Associate Director of the UNC Writing Program
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1987
M.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1978
B.A., Rhode Island College, 1974
My research and teaching interests are in linguistics and literacy, writing, and rhetoric. My first book, Teaching Selves: Identity, Pedagogy, and Teacher Education (2001), claims that becoming a teacher means developing an identity as such. The book includes case studies of six undergraduate teacher education majors and concludes with a proposal for a pedagogy that fosters identities. My recent work investigates how identity relates to voice in writing: how does "voice" represent a speaking subject; how are "voices" connected to identities; what are the rhetorics involved in public voices; what methods encourage students to develop public voices (e.g. “Genre and Rhetorical Agency: Considering Autobiography,” CCCC, 2012). My second book, Contemporary Memoirs in Action: How to Do Things with Memoir (2018), examines how autobiographical texts are not simply interesting narratives but act to solve social problems and produce new ways of understanding the world. Thus the teaching of writing, including methods and processes (e.g. experimenting with grading contracts) and the practice of writing (e.g. my course on genres of personal writing), remain at the heart of my academic life. Along with my administrative responsibilities for the Writing Program, I am also involved in designing courses and teaching for the University Honors Program.
From 2008-2011, I was the primary investigator for a Spencer-Teagle Foundations Grant for Improvement of Undergraduate Education at Research Universities, which emphasized writing and research (with Professor Pat Pukkila, Director, UNC Office for Undergraduate Research and Dean Bobbi Owen, UNC Office for Undergraduate Education). I am currently a co-primary investigator for a CCCC Research Initiative Grant to support research on the genres being assigned in first-year writing and in undergraduate courses across disciplines (with Professor Jordynn Jack, co-PI, 2014-2016).
Contemporary Memoirs in Action: How to Do Things with Memoir. Palgrave Macmillian, 2018.
“Designs for Writing: A Metacognitive Strategy for Iterative Drafting and Revising.” With E. Ashley Hall and Jennifer Ware. In Using Reflection and Metacognition to Improve Student Learning. Eds. Matthew Kaplan et al. Sterling, VA: Stylus, 2013: 147-174.
“Double-Voiced Autobiographies.” Life Writing 9.3 (August 2012): 269-278.
“A Unilateral Grading Contract to Improve Learning and Teaching.” With Peter Elbow. College Composition and Communication 61.2 (December 2009): 244-268.
“Personal Genres, Public Voices.” College Composition and Communication 59.3 (February 2008): 420-450.
Recent Conference Presentations
“Genre Evolution, Emergence, and Transfer: How Important is Technology?” Panel session, chair and participant. “New Media Personal Essays: a Case of an Emerging Genre,” conference paper. College Composition and Communication Conference. Indianapolis, IN, March 2014.
“How I Have Changed my Mind as a Scholar-Teacher of Writing,” Panel session, participant. “Designing Genre-Based Writing Assignments,” conference paper. Modern Language Association Conference. Boston, MA, January 2013.
“Genres in Transition,” Roundtable session, participant. “Genre and Rhetorical Agency: Considering Autobiography,” conference paper. College Composition and Communication Conference. St. Louis, MO, March 2012.
“Life Writing and Migrant Identities,” Panel session, participant. “When Affective Citizenship Fails: the Case of M. Elaine Mar’s Paper Daughter,” conference paper. 7th biennial International Auto/Biography Association Conference: Life Writing and Intimate Publics: University of Sussex, UK, June 28-July 1, 2010.