valley in the 1940s to examines the traces of Japanese American people and experiences in the years during and immediately surrounding internment to understand the ways students used yearbooks to negotiate their identities in a time of war. The chapter emphasizes the communal work of yearbook production over the more individualized layer of personal engagement evidenced in signatures and inscriptions, though that would be an equally rich and rewarding data set to examines to further understand the role of student-authored texts in representing and remembering major historical events such as World War II.
“Inclusivity in the Archives: Expanding Undergraduate Pedagogies for Diversity and Inclusion.” With students Beverlyn Law and Isabella Zhang. Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity in Contemporary Higher Education. Ed. Rhonda Jeffries. IGI-Global Publishers, 2018.
This chapter uses the experience of two undergraduate students conducting research in their university archives to consider the “hidden curriculum” entailed in archival research at some institutions. When diverse identities and experiences are not represented in our archives, we run the risk of communicating a lack of value for those identities, producing a feeling of marginalization and exclusion for some students and foreclosing an opportunity to build solidarity across difference for others. In light of the limited holdings at many university archives and the increased prevalence of archival research in the undergraduate classroom, the authors draw on research from writing studies, anthropology, archival research, and public memory to produce recommendations for students, faculty, and institutions working to compose inclusive archives and research experiences.
“‘Several Sigourneys’: Circulation, Reprint Culture, and Lydia Sigourney’s Prose.” Lydia Sigourney: Critical Essays and Cultural Views. Eds. Elizabeth Petrino and Mary Lou Kete. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-62534-344-4.
Nina Baym has argued that Lydia Sigourney’s range “inevitably allows for the construction of several Sigourneys who are unknown to modern criticism” (390). The Sigourney that this essay constructs emerges from the intersection of genres and publishing venues—her periodical prose in popular magazines and book-length autobiographical works. Drawing on the work of Meredith McGill on reprinting and Leon Jackson on literary economies, I demonstrate the importance of attending to the genre and publication venue of Sigourney’s prose. Doing so reveals important tensions among the different “Sigourneys” that the author was constructing across contexts, and highlights the ways her authorial identity and her social and political positions circulated (and morphed) across reprintings.
“Graduate Student Peer Mentoring Programs: Benefitting Students, Faculty and Academic Programs.” With Beth Boehm. The Mentoring Continuum: From Graduate School Through Tenure. Ed. Glenn Wright. Syracuse Graduate School Press, 2016.
In this chapter we argue that formal peer mentoring programs support faculty by relieving the full burden of mentoring from the primary mentor and benefit graduate programs by dispersing the efforts of recruitment, orientation, and acculturation of incoming students. In describing the various forms of peer mentoring we have supported and participated in, then—from one-on-one mentor pairings, to intergenerational writing groups and interdisciplinary support groups—we focus throughout on the specific benefits to faculty and programs as well as students. By demonstrating the varied affordances of formalized peer mentoring programs, we hope to increase the faculty and departmental support that are necessary for the success of such programs.
“Available Technologies for Changing Student Needs: Using Technology to Reach Graduate Students on our Campuses.” Technology in Student Affairs, Summer 2013.
This paper advocates for increased attention to graduate students in student affairs research and reports on the ways the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies at the University of Louisville has used technology to support graduate student learning. The technologies reported on here are familiar and accessible to most all student affairs professionals; this report is intended to highlight the presence of these technologies, which may be taken for granted in our practice, and to encourage less tech-savvy practitioners to consider the ways they can build on existing tools to help their students reach their learning outcomes. It encourages an approach to technology integration that is responsive to a particular need or use and considers the affordances and limitations of particular technologies rather than embracing new technologies on account of their “newness.” Although technology trends among college students are a popular topic in higher education, the tangential outcomes related to campus IT infrastructure remain a relatively untouched area of discussion. This article reviews technology trends at one higher education institution in the Southeastern United States. Through the longitudinal tracking of residential student perception surveys, a campus environment continues to evolve its capacity to meet student technology expectations. The use of historical documents and the identified expertise of campus staff provide practical considerations for student affairs professionals.