2016 CCCC Doctoral Consortium Meeting

The Consortium of Doctoral Programs in Rhetoric and Composition invites you to attend our annual session and open business meeting at the CCCCs in Houston:

Wednesday, April 6, 1:30-5:00 p.m., ROOM TBA

We hope you will join us and share this invitation with faculty colleagues and graduate students!

Our session begins with a rich variety of speakers on the general topic of preparation for diverse career paths:

1. Kevin Eric DePew, Old Dominion University

“Meeting Our Students Where They Are At”

Old Dominion University’s online English PhD has attracted students who already have careers below the tenure-track level at four-year and two-year institutions. Many students come to this interdisciplinary program seeking guidance to intellectualize the work they are already doing in the classroom. While many students’ goals are not tenure-track positions at four-year institutions, they also want to learn how to contribute to various scholarly conversations in writing studies, literary studies, and/or the digital humanities. After describing the relatively new program, Kevin will explain how its design has been increasingly responding to constituent needs.

Bio: Kevin Eric DePew has been the graduate program director of the English PhD at Old Dominion University’s (OWI) for five years. This unique doctoral program brings students around the nation together in online synchronous video seminars. He has also co-edited Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction with Beth Hewett and is co-designing the OWI infrastructure for ODU’s English Composition program with Mary Beth Pennington. Kevin will be assuming the position of Assistant Chair of the Consortium of Doctoral Programs in Rhetoric and Composition this year.

2. Tyler Branson, University of California, Santa Barbara

“Doing What We Know How To Do, Only Better: Investigating the Rhet/Comp Graduate Curriculum in the Age of ‘Adjunctification’”

In this talk I reflect briefly on my experiences on the 2015 academic job market in Rhetoric and Composition. Having secured a desirable non tenure track position with job security and competitive benefits, one might presume I have unique insight into how the field can revise graduate programs to prepare more students for multiple, flexible career paths. However, I suggest that one possible approach is not necessarily to deemphasize the allure of the tenure track, but to reemphasize the qualities of a valuable graduate education in rhetoric and composition, which include intensive mentorship, hands-on experiences, and space for meaningful collaboration.

Bio: Tyler Branson applied to over 100 jobs in 2015. He is currently a Lecturer in the Writing Program at the University of California Santa Barbara, where he teaches lower- and upper-division courses in writing and rhetoric, including first-year writing, writing for public discourse, and writing for business and administration. His research focuses primarily on the practice of rhetoric and writing in public contexts. He has related interests in civic engagement, histories of rhetoric and composition, and writing pedagogy. He is currently working on a book project focusing on the role of what he calls problematic partnerships in the field of Writing Studies.

3a. Rebekah Shultz Colby, University of Denver

“Advice for Succeeding as an Academic Couple within a Writing Program with Teaching Tenure”

I offer advice to graduate students in rhetoric and composition for succeeding within a writing program with lecture or teaching tenure positions. I advise them to treat the position like a tenure track with some key differences: actively pursue an individual research agenda but do it in a way that also promotes the program, be able to work effectively with faculty from diverse educational backgrounds, be prepared to do campus outreach, and, last but not least, work to make the position and program align with larger goals within the field of rhetoric and composition as a whole. Finally, I offer advice for negotiating spousal hires and working productively as an academic couple.

Bio: Rebekah Shultz Colby teaches in the University of Denver Writing Program where she teaches courses that use games to teach rhetoric and disciplinary writing. She co-edited the collection Rhetoric/Composition/Play through Video Games and a special issue of the journal Computers and Composition Online on gaming and composition. Also with Richard Colby, she co-authored an article about using World of Warcraft to teach disciplinary research writing for Computers and Composition and has written an article about how gaming pedagogy impacts female students for Computers and Composition Online.

