In my teaching, I focus on cultivating learning environments that emphasize intellectual curiosity and sharing projects-in-progress. I have taught a range of writing courses and education seminars, including courses on student activism through story, civic engagement and community-campus partnerships, self-authorship in college, and sustainability narratives.
I teach, research, and develop undergraduate and graduate student programming that includes multimedia composing and community engagement. In my first-year writing course “Writing for Change: Student Activism through Story,” for example, we consider the ways effective storytelling, in both traditional print forms as well as in digital and live contexts, can help to build communities, cultivate individual and public reflection, and inspire broader social change.
We research undergraduate student activism stories in the university archives, and use rhetorical and literary analysis to examine the strengths and limitations of these stories in the contexts in which they circulated. For the final project, writers create and present a personal digital story in which they reflect on our semester-long conversations and on their own commitments and personal philosophies. Rather than writing just about social change narratives, this final writing project asks students to compose a story for social (or personal) change. By presenting that story in a public forum, they gain practice in using story to work for change themselves.
The digital storytelling experience gives students new tools to process what they’re learning about social change narratives and about themselves; it helps them move from collectors of knowledge and experience to reflectors who examine their life at one particular moment in time and produce a story that speaks to that.
Digital Story by Imani Moise, Writing for Change
Community engagement is a core feature of this work, and so our central question as writers is this: “What do we want our research to do?” This approach to teaching is built on my research of community stakeholders in community-engaged learning projects and thoughtful consideration of multiple audiences for research.
My teaching also includes faculty development, particularly in my work as Director of Outreach for the Thompson Writing Program and Director for its Language, Arts + Media Program Lab. I have been involved in interdisciplinary initiatives focused on public scholarship at Duke, including Scholarship with a Civic Mission: Research Service Learning, consult with faculty and departments on engaged pedagogies such as community-based research, lead multidisciplinary faculty learning communities that explore pedagogical innovations in writing and undergraduate research, and offer pedagogical workshops across the curriculum on topics such as “Developing Community Partnerships,” “Teaching with Portfolios,” “Writing and Critical Reflection,” “Teaching Research with Writing,” “Responding to Student Writing,” and “Designing Collaborative Research Assignments.”