This page includes abstracts of some of my scholarly work as well as a link to my Master’s thesis.
Reimagining Reflection-Gender, Student Perception, and Reflective Writing in the Composition Classroom
Abstract: Reflective writing is a social act embedded within a complex, gendered history and culture. It has garnered much attention in the composition classroom and the pedagogical community, yet the social and gendered aspects of reflective writing have largely been overlooked. However, as with any kind of writing, reflective writing does not exist in a vacuum. Reflective writing resides within an intricate cultural framework that is at work in the background.
My presentation discusses the results of a student survey I conducted in order to better understand student perceptions of reflective writing and to learn if the gendered binaries public/private and thinking/feeling influence students’ perceptions of reflective writing as a genre. Seventy-five students at a large Hispanic-serving research university participated in a survey that explored their approaches to and understanding of reflective writing. The results of the survey indicate that the only consistent and significant difference between male and female student responses resulted from the specific wording of their definitions of reflective writing. Beyond this difference, however, there were no substantial variances in student perception of reflective writing in terms of gender. The student voices in the survey indicate a shift in expected gender norms and a collapse of gendered binaries and suggest a reconsideration of what it means to be a gendered writer in a diverse composition classroom.
Download Master’s Thesis [PDF]
Sample Conference Presentation
Invaded Landscapes and A Call for Neutrality: Anti-World War I Rhetoric in The Masses and The Century
Abstract: The Century and The Masses generally had different political leanings and affiliations, yet there is a certain kind of anti-war rhetoric in each that crosses these political lines. While The Masses may have had more explicit anti-war rhetoric than The Century, particularly represented by its celebrated anti-war illustrations, both of these magazines included pieces of anti-war rhetoric that demonstrated how war invades multiple landscapes. In the anti-war rhetoric of these two magazines, war infiltrates the physical, social, and political landscapes. For example, in the February 1916 issue of The Masses, John Reed vividly depicts a physical landscape that has adapted to the conditions of war while he simultaneously describes how war has inserted itself so thoroughly in a Serbian socialist’s mind that he can no longer focus on his family or his politics. Just one month later in the March 1916 issue of The Century, Herbert Adams Gibbons describes how Luxembourg Park in France has changed to reflect a state of war. Instead of playing, the children are enacting war scenes and saluting wounded soldiers, and the normally tranquil environment of the park has been invaded by traces of the war. Situating these sobering scenes of war within idyllic settings creates a striking juxtaposition and a strong rhetorical appeal that brings to light the horrors of World War I. At this point, the United States had not officially entered the war, so political and social forums still had the freedom and the political will to call for neutrality. Taking into consideration that the most explicit of these anti-war pieces were published around 1916 underscores this rhetoric as a potential call-to-action, in this case, a call for neutrality.