I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been awarded the 2018 UIC Graduate College Provost’s Graduate Research Award (PGRA). This competitive award supports graduate students in conducting multi- and inter-disciplinary research beyond the support of their assistantships. My project, entitled “Ivan Illich and the Rhetoric of Deschooling,” intends to research the arguments made by Illich against schooling, as well as others who contributed to and influenced Illich’s influential critique of formal, compulsory education. This award will support my travel to the Penn State University Illich archives in the Spring of 2019, as well as an opportunity to meet with the editors of the International Journal of Illich Studies at PSU. My then intend to present my research, in draft form, with the Ivan Illich SIG’s roundtables at the AERA 2019 Conference in Toronto. The PGRA will help support my travel and accommodations for this research. Thanks to everyone who helped me develop my winning application!
I’m proud to have been a part of three important events at NCTE in Houston in mid-November. The first was that I, along with a number of accomplished scholars in the field of English Education concerned with climate change, drafted and submitted a resolution on Climate Change for debate. You can read a complete draft of the original resolution HERE. This draft was submitted in October and significantly revised by the NCTE Resolutions Committee, and their version of the draft was overwhelmingly approved on Friday, Nov. 16th. We are hopefully awaiting final approval by the NCTE Executive Committee in the coming months, and I will update this post soon with details.
Additionally, I presented during a roundtable session on Friday organized by Allen Webb entitled “Teaching Climate Change in English.” CLICK HERE for the wiki-page developed by presenters from the session — see sidebar on the right for pages and notes from each presenter. My talk was entitled “Writing Sustainability: Bridging EcoLiteracy Research and Composition,” about my teaching a freshman composition course around the theme of sustainability. My handout can be found HERE.
The other major climate change-related event I had the pleasure to participate in was that NCTE’s English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE, formerly CEE) formally approved a commission related to Climate Change and English Education. We met on Friday and Saturday and begin drafting a mission statement and action items for the group. Rich Novack (high school teacher in Connecticut and PhD student at Teachers College) and I agreed to co-chair the commission. We also immediately sought a slight name change to “Commission on Climate Change and the Environment in English Education” (or c3e3) in order to expand both the reach and the scope of the commission’s work. As a newly formed commission, we are hoping to make connections across the other ELATE Commissions to show the interrelated nature of the c3e3 approach with social justice, the arts and poetry, digital literacies, young adult literature, and everyday advocacy, just to name a few. More details about c3e3 will be posted here soon!
My article, “The Everyday Anarchism of Peer Tutoring,” was recently published by The Peer Review, an open-source IWCA publication. In it, I write:
While some might equate the daily chaos and disorder of working in a writing center with anarchy in a pejorative sense of the word, I am working to develop a different lens with which to view literacy learning in informal spaces such as writing centers. What I hope to offer with my application of “everyday anarchism” to the daily work of a seemingly typical university writing center is two-fold. First, I hope to present an account of the radical alternative that many informal pedagogical spaces such as writing centers can offer for critical literacy educators and scholars. Additionally, I hope to illustrate the ubiquity of “everyday” anarchist values and tactics even within our currently contingent, alienated, neoliberal realities. If these values are at play in the daily work of undergraduate peer tutors at a university writing center, where else might we find the anarchist tendencies of spontaneity, cooperation, mutuality in our daily lives? How might we begin to organize ourselves in ways that reject unethical coercion, unwarranted authority, unnecessary competition, illogical hierarchy?
This article appears in TPR’s 2018 special issue “Cultural Rhetorics, Writing Centers, and Relationality: Constellating Stories.” Here’s some more information on this issue of TPR:
In this special issue of The Peer Review, we look at the ways cultural rhetorics can inform writing center practices and research. We have chosen to focus on two specific methods of a cultural rhetorics approach: story and relationships. The following articles draw from and demonstrate these methods in practice with a focus on how culture and knowledge becomes co-constituted within writing center spaces. We have chosen to arrange this issue in three sections, each with a specific focus. The first section demonstrates the ways in which story and relationships become intertwined within a cultural rhetorics methodological frame work. The second section focuses on the impact stories have in understanding research data and the cultures of specific contexts. The third section focuses on relationships and the value building reciprocating relationships has within writing center spaces. Combined, these sections demonstrate the types of contributions cultural rhetorics can bring to writing center theory and practice.
Finally getting a professional webpage going – with blog and all. Wish me luck! Until I really get the hang of this, you can find me on Twitter, @therussmayo.