I completed my BFA at York University in Theatre (Performing Arts, Honours), my MA at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and my PhD at the University at Albany (State University of New York). Prior to my arrival at the University of Waterloo, I directed the writing centre and taught at Siena College in Loudonville New York (1996-2000); served as an associate professor, director of the writing centre, and finally director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota (2000-2007); and from 2007 - 2013 was an associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I took up my post at the University of Waterloo in July 2013.
My primary areas of interest lie in the fields of Rhetoric and Writing Studies. More specifically, however, within that field I am interested in the intersections between critical race, labor, and rhetoric studies, in narrative and performativity, and in critical pedagogy. I also write and publish in the area of writing centre studies. I am a frequent keynote speaker and consultant to colleges and universities across the US on institutional racism and anti-racist organizing.
At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, I teach with the aim of challenging students to notice, wonder at, and engage critically the power not only of language itself, but of particular rhetorical modes and strategies for creating, sustaining, and transforming our relations with and for one another. I believe, in other words, that the study of writing and rhetoric is also necessarily the study of how human relations are forged in and through language—shaped, enabled, and constrained through our representations of ourselves, of others, and of that which constitutes knowledge within particular contexts or communities. The study of rhetoric should, I think, engage all of us in the study not only of what is said and how, but also toward what ends and for whose benefit. I hope students leave my courses with an expanded sense of their intellectual and rhetorical antecedents as well as with a much greater sense of their own contingency: their interdependence and the mutuality of their needs and interests across disparate visible and invisible identities and social and lived subjectivities. Furthermore, I hope that students leave my courses with a greatly enlarged sense of their own agency and their responsibility as scholars, rhetoricians and writers—as citizens of the world—to those with whom we share the world as well as those who will come after.
When I am not in my office, the classroom, or a meeting I can most frequently be found in an ice rink somewhere in North America watching a hockey game. Alternatively, you might check the nearest lake for I do love any activity that has to do with water—frozen or not. And, if all else fails, look for me in my garden.
Selected Publications and Addresses
Recent Keynote Addresses
“Anti-Racism and the Teaching of Writing.” Keynote Address. Co-authored and performed with Neisha Anne Green. Writing Across the Curriculum Conference, Auburn University, 2018.
“Performing Agency, Authority, Authenticity, and Antiracism in Writing Center Work.” Keynote Address. Co-authored and performed with Vershawn Ashanti Young. Mid-Atlantic Writing Centers Association Conference, Rowan University, 2018.
“The Languages We May Be.” Keynote Address: Canadian Writing Centres Association. Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto. 2017.
“A Season for Change: Imagining Transformative Writing Centre Labour.” Keynote Address: Northeast Writing Centers Association, Pace University, Westchester, New York. 2017.
“Creating Relations.” Survive and Thrive Annual Conference of the Medical Humanities, 2014.
“Troubled Home: Writing Centers and the Work of the Writing Commons.” East Central Writing Centers Association, 2013.
Recent Plenary Addresses
“And the World Won’t End: Rewriting the Racial Imaginary in the Writing Centre and Classroom”. Plenary address (and workshop): Rhetoric & Writing Across Borders series, De Paul University, 2019.
“And the World Won’t End: Rewriting the Racial Imaginary in the Writing Centre and Classroom”. Plenary address (and workshop), University of Utah, 2019.
“A Conversation with Tutors”. Brief address and dialogue: Writing Center Speakers Series, Nevada State College, 2019.
“Anti-racist Pedagogy in First-Year Composition and Beyond.” Co-authored and performed with Vershawn Ashanti Young. University of Houston, 2018.
“Between What Is and What Ought To Be: (Re)Claiming the Writing Commons.” Washington State University, 2014.
“The Racecraft of Islamophobia.” Renison University College, Studies in Islam, 2015.
“Dog-Whistle Pedagogy: The Hidden Politics of White Supremacy in Teaching and Learning to Write.” University of Washington-Tacoma, 2015.
