Theoretical underpinningsIn some way or other, all of my work explores what we are really teaching when we think we are teaching something else. As composition teachers we set out to teach writing, and we often do that by assigning readings. We may discuss the content of the readings, but our major emphasis is on how the essays model the kinds of writing we want our students to produce. Are those essays really appropriate models? For what? What else do they teach? What does the juxtaposition between them teach? Are we preparing students for college writing or writing in the work world? If we select WAC texts, are they really appropriate models for the disciplines, or do they leave students with the impression that disciplinary distinctions are marked only by content? What impact might this have on already under prepared students? If we select "multicultural" texts, do all of the authors discuss a broad range of topics, or do writers of color write about race, while white women write about gender and white men write about philosophy, etc.? What does this teach our students about who writes and what the academy expects? If we select readings with which we think our students can identify because they share physical or social characteristics with the authors, regardless of whether those texts are "academic" or intellectually challenging, are we really helping our students develop the skills they will need in college and, later, their professional and civic lives? What messages do we send when we think we are "simply" teaching? And how do they influence us as we train writing tutors, set up distance learning programs or service learning projects, talk to a student during our office hours, or make administrative decisions?
My work tries to interrogate the ways that ideology is inscribed through our choices of texts, assignments, grading strategies, tutoring practices, responses to papers, and ways of interacting with students both in and outside of the (real and virtual) classroom. The ideology we inscribe at the site of literacy is the most essential because it shapes not only the ways our students read and write about the world, but also the ways they read and write themselves. What kind of citizens are we producing in our classes? And what are the implications of this? What kind of citizens do we want to produce? And how do we justify this?
Current ProjectsAt the moment I am working on two composition textbooks that aim to put into practice the analysis I have applied to other textbooks (both in my dissertation, and since then in a number of conference papers and articles). One is a WAC/WID text and the other an Argument text. I am also (slowly) working on a book length manuscript exploring ideological inscription in composition instruction (working title: Creating the Subject of Composition: Inscription and Re-inscription in the Writing Classroom).
My most important current project is still teaching--and learning from--my students.
A collection of essays, Coming of Age: The Advanced Writing Curriculum, coedited with Linda Shamoon, Rebecca Moore Howard, and Robert Schwegler, part of the "Cross Currents Series" (General Editor, Charles I. Schuster) Heinmann-Boynton/Cook, Fall 2000. [review]
The Bedford Guide to Teaching Writing in the Disciplines: An Instructor's Desk Reference. Rebecca Moore Howard & Sandra Jamieson. (Bedford, 1995) [review]
You can buy this book on-line, but if you use a Bedford handbook, call your Bedford/St. Martins rep. and ask for a copy (they should give you a free one).
"Fragmented Narratives and the Myth of the Unified Writing Subject." The Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition. The University of Louisville. October 5, 2006"WAC Contexts for Plagiarism Activism." National Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference (WPA) Chattanooga, Tennessee. July 14, 2006
“On Classroom Practices and Plagiarism Policies: A Workshop” with Rebecca Moore Howard. SUNY Council of Writers, State University of New York at Oswego, April 7-8, 2006
Featured Session Chair:
"Transforming Memory: The
Rhetoric of Commemorative Places." Conference on College
Composition and Communication (CCCC).
"Composition "Readers" and the Construction of Student Writers" Composing Identities The Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition. The University of Louisville. October 10, 2002.
"Designing an Advanced Writing Curriculum: A Hands-On Session" Full-day workshop. Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). Chicago, March, 20 2002.
Session Chair: "Virtual Streets, Virtual Texts: From Print to Electronic Media." Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). Chicago, March, 22 2002.
"The Drew University Honduras Project: Student designed and run service learning" ProjectHonduras International Conference on Honduras, Washington DC., October 2001.
"Designing the Advanced Writing Curriculum: A Hands-On Session" Half-day workshop. Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). Denver, March 2001.
"Print-Linked Textbooks: The Next Paradigm Shift or Just One More Exploitation?" Labor, Writing Technologies, and the Shaping of Composition in the Academy The Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition. The University of Louisville. October 7, 2000.
"The Effects of Theory on Assumptions about Pedagogy." National Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference (WPA) Charlotte, NC. July 13, 2000.
"Re-Imagining the Classes in the Advanced Writing Program." Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), Chicago. April 15. 2000.
"Writing Programs as Banana Republics -- and how we might talk our way into a better metaphor." National Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference (WPA) Tucson, AZ. July 17, 1998.
"Volunteers and Popular Interventions: Some thoughts on civic literacy and service learning." University of Rhode Island Writing Conference, W. Alton Jones Conference Center, RI. May 28, 1998. Featured Speaker.
"Imagining Audiences: Teachers Designing Assignments and Students Responding." Panel on distance learning writing instruction. Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), Chicago. April 14. 1998.
"Bringing it home: a discussion of ways we can bring theory out of the classroom and practice and experience back in "Activism and the Academy: Opening Dialogues An Interdisciplinary Conference." Chair and organizer of panel of students and community activists from Drew; Madison, NJ; and Newark, NJ. GWU, Washington DC. March 28, 1998.
"Responding to the Needs of Composition Students with Different Learning Styles." National Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference (WPA). Houghton, MI. July 19, 1997.
"One Size Fits All? Designing Writing Assignments for Students who May or May Not Have Learning Disabilities" NCTE Summer Conference: Assigning, Responding to, and Assessing Writing: Teachers' and Students' Identities and Relationships. Sonoma Valley, CA. April 18, 1997. Featured Speaker.
"When Speech is Written: Why Etiquette and Netiquette Must be Different in Composition Classes." CCCC, Phoenix, AZ. March 13 1997.
"'So, Let's Just Use a Textbook!': WAC textbooks and the Anxiety of Expertise." National Writing Across the Curriculum Conference, Charleston, SC. February 7, 1997.
"Developing Tactics for Using Composition Textbooks Without Hurting Students." University of Rhode Island Writing Conference. June 16, 1996. Featured speaker.
"Shaping the Contact Zone: Designing WAC/WID Assignments for Composition Courses." Conference on College Composition and Communication, Milwaukee, March 29, 1996.
"Defining our Roles, Constructing our Writers: The Concept of 'The Author' underlying Writing Center Theory and Corporate Editing." National Council of Teachers of English Summer Conference, Colgate, NY. August 10, 1995.
"Expanding and Sharing Ownership of Writing in the Disciplines." Conference of the Association of Writing Program Administrators (WPA), Bellingham, WA. July 28, 1995.
"The Ethics of Editing: Corporation versus College Writing Center." Wyoming English Conference, Laramie, WY. 21 June, 1995.
"Constructing writing Subjects:
using Composition textbooks." University of Rhode
Writing Conference. June 15, 1995. Featured speaker.
Using the method we call "print-linked publishing," practical course descriptions and course rationales appear in hypertext format on an interactive CD-ROM that is an integral part of the complete text.
This book discusses and
models of a range of writing assignments, ways to build writing into
course, ways to use writing to aid learning, strategies for teaching
effective responses, etc. in use by teachers across the
My essay in this
collection is "Composition
Readers and the Construction of Identity." (NY: MLA. 1997)
My essay in this
"The United Colors of Multiculturalism: Rereading Composition
(Westport: Greenwood, 1996)
My essay in this
"Text, Context, and Teaching Literature by African American Women"
My essay in this
(with Linda K. Shamoon, Rebecca Moore Howard, and Robert Schwegler) is:
"Re-examining the Theory- Practice Binary in the Work of Writing
Program Administrators" (Heinemann -Boynton/Cook, 2002).
Entries in the several editions.