March 28, 2014

GPEA: Spring 2014

Joe Moses and Ann Duin will be presenting at the Spring 2014 Graduate & Professional Education Assembly as part of the Digital Fair (1:00). And Ann will be presenting with Chris Cramer as part of the panel presentation at 2:15, and also at the breakout sessions.

Wednesday, April 2 | 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Mississippi Room, Third Floor, Coffman Memorial Union

February 11, 2014

Writing Research Across Borders (WRAB)

The department is proud of the amazing presence we'll have at this year's Writing Research Across Borders (WRAB) conference! We're pleased to be able to support our faculty and graduate students to attend this prestigious meeting in Paris. Congratulations to PhD students Ashley Clayson, Kira Dreher, Brian Larson, Molly Li, Michael Madson, Timothy Oleksiak, Rachel Tofteland; to instructors Bill West and Kimberly Thomas-Pollei; and to Professors Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch and Christina Haas.

April 9, 2013

David Brauer's First Year Writing experience on "Almanac"

First Year Writing instructor extraordinaire, Maureen Aitken, was interviewed recently by TPT's "Almanac" for a profile on journalist David Brauer's return to the University to finish his degree.

Watch the segment, which aired last Friday, online:

David Brauer has also been blogging about his experiences over at MinnPost. From his March 5th post, note this paragraph in particular:

"I lucked out in that both classes have fewer than 20 students, taught seminar-style by enthusiastic teaching specialists. The U is especially awesome for doing first-year writing this intimately; the class kicked off with personal essays (research papers come later), so everyone got their feet wet writing about their own lives. We lingered over the revisions, and came to know each other a bit more."

December 4, 2012

Eliason Presents on ESL

Pat Eliason presented a workshop with George Schooley, an ABE teacher from Hubbs Center in St. Paul, for the MN State Adult ESL Institute May 2012. The presentation was entitled "The Development of Writing Skills Beyond the ESL Classroom."

Pat Eliason was also part of a panel of presenters at the MN State Teachers of English as a Second Language conference, Nov 2012, for a preconference workshop entitled "Corrective Feedback for Linguistic Errors in Adult ESL Writers."

March 12, 2012

Joe Holt Published in New Ohio Review

Joe Holt has a story appearing in the latest issue of New Ohio Review. The story, "Everything Equal," is about a misanthropic graduate student who seeks revenge after his girlfriend leaves him for his best friend. New Ohio Review is the biannual literary journal from Ohio University. Issue #11 (Spring 2012) also features work by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.

March 11, 2011

Joe Holt Published

Joe Holt had an article titled "The Textual Condition of Hemingway's African Book" appear in North Dakota Quarterly 76.1&2 (Winter 2009). The article defines the textual and editorial circumstances of one of Hemingway's final manuscripts, which appeared posthumously in three different versions: Sports Illustrated's "African Journal" (1971-72), True at First Light (1999) and Under Kilimanjaro (2005). Joe also has a book review in the same issue of North Dakota Quarterly.

November 5, 2010

Joe Holt Published

Joe Holt's short story "Possessions" appeared in The Chariton Review 33.2 (Fall 2010). Joe is a Teaching Specialist in Writing Studies. Congratulations Joe!

University Libraries does not subscribe to The Chariton Review, but there are copies of the Fall 2010 issue for sale at the University Bookstore in Coffman Union.

March 10, 2010

Bill West to present technical writing study in Tel Aviv

Bill west will be presenting the preliminary findings of a study "Using Technical Writing to Teach Empathy to Health Care Students" at the Academic Writing and Beyond in Multicultural Societies conference (IFAW/MOFET) happening July 28-29, 2010 in Tel Aviv.


Using Technical Writing to Teach Empathy to Health Care Students. William West, PhD (Writing Studies), Kathleen Newell, RDH, PhD; Christine Blue, RDH, MS (School of Dentistry), Helene Horwitz, PhD (Medical School) University of Minnesota.

