Well hello there. I’m that random person from the English department, currently in my last semester of the MA program in rhetoric and composition. As I explained in class, I don’t study literature. Rhetoric and composition is a discipline that arose in the 1970s out of the required writing class that has become nearly universal in U.S. higher education. Our discipline combines the study of writing and writing instruction with the formal study of rhetoric (think Aristotle and Burke). My coursework has been almost exclusively in the “composition” part of rhet/comp, so I’ve encountered rhetoric primarily through ways that scholars have theorized writing instruction through rhetoric. My background in Theory (with a big T) is…er…well let’s just say that I have read more theory outside of class than inside. I am looking forward to engaging with theory more meaningfully in this course!

My research interests in rhet/comp include writing program administration, writing across the curriculum (writing in the sciences, writing in history), language politics, textual ownership, and digital media. My thesis explores ways that writing program administrators can work strategically to reframe stories about students and plagiarism. I argue that the dominant narrative that positions students as cheaters, teachers as detectives, and the internet as an enabler of loose moral behavior is in conflict with our disciplinary values (valuing student writing, teaching writing as rhetorical communication rather than a set of conventions, demystifying academic practices, understanding students' digital literacies as resources).

Lately I’ve been tinkering around with HTML/CSS and digital production software, which has sparked an interest in information visualization and digital humanities. Three recent projects along these lines:

  • Here is a link to a project I did for a seminar last semester on “Teaching with Technology” that touches on how information visualization is relevant to writing instruction.
  • Here is a timeline of digital literacies and composition, also created for the “Teaching with Technology” course. The timeline engages questions of the digital divide. Kinda.
  • Here is a personal academic website that I created to put on my PhD application materials.

Clearly not as awesome as Tiffany’s original music or sweet video, but yeah.

Other than working on my thesis and taking classes, I teach English 105 (composition for multilingual students) and do some administrative work for the Writing Program. I am currently organizing a faculty development event series this semester. You all should check it out!

That is enough academic talk for now, right? 

So--I am a New Englander, as you can tell by my swift walking speed and seemly-cold demeanor. (I promise that I am really a big softie!)  I did my undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and then spent two years teaching before coming to WSU. The first year I taught English at a high school in southern France, and the second I taught language arts at an inner-city academic preparation program in the States. Moving to Pullman was a bit of a culture shock for me. After feeling isolated geographically and culturally for the first semester or so, I have found some comfort in jogging and biking the local paths. I also enjoy dancing and making things (food, perfume, digital texts, whatevs). I listen to Radiolab religiously. One of my most important life goals is to adopt a dog. Until that glorious day I must limit myself to google-searching adorable dog pictures.  

Am I first? Well then....first!

Okie, where to start? To reiterate from earlier today, I'm a first-year PhD student in American Studies. I have two master's degrees, a creative writing MFA from Chapman University (2005), and a folklore MA from the University of Oregon (2011). I did my undergrad in creative writing and English literature (yes, I'm a recovering English major, don't judge me!) at Pacific University, with minors in history and music. Interdisciplinary? Yes please!

Background? I'm from....the West. It's hard for me to name a hometown, since we moved around quite a bit when I was younger. I've spent a good chunk of my life in southern California (all over, but "home" might be Riverside and/or Long Beach), and a good chunk of my life in Oregon (the little town of Milton-Freewater served as my adolescent nightmare).

Interests, they are myriad. My primary research in terms of my dissertation has to do with the connections between the concept of apocalypse in American cultures, how apocalypse is represented in popular culture, and concepts/interpretations of disaster preparedness and "survivalism." My master's thesis was a folklore film called "Zombies R Us: Disaster Preparedness Groups, Self Reliance, and the Death of Modernity." I've also done a folklore documentary about karaoke in Eugene, OR, called "Five Minutes of Fame: a Karaokumentary." 

Something that has long interested me but I'm only now starting to delve into in terms of research is fat studies and disability studies, the latter particularly with regard to mental illness/dementia and its social stigma.

Other things I enjoy reading/watching/thinking about: cyber folk groups, science fiction literature and film (particularly the post-apocalyptic subgenre, of course), gaming culture, and most kinds of music. If I wanted to look at it more broadly, I suppose I could be categorized as someone interested in "leisure studies" as well as a popular culture scholar.

As I feel I've gone on just about long enough (I've been blogging for over a decade now, so it's hard for me to be succinct sometimes), I'll leave y'all with some personal links. I'm also happy to be friends with anyone who uses Facebook, since I'm an addict. (facebook.com/tiffanyachristian)

An mp3 of one of my more recent original songs, which I used for my master's film mainly for the LULZ (featuring my partner and one of his long-time friends): http://tiffanyachristian.tripod.com/music/Please_Mr._Zombie_Fast_Remix.mp3

A more emo song, called Queen of Bones: http://tiffanyachristian.tripod.com/music/Queen_of_Bones_MP3.mp3

And finally, one of my many vlogs via YouTube (channel is youtube.com/haemony). This one documents the Walk to End Alzheimer's event I did last September. It of course features yet another original song, one I wrote for my mom, who has the disease.

welcome to AMST 507! we have a lot to do this semester beginning with getting to know each other. this week write an introductory post letting everyone know why your taking this class, what you hope to gain from it and any other bits of info you'd like us to know.