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 (2000-2008); and from 2008 - 2013 was an associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I took up my new 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 have also written and published in the area of writing centre studies.
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
Keynote Address (with Dr. Vershawn Ashanti Young). International Writing Across the Curriculum Conference. 2018. [forthcoming]
Keynote Address: Northeast Writing Centers Association, Pace University, Westchester, New York. April 2017. [forthcoming]
Keynote Address: Canadian Writing Centres Association, OCAD University Toronto, May 2017. [forthcoming]
Plenary Address: “The Racecraft of Islamophobia.” Renison University College, Studies in Islam, November 2015.
Plenary Address and Workshop: “Dog-Whistle Pedagogy: The Hidden Politics of White Supremacy in Teaching and Learning to Write.” University of Washington-Tacoma, November 2015.
Conference Keynote: “Creating Relations.” Survive and Thrive Annual Conference of the Medical Humanities, October 2014.
University Plenary Address/Consultation: “Between What Is and What Ought To Be: (Re)Claiming the Writing Commons.” Washington State University, October 2014.
University/Community Plenary Address/Consultation: “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, February 2014
Keynote Address: “Troubled Home: Writing Centers and the Work of the Writing Commons.” East Central Writing Centers Association, April 2013.
Performing Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing and Communication. Co-edited with Vershawn Ashanti Young. WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado. E-version http://wac.colostate.edu/books/antiracist/ print version in production, 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
"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
- 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.
- 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
- Grant-in-Aid, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Absolute Equality: Rhetorics of Race in the Industrial Workers Movement, 2011-2012
- Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to Students, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Teaching Council and Parents Association, 2011-2012
- Benevolent Research Award: A grant for promising research leading to a dissertation. Competitively awarded by the State University of New York at Albany Benevolent Association, 1996
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 theory, practice, and pedagogy