Preliminary findings of a five year study conducted in medical/dental schools to assess the relationship between writing for an audience and measured clinical skills (empathy). A technical writing class was offered to second year medical students (n=166).The same students were evaluated (by medical school instructors) in simulations designed to place future clinicians in challenging patient/practitioner encounters. Actors and evaluators were calibrated to three scenarios that were filmed for later review and quantitative scoring. The students wrote descriptions of these encounters and the writing was evaluated for audience sensitivity using a scale developed for the study that had a reliability coefficient of 0.88 and concurrent validity. Scores from student writing were compared (ANOVA) to scoring on simulations. Two significant (p<0.05) correlations were found: cross-cultural experience and sensitive questioning . The exact nature of the relationship between measured writing and observed clinical skills was difficult to postulate since both writing and clinical data were collected at the same time. A second (four year) study was initiated to determine if improvement in audience directed writing skills results in improved clinical skills thus validating Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory. Dental Hygiene students (n=32) were followed for four years. Three years of simulated patient/practitioner encounter scores were gathered. The students took an audience directed technical writing course and then completed the fourth year simulated encounter. Writing samples from early and late in the course were analyzed for audience sensitivity using the scale developed for the earlier study. The later assignment scores were compared to clinical simulation scores. No correlations were found in first three years of data. Two significant correlations were found in fourth year data. High audience sensitivity correlated with rapport with patient (p=0.3804) and negotiation of self care with patient (p=0.3843). Data suggest ability to change audience sensitivity in writing can translate into clinical empathy.

April 2, 2008

Writing Studies at CCCC

Faculty, Instructional Staff, Graduate Students, and Alumnae from the Department of Writing Studies and the Center for Writing are presenting at this year's CCCC Convention in New Orleans.

Bernadette Longo, along with her co-editors Blake Scott and Katherine Wills, will be receiving their NCTE Outstanding Book award at CCCC this year for their collection Critical Power Tools. Congratulations, Bernadette!

Resisting Neoliberal Reality in the Writing Center: Durable, Democratic Networks in Long-Term Tutoring Practices, Relationships, and Program Development
Chair: Tom Friedrich, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Speakers: Tom Friedrich, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Long-term Tutoring Relationships as Durable, Democratic Networks: Using Hermeneutic Study of the Essence of Long-term Tutoring to Guide Program
Kirsten Jamsen and Katie Levin, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “‘What makes a good writing center citizen?’: Two Case Studies of How Long-term Tutoring Relationships Change Writers and Tutors�?
Candance Doerr, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Graduate Tutors and Dissertation Writers as Network Reality: Distributed Democracy or Social Reproduction?�?

Rhetorics and Realities of Change: Reflections on Theory and Practice from a New Department of Writing Studies
Chair: Patrick Bruch, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Speakers: Donald Ross, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Rhetorics and Realities of Writing as a Campus-wide Initiative at Minnesota�?
Thomas Reynolds, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Rhetorics and Realities of First-Year Composition at Minnesota�?
Tim Gustafson, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Rhetorics and Realities of Teacher Development at Minnesota�?
Lee-Ann K. Breuch, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Rhetorics and Realities of Assessment at Minnesota�?

Bodies, Water, and Money: Epideictic Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Images in Science

Chair: Ken Baake, Texas Tech University, Lubbock
Speakers: T. Kenny Fountain, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Whole-Body Gifts: Epideictic Display and Anatomy Memorial Services�?
Fawn Musick, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, “Making Meanings through Visual Rhetoric in the Medical School Cadaver Lab�?
Derek Ross, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, “Sociopolitics and Dam Tourism: Glen Canyon and Hoover Dam as Recreational Areas�?
Ryan Hoover, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, “Scientists, Visual Rhetoric, and Grant Applications: Striking a Balance between Simplicity and Effectiveness�?

Institutions and the Writing In and Writing Out of Voice
Chair: Anthony Arrigo, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Speakers: Katy Southern, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Writing Histories of the Overlooked: Gender, Status, and the Historical Record�?
Anthony Arrigo, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul, “Puny Hands: The Rhetorically Constructed Identity of Hoover Dam Laborers in Early 20th Century Popular Science Texts�?

