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Walking the walk: How Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition doctoral programs prepare their graduate students for intersectional Writing Studies research

  • Author(s): Grue, Michelle Nicole Petty
  • Advisor(s): Lunsford, Karen;
  • Treitler, Vilna B
  • et al.
Abstract

My dissertation, titled Walking the walk: How Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition doctoral programs prepare their graduate students for intersectional Writing Studies research, responds to recent, repeated calls for a large-scale review of the doctoral programs in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies (de Müeller and Ruiz, 2017; Craig & Perryman-Clark, 2019) by applying a higher education research focus to the field of Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition (WRC). I call this review a Black feminist intervention (Hocks, 1999), bringing attention to the power dynamics embedded in the discipline while creating an opportunity for reflection on the WRC’s traditional education structures. I surveyed over 90 programs for patterns, such as degree-required and elective courses about race or gender, faculty who study intersectional topics, and theory and methods course descriptions. Twelve programs that model intersectional Writing Studies were selected after this review. Writing program administrators and faculty can use this actionable data to address structural issues of race and gender in their program’s curriculum. I also analyzed digital spaces that graduate students and others use to research and enact intersectional Writing Studies when it is missing or peripheral in their departments, which graduate students and their advisors can use for resources, networking, and mentorship.

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