Reading & Working Groups

Center students often form reading groups for a wide variety of purposes: individual classes, interest in learning more about a topic (such as social justice), special field exam preparation, dissertation writing, or through the Humanities Research Institute (HRI).

Current Groups:

CHAT (Cultural Historical Activity Theory) Reading Group

Our CHAT Chats began informally in the summer of 2016 and grew into a formal reading group in the fall of 2016. The group meets every couple of weeks of discuss readings related to CHAT. For more information and/or for access to the readings, contact Bruce Kovanen.

Data Workshop Group

This workshop group is designed to offer a constructive and generative space for advanced CWS graduate students to work through their dissertation research data. During each meeting, two grads present their data- or methods-in-progress to other graduate student attendees, who provide feedback and supportive suggestions for continued research. The group meets a handful of times throughout the semester. For more information, contact Bri Lafond.

Social Justice Pedagogy Working Group

This working group began in the fall of 2016. It is run by and made up of graduate students in the program and seeks to build teaching practices that engage our students, and ourselves, in the transformative work of developing personal awareness, understanding structural inequality, embracing difference, and committing to action in pursuit of a more just world. The group meets once a month and works to create change within and outside CWS. CWS' Social Justice Education Symposium in the fall of 2017 is an example of the outreach that is central to this group. For more information and/or for access to the readings, contact Logan Middleton.

Past Groups:

The Center for Writing Studies has collaborated in and/or founded other reading groups featuring affiliated CWS faculty and graduate students in the past. They include:

Embodying Situated Activity

Embodying Situated Activity was an interdisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students interested in exploring multidisciplinary approaches to theorizing the body-in-interaction in material/ecological worlds and to researching and representing embodied situated activity. 

Rhetorical Studies

The RSRG was an interdisciplinary group of faculty/grad students interested in all aspects of rhetoric and public discourse. 

Youth, Literature, and Culture

Hosted by the Center for Children’s Books, this group served as a research workshop and reading group that explored youth literature, media, and culture from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and draws scholars from library science, education, English literature, and other departments.  

Narrative Tellings, Retellings and Remediations: Readings on Situated Discourse Practice

Analysis of narratives has been central to many disciplines. Recent work has moved from an isolated focus on linguistic construction of narrative textuality to the situated discourse practices of narrative tellings and retellings, including semiotic remediations (whether shifts in material, embodied performance or across media—from talk to text to film to video game). In meetings led by the organizers, participants, and invited visitors, this reading group explored multidisciplinary approaches to narrative discourse practice.

Other Past Initiatives

Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives

The Digital Archives of Literacy Narratives (DALN) is a publicly available archive of personal literacy narratives in a variety of formats (text, video, audio) that together provide a historical record of the literacy practices and values of contributors, as those practices and values change.

The DALN was founded by Cynthia Selfe and Louis Ulman and serves to document the diverse literacy practices of individuals in the United States. The Center for Writing Studies is a contributing partner to DALN. Visit the archive here.