Rhetoric Department Alumnae
Jennifer Novak, Denver University, CO, “Shaping Future Biomedical Practices: Kairos, Tools, and the Rhetoric of Medicine�?

Open Source and Free Software Users Group
Co-Chairs: Clancy Ratliff, University of Louisiana, Lafayette
Charles Lowe, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI

Not Just a Bullet on an Outcomes Statement: Taking Civic Literacy Seriously

Chair: Clancy Ratliff, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Clancy Ratliff, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, “What Can Composition Learn from Bloggers’ Civic Writing? Tapping Into the Agora�?

November 13, 2007

Reading by Eric Dregni, FYW Instructor

weirdMN.gifReading, Quiz, and Slideshow
by Eric Dregni
author of/ Midwest Marvels/ and/ Weird Minnesota/

7 p.m., Saturday December 1st, 2007
Test your knowledge of the must-see sites dotting the highways and byways of the Upper Midwest./ Weird Minnesota/ and/ Midwest Marvels/ are the fruit of years of searching for the scandalous, scary, immoral, disconcerting and, well, funny stories of our region. Only in the Midwest is civic pride measured by the size of a town's roadside sculpture.

In Audubon, Iowa visitors find a thirty-foot, forty-five ton, talking bull erected as a monument to the beef industry. In Minnesota a tourist can visit monuments to Paul Bunyan or the Spam Museum, and North Dakota boasts a 45-foot tower of discarded oil cans, trumped only by the World's Tallest Structure: a TV tower jutting nearly a half mile into the sky. Everyone is familiar with South Dakota's Mount Rushmore and Corn Palace, but less famous is the one and only Outhouse Museum. But only in Wisconsin can a couple get married in the mouth of a 145-foot muskie.

Born in the shadow of the World's Largest Six Pack in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Eric Dregni is a freelance writer for The Rake, Metro, and StarTribune. He is the author of several books including/ Minnesota Marvels, Weird Minnesota, The Scooter Bible, Zamboni, The Follies of Science/, and the forthcoming/ Art Cars: Museum on the Streets/.

Common Good Books, southwest corner of Western & Selby, St. Paul tel. (651) 225-8989

The event is free and will be held upstairs from the bookstore at Nina's Coffee Café.

October 15, 2007

Capper Nichols Published

postwestern.gifCapper Nichols published an article in a book now available from University of Nebraska Press.

"Backpacking and the Ultralight Solution." Postwestern Cultures: Literature, Theory, Space. ed. Susan Kollin. University of Nebraska Press, 2007.

From the University of Nebraska Press

"Postwestern Cultures synthesizes the most critical topics of contemporary scholarship of the American West within a single volume. This interdisciplinary anthology features leading scholars in the varied fields of western American literary studies and includes new regional studies, global studies, studies of popular culture, environmental criticism, gender and queer theory, and multiculturalism. Postwestern Cultures, like all successful studies of western American literature, is necessarily diverse and wide-ranging; it grasps the multifaceted quality of the landscape, literature, and critical analysis by engaging postmodern theory, spatial theory, cultural studies, and transnational and transcultural understandings of the local.

"This collection emphasizes the importance of understanding the region not as a confined or static space but as a constantly changing entity in both substance and form. It examines subjects ranging from the use of frontier rhetoric in Japanese American internment camp narratives to the emergence of agricultural tourism in the New West to the application of geographer J. B. Jackson's theories to abandoned western landscapes."

October 1, 2007

Spotlight on First Year Writing: Jerry Shannon

Teaching Specialist Jerry Shannon teaches first-year writing with a service learning approach. His students have worked collaboratively with those at North High in Minneapolis on a variety of projects, including jazz programs for the station, podcast interviews of local figures, and multimedia websites about jazz music and pressing urban issues.

Student at mixing board Students writing at computers