The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Center Graduate Students: Autumn West


Autumn West is a PhD Student at the University of Illinois in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Writing Studies.

Contact Information

Biographical Statement

I am originally from the south side of Chicago, a place where my love for writing was nurtured by my family, dedicated teachers and the community. I still remember the exhilaration of performing in a poetry slam competition for the first time! I have been a member of the University of Illinois community since 2003. I received my B.A. in Rhetoric (Creative Writing) from U of I in 2008 and completed my Ed.M. in Higher Education in 2012. I have also worked a number of years full-time in higher education administration. I am pursing a PhD because I am passionate about continuing to liberate writing education and research for students transitioning to college. My research interests, first and foremost, involve helping students from marginalized groups employ agency in their composing practices. This includes interrogating the dynamics of academic discourse and power via intimate multimodal and transcontextual investigations. My current work conducts in-depth qualitative examinations of the composing practices of students of color, paying particular attention to the navigation of academic conventions like genre. In addition, I am currently utilizing technology to gain access to writing practices outside of the classroom, across multiple modes and contexts.

Research Interests

Multimodal and Semiotic Perspectives on Composing and Research, Transcontextual Writing Practices, Marginalized Student Writers, Social Justice Pedagogy, Epistemological Perspectives, Academic Discourses and Power

Courses Taught

Positions Held