Writing and Culture

Student writers at the Brusov Institute for Foreign Languages, Yerevan, Armenia

As an international consulatant, I have had the privilege of working with writers in other university settings. At the Brusov Institute in Armenia, I worked with students and faculty on writing for U.S.audiences. At home, at U-M's Sweetland Writing Center, I have taught Introductory Composition and worked with individual writers -- especially international graduate student writers -- in Sweetland's Writing Workshop, and trained Graduate Student Instructors to teach writing in the disciplines.

As a writer and a teacher of writers from a great many cultural, ethnic, and national backgrounds, I am interested in how culture influences writers' perceptions of what is logical, intellectually sophisticated, and appropriate for their audience. My book on this topic, Listening to the World: Cultural Issues in Academic Writing (1994, National Council of Teachers of English), now can be fully accessed on-line.

Listening to students talk about their difficulities adjusting to the expectations of the university led to an edited collection, ALT DIS: Alternative Discourses and the Academy (2002, Heinemann, with co-editors Christopher Schroeder and Patricia Bizzell), and several conference presentations, Speaking Truth To Power: Social Justice Criteria for the Evaluation of Alternative Discourse, and A Rhetoric of Peace with Justice.

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