I work in community and public writing, multilingual practice, rhetorical history, and engaged teaching and inclusive pedagogies. At Drexel, I teach first-year writing, writing studies courses like Writing for Social Change, and the graduate Writing Pedagogy course of the creative writing MFA.
My book Translingual Inheritance: Language Diversity in Early National Philadelphia (Pittsburgh 2021) examines the dimensions of linguistic practice in the German, Quaker, and African American communities at the time of U.S. national formation. The book earned Honorable Mention two times, in the book award competitions of the Conference on College Composition and Communication and Rhetoric Society of America.
My current project Humanities at Work investigates how the humanities might be reimagined as an aspect of paid work, in the places where most adults spend the majority of their waking hours. The humanities have been called “the disciplines of memory and imagination” (American Academy of Arts and Sciences). Yet despite the humanistic concerns underlying trends in the contemporary workplace, such as diversity and equity, accessibility, and social entrepreneurship, the workplace affords little time and space for the faculties of memory and imagination. These faculties are activated by reading, reflecting, discussing, and writing, in time and space set aside from organizations’ continual need to improve and change. The project investigates innovative programs in a variety of workplaces. It considers how space, genre, language, and organizational structures work to prevent such activation, and how these symbolic systems might be reworked to better foster inclusive, deliberative democracy and promote community flourishing.
I also direct the University Writing Program, which encompasses the Drexel Writing Center, the Writing Intensive course initiative, faculty development in the teaching of writing, and other initiatives.