The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Dissertation Information for CWS Graduates


Yu-Kyung Kang

English—Only When Necessary: Literacy Practices of Korean Undergraduate Students at a 'global' University (Paul Prior, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Peter Mortensen, Nancy Abelmann) May 2016.

Thomas McNamara

Dreams and Disappointments: Chinese Undergraduates and Investment in the US Writing Classroom (Cathy Prendergast, Chair, Kelly Ritter, Susan Koshy, Nancy Abelman, Soo Ankwon) May 2016.


Alexandra Cavallaro

The Curriculum of Coming Out: Queer Pedagogies, Literacies, and Rhetorics in LGBTQ Lives (Peter Mortensen, Chair; Richard Rodriguez, Gail Hawisher, Kate Vieira) May 2015.

Eileen Lagman

Literacy Remains: Learning and Loss in the Brain Drain of Filipino Migrant Labor (Cathy Prendergast, Chair; Martin Manalansan, Mary Arends-Kuenning, Kate Vieira) May 2015.

Kaitlin Marks-Dubbs

Recruiting Composition: Examining the Social Relations in Promoting Text Circulation (Paul Prior, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Spencer Schaffner, Peter Mortensen) June 2015.

Jonathan Stone

Listening to the Lomax Archive: The Sonic Rhetorics of American Vernacular music in the 1930s (Peter Mortensen & Spencer Schaffner, Co-Chairs; Cara Finnegan, Ned O'Gorman) May 2015.


Sonia Kline

Offline Mediators Online: Writing Activity in Two Middle School Classes (Sarah McCarthey, Chair; William Cope, Jennifer Greene, Paul Prior) August 2014.

Ligia Mihut

"Stories from Our People": Immigrants, Brokers, and Literacy as Affinity (Catherine J. Prendergast, Chair; Anne Haas Dyson, Keith Hitchins, Kate Vieira) May 2014.

Andrea Olinger

Styling Academic Discourse: A Sociocultural Account of Writing Styles Across Disciplines (Paul Prior, Chair; Peter Mortensen, Gail Hawisher, Michele Koven) May 2014.

Julia Smith

"My Makyng Thow Wryte More Trewe": Rhetorical Chorus in Medieval and Digital Spaces (Martin Camargo, chair; Dennis Baron, Ned O'Gorman, Spencer Schaffner, Bonnie Mak) October, 2014.


Vanessa Isabel Rouillon Calderon

Reconfiguring Racial Uplift: Church-Sponsored African American Rhetorical Work in the Early Twentieth Century (Catherine Prendergast & Peter Mortensen, Co-Chairs; Alice Deck, Gesa Kirsch) June 2013.

Heather Blain Vorhies

A Physiological Definition of Style: Science, Religion, and Women's Writings in the Early American Republic (Peter Mortensen, Chair; Ted Underwood, Bob Markley, Ned O'Gorman) January 2013.

Rebecca Woodard

"Writing Teachers Must Write": Tracing Trajectories of Teacher Participation Across Professional and Everyday Practices (Sarah McCarthey, Chair; Anne Haas Dyson, Paul Prior, Kevin Roozen) June 2013.


Jessica Bannon

Capitalizing on Literacy: Federal Adult Education Policy in the 20th Century (Peter Mortensen, Chair; Cathy Prendergast, Paul Prior, Kate Vieira) March 2012.

Lauren Marshall Bowen

Rewriting the Aging Body: Literacy, Technology and History (Peter Mortensen, Chair; Paul Prior, Gail Hawisher, Melissa Littlefield) April 2012.

Amber Buck

Life, Learning, and Literacy on the Social Network: Digital Participatory Culture (Gail Hawisher, Chair; Paul Prior, Spencer Schaffner, Lisa Nakamura) April 2012.

Michael Burns

The Rhetorics of Community Space: Critical Events in Champaign-Urbana's Black Freedom Movement (Cathy Prendergast, Chair; Peter Mortensen, Rebecca Ginsburg, Clarence Lang) December 2012.

Amelia Herb

Disciplinary Discourse: Explicating Rhetorical and Sociolinguistic Networks in the Archive and Library (Peter Mortensen, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Janet Keller, Kathryn Labarre) December 2012.

Cory Holding

Rhetorical Gestures in British Elocutionism (Debbie Hawhee, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Paul Prior, Rick Powers, Ted Underwood) July 2012.

Martha Webber

Crafting Citizens: Material Rhetoric, Cultural Intermediaries, and the Amazwi Abesifazane South African National Quilt Project (Peter Mortensen, Chair; Catherine Prendergast, Spencer Schaffner, Mimi Thi Nguyen) December 2012.


Hannah Bellwoar

Sociocultural Studies of Biomedicine and Healthcare in Everyday Literate Lifeworlds

(Paul Prior, Chair; Peter Mortensen, Debra Hawhee, Melissa Littlefield) May 2011.

