Jennifer Clary-Lemon

Professor | Associate Chair, Graduate Studies

Photo of Jennifer Clary-Lemon.
PhD, Arizona State University
MA, DePaul University
BA, University of Arizona

Extension: 43594

For enquiries related to graduate studies, email 


I completed my BA in Political Science at the University of Arizona, my MA in English (Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse) at DePaul University, and my PhD in English (Rhetoric, Composition, and Linguistics) at Arizona State University. From 2006 to 2018, I taught at the University of Winnipeg, where I also directed the writing centre. I joined the University of Waterloo in August 2018, and I currently serve as the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies.

My research is situated in the field of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, and has at different times in my career spanned a wide range of topics that engage theory, writing, and location: discursive ethnic, racial, and national identities; critical discourse analysis; the making of scientific knowledge; rhetorical methods and methodologies; place-based ways of seeing and knowing scholarly disciplines; writing centre theory and practice; posthuman and new material rhetorical approaches to place. Although I am a rhetoric scholar, I consider myself a writing teacher. My interest in supporting writing as a core culture of a university has emerged from over 20 years of university teaching. It has been a large part of my own teaching philosophy that location—both geographic and personal—affects rhetorical choices and agency.

Even though I love being a humanist, I harbor a secret desire to be a biologist. I’m convinced that this is possible, starting with keeping bees.

Selected Publications

Clary-Lemon, Jennifer. Nestwork: New Material Rhetorics for Precarious Species. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2023.

Clary-Lemon, Jennifer, and David Grant, editors. Decolonial Conversations in Posthuman and New Material Rhetorics. Ohio State University Press, 2022.

Clary-Lemon, Jennifer, Derek Mueller, and Kate Pantelides. Try This: Research Methods for Writers. Louisville, CO: WAC Clearinghouse Press, 2022.

Gries, Laurie, and Jennifer Clary-Lemon. “Introduction: Rhetorical New Materialisms.” Forum on Rhetorical New Materialisms. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 52.2 (June 2022): 137-147.

Clary-Lemon, Jennifer. “Recoveries and Reconsiderations: Selvedge Rhetorics and Material Memory.” Peitho 24.3 (Spring 2022).

Clary-Lemon, Jennifer. Planting the Anthropocene: Rhetorics of Natureculture. Boulder, CO: Utah State University Press. 2019.

Clary-Lemon, Jennifer. "Gifts, Ancestors, Relations: Notes Toward an Indigenous New Materialism." enculturation, November 2019.

Fellowships and Awards

  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant, “Nested Infrastructures: Species Decline Meets Critical Design,” 2022
  • Shortlist finalist, Rhetoric Society of America Book award for Planting the Anthropocene, 2020
  • SSHRC (Social Science and Humanities Research Council) Insight Development Grant 4A Funding for “Examining Canadian Silviculture and Discourses of National Identity,” 2014, 2015
  • Theresa J. Enos Anniversary Award for “Runner-Up for Best Essay” for “Archival Research Processes: A Case for Material Methods,” 2014
  • Fulbright award, Fulbright Specialists Program (Fulbright Canada). “Writing Studies at the University of Winnipeg: Future Directions,” 2011

Current Research

As I finished up a book on industrial tree planting and human-nonhuman meaning-making called Planting the Anthropocene: Rhetorics of Natureculture (USUP, 2019), I became more and more interested in how the “material turn” affects scholars in rhetoric and composition. This is manifesting itself in a close look at human-nonhuman entanglements and rhetorical effects, particularly when it comes to species at risk or endangered species and areas of human disturbance. This work is featured in my newest monograph, Nestwork: New Material Rhetorics for Precarious Species (PSUP, 2023).  In it, I examine the ways in which humans respond to particular species at risk using infrastructural and time-based mitigation measures--the barn swallow, the chimney swift, and the bobolink. I'm interested in the ways that such mitigations create persuasive landscapes, as well as in humans' affectual investments as they grapple with the irreconcilability of the sixth extinction through both art and reclamation. 

Areas of Graduate Supervision

  • Writing Theory and Pedagogy
  • Material Rhetorics, New Materialism, Affect Studies
  • Environmental Rhetorics
  • Methods and Methodology
  • Rhetorics of Location and Place