I approach teaching as an opportunity to guide students through a process of becoming critical thinkers and active participants in civic communication. My pedagogies are influenced by feminist practices of critical reflection and the transformation of thought into action. Whatever the course content, students in my classes are guaranteed an instructor who will provoke them to think critically about their lived experiences, who will challenge them to practice thoughtful public argumentation, and who will guide them through the writing process via workshops, activities, and constructive feedback on their drafts.
This upper-division undergraduate course introduces English majors to the theory and practice of visual rhetoric, with a special focus on how visual representations communicate culturally specific meanings about race, gender, class, sexuality, age, nationality, and difference. Students read theories from diverse fields including English studies, technical communication, women’s studies, cultural studies, and design in order to better understand the relationships between image and text. Assignments include analytical papers, design modules, contributions to a course blog, and a researched visual rhetorical project.
Writing about Women
This course prepares upper-division English and Gender Studies students to write about women with a critical understanding of how sexist oppression has limited women as writers, how cultural representations of women may perpetuate gendered stereotypes, and how women have used language to creatively challenge gendered norms and inequalities. Students practice critical reflection, textual analysis, and writing for target audiences beyond the classroom. In spring 2017, the course included a special focus on (re)writing women into history for an audience of Lowell High School students. See collaborative student blog here: https://womenresistingoppression.blogspot.com/p/home.html
The Rhetoric(s) of Social Movements: Writing for Social Change
This upper-division course explores the communication strategies used to build social movements and agitate for social change. Students read research from social movement studies, analyze primary documents from movements in the 1960s, hear from experienced activists, and engage in critical discussion of social movements happening today. Special attention is paid to the role journalists and other writers play in promoting or rejecting social change. Assignments include informal written responses, a rhetorical analysis paper, and a final project delivered to a strategic target audience.
Theories of Rhetoric and Composition
This upper-division course introduces English majors to the history, theories, and discourse conventions of the field of rhetoric and composition. Students write analytical papers, facilitate class discussion, share research from the field, and write a final research paper on a topic of their choice.
Personal and Reflective Writing
This course focuses on personal writing genres, reflective writing practices, and the socio-political implications of making the personal public. Students write, workshop, and revise a series of essays based on their lived experiences while keeping track of their growth and setbacks as a writer by writing daily in a journal.
Introduction to Professional Writing
Designed and implemented this new gateway course for English majors concentrating in Journalism and Professional Writing at UMass Lowell. This course introduces students to journalism, technical writing, and business writing while emphasizing the importance of theories of rhetoric and genre. All assignments call for students to write for public audiences beyond the classroom, including one service-learning project.
Principles of Technical Writing
In this upper-division course, students learn about the rhetorical strategies and communications technologies appropriate for technical writing situations. Students plan, create, and user-test projects such as technical documentations, resumes, proposals, reports, websites, and other genres as they work with local community non-profits on real technical writing needs.
This upper-division, writing-intensive course focused on how language shapes personal experience and community beliefs. Assignments included reflective portfolios, rhetorical analyses, creative non-fiction essays, public arguments, and blogs. Students participated in a student-based university writing contest I coordinated with other Advanced Composition instructors at the University of Arizona. We raised over $1,000 in teaching grants to support the “Moments (In)Form” contest and public reading event.
Students studied workplace practices, business communications, and writing on behalf of an organization through client-based projects and case studies. Assignments included memos, emails, job search materials, proposals, reports, and promotional documents.
This compressed 8-week, upper-division course focused on rhetorical strategies and communications technologies appropriate to technical writing situations. Students created and usability tests, quick reference cards, resumes, proposals, reports, and websites.
Writing Center Internship Course
I collaborated with three instructors to team teach students to work at the writing center as a paid tutor. Assignments and readings emphasized non-hierarchical, collaborative, and student-initiated approaches to tutoring.
First-Year Composition I: Textual Analysis and Writing
This course focuses on close reading, textual analysis, reflection, and revision. Students examined issues of identity, social justice, and education while exchanging narratives about their college experiences with local high school students.
First-Year Composition II: Rhetoric Analysis and Research
Assignments in this course emphasized classical rhetorical, visual-spatial, and gender analysis; research; public argument; reflection; and revision. Students examined community-based controversies and composed in multiple modes and genres.
Women and Western Culture
This online course focused on how gender is conceptualized, embodied, and resisted by women rhetors the classical Greek period to the present. Assignments included reading quizzes, discussion board posts, reflective papers, a rhetorical research project, and a final essay exam.