Teaching



At the heart of my teaching philosophy is an awareness that building expertise involves a shift in perception: where the novice sees isolated acts and instructions, the expert sees purposeful patterns. Composition and rhetoric has given me a vocabulary that guides my attention, and one of my roles as a teacher is to share that vocabulary and what it helps us see. But all of us, as learners, can reflect back and name to each other the patterns we notice in reading and in writing, in processes and products, so we can notice differently the next time around.

Read my full teaching statement here.

Courses Taught

Composing Digital Media

University of Pittsburgh: Composition Studies (graduate course)

This seminar offers an introduction to Rhetoric/Composition/Writing Studies as an academic discipline – including some of the reasons for, and consequences of, its difficulty finding a name for itself. Drawing on both historical and current scholarship, we explore threshold concepts of the field and consider the range of both methodologies and subjects engaged by RCWS research. Over the course of the semester, a series of short projects help students locate themselves in relation to the field, whether they identify as compositionists or not. As part of a final portfolio, students present revised versions of their earlier work in a public colloquium.

Spring 2017 Syllabus Evals: numbers, comments

University of Pittsburgh: Seminar in Composition: Education

Like other Seminars in Composition, this introductory course offers students opportunities to improve as writers by developing their understanding of how they and others use writing to interpret and share experience, affect behavior, and position themselves in the world. As a step toward college-level critical literacy, the course is designed to help student writers become more engaged, imaginative, and disciplined composers, better equipped to handle complex subjects thoughtfully and to use sources responsibly. This particular seminar will include readings that consider issues of teaching and learning in American education, and for this reason may be of special interest to students who plan to become teachers. Shared questions include: What does learning look like in the context of writing? In other words, what does a writer’s education consist of? And what work does writing do in the context of learning? Why, for example, do we write so much in school? Students will also have the opportunity to pursue their own research interests in writing and/or education through an extended independent inquiry. Frequent low-stakes exercises and in-class activities will help students generate, reconsider, and refine their ideas and essays over the course of the semester.

Spring 2017 Syllabus Evals: numbers, comments
Fall 2016 Syllabus Evals: numbers and comments
Spring 2016 Syllabus Evals: numbers and comments
Fall 2015 Syllabus Evals: numbers and comments

University of Pittsburgh: Writing with Style

Do you feel the force of great writing, but worry that you can’t control it? Have you wondered about your commas, then just shrugged it off and guessed? Through a focus on the moving parts of the sentence – where and why to expand or contract, to elaborate in place or to accumulate in series – students in this course will learn to build coherence and shift emphasis in their writing. Exercises in imitation and variation, derived in part from readings by acclaimed prose stylists, will alternate with more extended writing and revision to allow sentence-level insights to scale up to paragraphs, sections, and beyond.

Fall 2016 Syllabus Evals: numbers, comments
Spring 2016 Syllabus Evals: numbers and comments

Hunter College, CUNY: English 301, Theory and Practice of Expository Writing

In my own spin on the upper-level non-fiction writing course, students “engage directly with articles published in academic journals, learning some of the core claims and central debates in the field of composition and rhetoric. Students leaving the course will be able to recognize many of the common references that often make such articles opaque to novices, and to understand such genre conventions as literature reviews, citations, and various kinds of evidence and reasoning. In addition, because the content of these articles often has implications for the practice and pedagogy of writing, students will broaden their repertoires for generating and revising their own prose, as well as for teaching writing to others.”

Summer 2012 Syllabus Evals
Summer 2011 Syllabus Evals
Spring 2011 Syllabus Evals
Summer 2010 Syllabus Evals
non-linked items forthcoming

Hunter College, CUNY: English 120

English 120, an introductory expository writing course, has four related goals: “Through recursive processes of reading, writing, discussion, and reflection, it teaches students (1) to generate, explore, and refine their own ideas; (2) to analyze and evaluate intellectual arguments; (3) to take positions, develop thesis statements, and support them persuasively; and (4) to proofread for standard acceptable grammar, varied sentence structure, logical organization, and coherence.” My sections were conducted as hands-on practica in a large variety of generative and revision techniques, with an emphasis on the relationship between product and process, and with readings drawn from composition scholarship (a Writing About Writing approach).

Fall 2010
(two sections)
Syllabus Evals
Spring 2010 Syllabus Evals
Fall 2009
(two sections)
Syllabus Evals
Spring 2009 Syllabus Evals
Fall 2008 Syllabus Evals
non-linked items forthcoming

Columbia University: University Writing

University Writing “seeks to welcome and integrate students into the virtual barrage of written exchange that forms the intellectual life of the university. Emphasizing critical analysis, revision, collaboration, and research, this course aims to translate this academic conversation from a source of anxiety to a source of stimulation.” I was the instructor for six sections, including four in the College and two in the School of General Studies (a program for non-traditional and returning students).

Spring 2007 Syllabus Evals
Fall 2006 Syllabus Evals
Spring 2006 Syllabus Evals
Fall 2005 Syllabus Evals
Spring 2005 Syllabus Evals
Fall 2004 Syllabus Evals
non-linked items forthcoming

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