Patrick Berry

Beyond Hope: Rhetorics of Mobility, Possibility, and Literacy

(Peter Mortensen, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Paul Prior, Cathy Prendergast, Anne Dyson) April 2011.

Rebecca Bilbro

Engineering Literacy: The Practice of Discipline

(Paul Prior, Chair; Spencer Schaffner, Dale Bauer, Robert Markley) June 2011.

Samantha Looker

Enacting and Interrogating the 'Academic' in Undergraduate Language and Literacy Practices (Paul Prior, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Spencer Schaffner, Sarah McCarthey) March 2011.


Young-Kyung Min

Culture, Cognition, and Context: Situated Literacy Practices of L1 and L2 Writing Programs (Paul Prior, Chair; Sarah McCarthey, Fred Davidson, Gail Hawisher) May 2010.

Christa Olson

Constitutive Visions: Indigeneity, Visual Culture, and the Rhetorics of Ecuadorian National Identity (Debra Hawhee, Ralph Cintron, Chairs; Peter Mortensen, Cara Finnegan, Amalia Pallares) May 2010. Winner of the 2011 RSA Dissertation Award.

Nicole Walls

Where Language is Made: Language Planning at the Intersections of National and International Literacy and Language Work (Catherine Prendergast, Chair; Peter Mortensen, Dennis Baron, Cameron McCarthy) May 2010.


Steven Fraiberg

English, Israel, and Globalization: A Sociohistoric Study on Language and Cultural Shift

(Paul Prior, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Michele Koven, Ralph Cintron) October 2009.

Melissa Tombro

Performance Studies and the Reinvention of "I" in Composition: Moving Myself Beyond a Textual Model (Debra Hawhee, Chair; Spencer Schaffner, Julia Walker, Norman Denzin)

December 2009.


Marcia Buell

The Interplay of Voice, Identity, and Response Among Five EAL University Writers

(Paul Prior, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Sarah McCarthey, Peter Mortensen) May 2008.

Kory Ching

Out of the Shadows: Rethinking Response Through the Instructor-Led Peer Conference

(Paul Prior, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Peter Mortensen, Sarah McCarthey) May 2008.

Carrie Lamanna

Disciplining Identities: Feminism, New Media, and 21st Century Research Practices

(Gail Hawisher, Chair; Paul Prior, Nan Elizabeth Googin, Ramona Curry) December 2008.

Derek Van Ittersum

Reassembling Writing Technologies: Historical and Situated Studies of Rhetorical Activity

(Gail Hawisher, Chair; Paul Prior, Chip Bruce, Peter Mortensen) August 2008.


Elizabeth Baldridge

Medicalized Illiteracies:Learning Disabilities, Contentious Histories, and Writing Studies

(Peter Mortensen, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Spencer Schaffner, Cathy Prendergast) May 2007.

Katherine Gossett

From Manuscript to Multimedia: Illuminating Memory and Re[image]ning Composition

(Gail Hawisher & Martin Camargo, Co-Chairs, Anne Hedeman, Joseph Squier, Joyce Walker) August 2007.

Kim Hensley Owens

Rhetorical Labor: Writing, Childbirth and the Internet (Debbie Hawhee & Peter Mortensen, Co-Chairs; Gail Hawisher, Cathy Prendergast, Leslie Reagan) May 2007.

John Hudson

Silent Readers, Silenced Readers: LGBT Student Perceptions of LGBT Representation in Composition Readers (Peter Mortensen, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Cathy Prendergast, Cheryl Cole) May 2007.

Janine Solberg

Pretty Typewriters: Gender, Technology, and Literacy in Career Advice Literature for Women (Peter Mortensen & Gail Hawisher, Co-Chairs; Paul Prior, Debbie Hawhee) May 2007.

Amy Wan

Producing Good Citizens: Literacy and Citizenship Training in Anxious Times (Peter Mortensen, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Paul Prior, Debbie Hawhee) May 2007.


Sunday Cummins

Examining the Complexities of "Kidwatching" in a Context for Teacher Inquiry (Sarah McCarthey, Chair; Karla Moller, Bonnie Armbruster, Janet Gaffney) December 2006.

James P. Purdy

Digital Archives and the Turn to Design (Gail E. Hawisher, Chair; Cara Finnegan, Debra Hawhee, Peter Mortensen) May 2006.


Lance M. Massey

Using Complexity Theory to Investigate Disciplinarity: A Historical, Theoretical, and Ethical Inquiry into Composition’s Ethical Turn (Peter Mortensen, Chair; Debbie Hawhee, Cathy Prendergast, Gail Hawisher) May 2005.