“Let’s Talk about Race.” Invited Workshops: “Faculty and the Work of Antiracism;” “Writing Centres and the Work of Antiracism.” Salt Lake City Community College, 2014
Counterstories from the Writing Center. Co-edited with Wonderful Faison. Utah State University Press and the University of Colorado Press, forthcoming.
Performing Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing and Communication. Co-edited with Vershawn Ashanti Young. WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado, 2016.
I Hope I Join the Band: Narrative, Affiliation, and Antiracist Rhetoric. Utah State University Press, March 2012.
The Everyday Writing Center: A Community of Practice. Coauthored with Michele Eodice, Elizabeth Boquet, Anne Ellen Geller and Margaret Carroll. Utah State University Press, January 2007
Articles and Chapters
“A Bridge Across Our Fears: Excerpts from the Annals of Bean.” Writers: Craft and Context, Forthcoming.
“Letters on Moving from Ally to Accomplice: Anti-racism and the Teaching of Writing” Co-authored with Neisha Anne Green. L.E. Bartlett, S. L. Tarabochia, A. R. Olinger, and M. Marshall, eds. Diverse Approaches to Teaching, Learning, and Writing Across the Curriculum: IWAC at 25. WAC Clearinghouse, 2020.
“Critical Race Theory and the Work of Writing Centers.” Co-authored with Neisha Anne Green and Wonderful Faison. In Theories and Methods of Writing Center Studies. Co-edited by Jo Mackiewicz and Rebecca Babcock. Routledge, 2019.
“The Languages We May Be: Affiliative Relations and the Work of the Canadian Writing Centre.” Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie, Vol. 28, 2018. http://journals.sfu.ca/cjsdw
“C’est Impossible/impossible n’est pas francais.” Review Essay. Writing Center Journal, 1 January 2017, vol 36(1), pp 217-234.
"Translingualism in Composition Studies and Second Language Writing: An Uneasy Alliance" Second author with Julia Williams (first author). TESL Canada, vol 33, issue 2, Fall 2016.
“Building a House for Linguistic Diversity: Writing Centers, English Language Teaching and Learning, and Social Justice.” Co-Authored with Bobbi Olson. Ben Rafoth and Shanti Bruce, eds. Utah State University Press. Utah State University Press, 2016.
“Stories to Live and Die By: In Memorium.” Survive and Thrive: A Journal of the Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine, Fall 2014.
”A Place Where There Isn’t Any Trouble.” Young and Martinez, eds. Code Meshing as World English: Policy, Pedagogy, Performance. NCTE, 2011.
“Bold: The Everyday Writing Center and the Production of New Knowledge in Anti-Racist Theory and Practice.” Co-Authored with Anne Ellen Geller and Meg Carroll. Rowan and Greenfield, eds. Writing Centers and the New Racism: A Call for Sustainable Dialogue and Change. Utah State University Press. 2011.
Fellowships & Awards
- Federation of Students Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award (Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance), 2017
- Outstanding Performance Award (excellence in teaching and scholarship) Recipient, University of Waterloo, May 2015
- I Hope I Join the Band selected for “Top 5 'Must-Reads' for 2013” by the Educators Award Committee of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, 2013
- Absolute Equality: The Radical Precedents of Post-Racial Rhetorics in the 21st Century. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Awarded for 2014 – 2017: $91,445.
- Grant-in-Aid, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Absolute Equality: Rhetorics of Race in the Industrial Workers Movement, 2011-2012
My current research, funded by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, centers on the radical precedents of postracialism in American political and civic rhetoric. I am particularly interested in appeals for and fault-lines within calls for transracial solidarity made to white workers and workers of color by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), as well as by socialist and communist organizers and activists during the early twentieth century in the U.S. and Canada. My current focus is on the historical deployments of the metaphor of colourblindness for racial justice within and beyond the radical labour and Leftist political movements of North America during the 20th century.
Areas of graduate supervision
- Cross-cultural and antiracist rhetorics
- Critical race theory and rhetoric
- Public rhetorics and social change
- Writing and writing centre theory, practice, and pedagogy