I believe that research and teaching can work together productively. I've developed two unique strands of FSU's composition course, based on my own scholarly interest in contemplative pedagogy and sonic rhetorics. One of my course strands is built around mindfulness practices that encourage reflection in the writing process—our class often begins in brief meditation, and students are encouraged to reflect on the readings, their compositions, and their writing processes. This is meant to provide a more thoughtful approach to writing, especially writing in digital spaces. Our reflections are also intended to help students see that they are all writers, and compose in a variety of genres for a range of contexts and rhetorical situations in their day-to-day lives. The first paper builds on these reflections, asking students to discuss the role of genre in their own lives. The second paper allowed students to explore subjects that they were passionate in and conduct inquiry-based research. I have been blown away by the energy and care students put into these papers—from detailed analyses of biomedical engineering procedures to qualitative studies of campus culture, I’ve found that my students are more than willing to go the extra mile when they're writing about something they care about. For the third project, students remediate their research into three different genres for three specific rhetorical situations. This is my favorite unit to teach—we read Jody Shipka and Cynthia Selfe among others, and students see the ways in which their rhetorical knowledge can transfer to a range of mediums. For this project, my students have created investigative photojournalism pieces, remixed videos that speak to ongoing social justice issues, and even choreographed dance numbers. As engaging as these projects are, the rhetorical rationales the students write to accompany them also show clearly their thoughtful use of course material and rhetorical choices.
Student Work Examples
To see some of the work created by my students (and displayed with their permission), click through the slide show below.