3b. Richard Colby, University of Denver

“The Best Job You Never Knew You Wanted”

Richard Colby will offer a brief overview of the post-tenure world and navigating the profession as an academic couple. He will discuss how non-tenure-track positions in composition can help the field as a whole as they refocus research and pedagogical attention on undergraduate writing, but in so doing, ask us to reconsider how we prepare graduate students for the field. Colby will also discuss the pitfalls of such positions such as the morass of service expectations and the lack of research incentives. He will end with recommendations including a new graduate course in service related work.

Bio: Richard Colby teaches in and is the Assistant Director of the award winning University of Denver Writing Program. He co-edited the collection Rhetoric/Composition/Play through Video Games and a special issue of the journal Computers and Composition Online on gaming and composition. His work on using games in teaching has been published in Computers and Composition and Computers and Composition Online. He teaches courses on the rhetoric of games and disciplinary research.

4a. Susan Naomi Bernstein, Arizona State University
4b. Mark A. Hannah, Arizona State University
4c. Dawn Opel, ASU Rhetoric and Composition Ph.D. 2015
4d. Shirley Rose, Arizona State University

“Preparation for 21st-Century Knowledge Enterprises: Alternatives for ASU Graduate Students”

Arizona State University offers PhD students preparation for work in a variety of 21st Century knowledge-making enterprises. Our presentation addresses support for a wide range of post-graduate aspirations, including 1) a practicum in teaching basic writing that prepares students for teaching in community colleges and literacy programs, and practica in teaching professional writing and second language writing; 2) options for dissertations besides the traditional long monograph 3) workshops on “Alt-Ac” careers that introduce alternatives to traditional tenure-track careers. We discuss resulting challenges to usual practices of recruiting students, designing coursework, and measuring progress toward the degree.

Susan Naomi Bernstein is a Lecturer and Co-Coordinator of the Stretch Writing Program in ASU Writing Programs in the Department of English on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University. She teaches at an American Indian Community in central Arizona, as well as the Teaching Basic Writing Practicum and Stretch courses at Tempe campus. Her most recent publication is “Occupy Basic Writing: Pedagogy in the Wake of Austerity” in Nancy Welch and Tony Scott’s recently published collection, Composition in the Age of Austerity. She has published four editions of Teaching Developmental Writing (Bedford St. Martin’s Professional Resources) and is a regular contributor on basic writing issues for the Bedford Bits blog.

Mark A. Hannah is an Assistant Professor of English at Arizona State University. Along with undergraduate professional writing courses, he teaches a graduate course in the theory of professional writing and a practicum in teaching professional writing. Currently, he is a co-investigator on two National Science Foundation grants, Cross-disciplinary Education in Social & Ethical Aspects of Nanotechnology and The Dynamics of Earth System Oxygenation. His recent publications have appeared in College Composition and Communication, Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, International Journal of Business Communication, Connexions International Professional Communication Journal, and chapters in edited collections.

Dawn Opel earned her PhD in Rhetoric, Composition, and Linguistics at Arizona State University in 2015. Her dissertation is a medical and digital humanities project on the design of the technical communication of the home pregnancy test in the United States. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in computational humanities and data science with the Institute for Humanities Research Nexus Lab and Computational Innovation Group at Arizona State University.

Shirley Rose is Professor of English and Director of ASU Writing Programs. She regularly teaches graduate courses in Writing Program Administration and Archival Research Methods. Her publications include three collections on writing program administration research and theory, co-edited with Irwin Weiser, and numerous articles and chapters on writing teacher preparation and issues in the professionalization of graduate students in rhetoric and composition. She is Director of the WPA Consultant-Evaluator Service.

In addition, the Consortium also has a sponsored session on the general program. This session is scheduled for Thursday, April 7, from 12:15-1:30 p.m., and is titled “Enacting Career Diversity in Rhetoric and Composition: Different Pathways for a Professional Life with a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition.” The session features Anita Furtner Archer from Raytheon, Joanna Schmidt from Texas Christian University, Ruijie Zhao from Parkland College, and Amy Kimme Hea from the University of Arizona as respondent.

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