Kevin Roozen

Mapping Critical Connections: Tracing Undergraduates’ Literate Lives (Gail Hawisher, Chair; Paul Prior, Peter Mortensen, Catherine Prendergast) May 2005.

Jody Shipka

Remediating Rhetoric and Composition: An Activity-Based Multimodal Framework for Composing (Paul Prior, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Peter Mortensen, Geoffrey Sirc) May 2005.


Steven J. Lamos

Sponsoring Educational Opportunity: Race, Racism, and Writing Instruction at the University of Illinois (Cathy Prendergast, Chair; Paul Prior, Robert Jimenez, Laurence Parker) May 2004.

Faye Spencer-Maor

Lifting Word by Word: Ideologies of Literacy, Education and Feminism in the Rhetoric of Two Nineteenth Century African-American Women (Gail Hawisher, Chair; Chester Fontenot, Cathy Prendergast, Peter Mortensen) May 2004.


Tom Lugo

Working-Class Black Male First-Year Writers and Their Composition Teaching Assistants: Negotiating Power and Authority in the Basic Writing Classroom (Gail Hawisher, Chair; Emily Watts, Jim Hurt, Chester Fontenot, Jr.) May 2003.

Karen J. Lunsford

Distributed Argumentative Activity: Redefining Arguments and Their Re-Mediation from a Sociohistoric Perspective (Paul Prior, Chair; Peter Mortensen, Gail Hawisher, Chip Bruce) May 2003.

Joyce R. Walker

Standing at the End of a Road:Death and the Construction of Cyborg Relationships

(Gail Hawisher, Chair; Joseph Squier, Andrea Press, Catherine Prendergast) May 2003.


Elizabeth E. Rohan

Imagined Communions: One Woman's Spiritual Journey (Gail Hawisher, Chair; Peter Mortenson, Paul Prior, Bill Kelleher) July 2002.

Jo Williamson

Teachers as Change Mediators in Educational Reform (Chip Bruce, Chair; Liora Bresler, James Levin, Paul Prior) October 2002.


Kimberly K. Gunter

Queering Composition and Identity: Moving Beyond Inclusion in Composition Classrooms and the Field (Paul Prior, Chair; Amanda Anderson, Ann Blakeslee, Gail Hawisher, Peter Mortensen) May 2001.


Mary P. Sheridan

Discourse and Subjectivity in the GirlZone:How Literate Activities Construct a Community Organization (Paul Prior, Chair; Gail E. Hawisher, Cathy Prendergast, Amanda Anderson) August 2000.

Gregory Waddoups

Deploying Identities in E-Worlds: K-12 Teachers Extending, Adopting, and Defending Their Practitioner Identities (Jim Levin, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Jacquetta Hill, Sandra Levin) May 2000.


Maureen Hogan

What is C.A.R.E.?The Birth and Identity Formation of an Alternative Public Middle School

(Chip Bruce, Chair; Cameron McCarthy, Paul Prior) December 1999.

Kevin Leander

Classroom Discourse, Identity, and the Production of Social Space (Chip Bruce, Chair; Jim Wertsch, Peggy Miller, Paul Prior) May 1999.


Kerry Ose

The Educational Experiences of Evangelical College Students:An Ethnographic of Pedagogy, Literacy and Learning (Dennis Baron, Chair; Greg Colomb, Chip Bruce) May 1998.

Patricia Webb

Computing Cultures:Information Technologies and Narratives of Self (Gail Hawisher, Chair; Paul Prior, Amanda Anderson) May 1998.


Caroline Cole

Woman, Feminist, Lesbian:Negotiated Identities in Working With Man Made Academic Discourse Conventions (Cheris Kramarae, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Ann Blakeslee) May 1997.

Kathy Evans

Teacher Response to Student Writing:Communication, Context & Pedagogy

(Greg Colomb, Chair; Gail Hawisher, Paul Prior) October 1997.

Guy Moyer

The Practical Application of Bakhtin & Related Theory to Language Education

(Clifford Christians, Chair; Bertram Bruce, Bonnie Armbruster) May 1997.

Joyce Simutis

Toward a Writing Theory of Transition (Gail Hawisher & Greg Colomb, Co-Chairs; Paul Prior, Ann Blakeslee) October 1997.


Philip Eubanks

A War of Words in the Discourse of Trade:A Case Study of Metaphor

(Greg Colomb, Chair; Nina Baym, Dennis Baron, Paul Prior) October 1996.

Sibylle Gruber

Contextualizing Nontraditional Students' Appropriation of Virtuality and Reality

(Gail Hawisher, Chair; Alice Deck; George Hendrick) October 1996.


Mary Hocks

Technotropes of Liberation:Reading Hypertext in the Age of Theory

(Robert Parker & Gail Hawisher, Co-Chairs; Greg Colomb, S. Star) October 1994.