Research

Community, in both spirit and practice, is the cornerstone of my work as a scholar and teacher. I explore the role that community plays in shaping attitudes toward writing, fostering self-authorship, and cultivating learning spaces that promote rigor, creativity, critical reflection, and civic engagement.

My research centers on creating sustainable, inspiring spaces for writing and cultivating positive engagement with writing and research through learning communities. Writing is as much about being in a community, working collaboratively with other writers who also are advancing their scholarly endeavors, as it is the product itself.

Faculty Learning Communities

Recently, my research has focused on faculty learning communities, particularly those that sustain and advance faculty as writers. This work began in 2010 when I told an informal story about how meeting with my monthly writing group helped me to see my work in a fresh way, and reading their work motivated my own. Several of the faculty I was talking with wanted to know how they could get their own writing group together: they needed inspiration and feedback to sustain their writing lives as well. Some of them had stopped writing all together and needed to find a way back in.

In response, I developed the Faculty Write Program, which includes multidisciplinary writing groups, writing retreats, and workshops that help faculty cultivate meaningful, practical, and productive writing lives. The program centers on our own writing stories: How we write, where we struggle, what we’re researching and why, and what sustains us.  As a community of writers, we exchange ideas, share and receive feedback on our work, and show up for our own writing by showing up for each other.

Each year I co-facilitate a summer Scholarly Writing Retreat at Duke University with my colleague Monique Dufour. More information about faculty experiences in the retreat can be found here.