In Episode 28, Dan and Katie talk about self-care and how important it is to prioritize our mental and emotional well-being, especially in the current moment.
This episode was recorded on September 21. Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.
“Carving out some time that is protected–for yourself, for you to be with your family or friends, or to walk your dog, or whatever it is–that’s a baby step that can help a lot and is really important…The work will always be there.” @KatieARobison
“Now, more than ever, it’s so easy to get burned out. We’re in the middle of a crisis the likes of which we’ve never experienced. I don’t think we even fully comprehend how emotionally draining this is and all the uncertainty that we’re facing and trying to process every day. I think we just need to be kind to ourselves as well as our students, and I think that’s what will make us better professors and more able to actually help our students. If we’re not taking care of ourselves, how can we help anyone else?” @KatieARobison
“We are not just teachers. We are sometimes a therapist. We’re sometimes a social worker. We’re sometimes a shoulder to cry on. We’re sometimes an activist. We take on so many different roles.” @ddissinger
In Episode 27 we talk to Professor Taiyaba Husain of the USC Writing Program about recent incidents of racism in our community and how to empower students to challenge racism in the classroom, the university, and everywhere they find it.
This episode was recorded on September 14. Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.
“I’ve always said to my students, you know, part of this process, if we’re going to do this together, actually is forgiveness…We are going to maybe speak in ways that are unintentionally oblivious, that maybe are unkind or unknowing…If we are to keep having these difficult conversations, there has to be some ability to forgive.” @TaiyabaHusain
“If we are, from semester to semester, class to class, if we’ve been complacent…dropping the same joke, doing the same thing, this is an opportunity…to actually do new things, to respond to the moment.” @TaiyabaHusain
In our first “Office Hours” episode, we discuss questions, comments, and concerns from our listeners about teaching and learning online this semester. Thanks to everyone who submitted a question. Keep them coming on Twitter @writingremixpod!
This episode was recorded on August 31. Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.
Texts Mentioned in the Episode
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
“Should Writers Use They Own English?” by Vershawn Ashanti Young
In Episode 25 we talk to Professors Michelle Meyers and Ryan Leack of the USC Writing Program about the issues facing part-time/contingent faculty–especially during a global pandemic and a time of tremendous economic uncertainty.
Michelle Meyers is a lecturer in the Writing Program at USC and a member of the Diversity Committee and the Community Engagement Committee. She teaches creative writing for the Prison Education Project as well and received her MFA in Fiction from the University of Alabama.
Dr. Ryan David Leack teaches in the Writing Program at the University of Southern California, and received his Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Riverside. There he studied the productive intersections between rhetoric, quantum mechanics, philosophy, composition, and poetry. Ryan’s academic work has appeared in Composition Forum (2019), and in the edited collection Romantic Ecocriticism: Origins and Legacies (2016). His creative work has appeared in journals such as Chiron Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Pif, and Westwind, as well as in Pomona Valley Review, where he served as Editor-in-Chief for seven years. His music is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and like services, and is featured in films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and like services internationally.
This episode was recorded on August 4. Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.
Texts Mentioned in the Episode
Pandemic!: COVID-19 Shakes the World by Slavoj Žižek
The Year of Dreaming Dangerously by Slavoj Žižek
“I think a lot of people don’t understand how the neoliberalization of the university has impacted the tenure-track position…It’s more competitive now to get a tenure-track job at a community college than it was to get a tenure-track job at an R1 thirty to forty years ago.” -Ryan Leack
“I can’t help but care about whatever institution I’m involved with, and I want to be part of it. I want to be doing things that I think are important…I think [service work] also gives me more knowledge and more opportunities to then bring to my students and to improve their learning experience as well ” -Michelle Meyers
“At the end of the day, what keeps me going when all of these external stresses are happening, is that I do love teaching, and I do love trying to create the best classroom environment for my students.” -Michelle Meyers
This episode was part of the 2020 Big Rhetorical Podcast Carnival: “The Digital Future of Rhetoric and Composition.” Be sure to check out the other episodes in the round-up here!
In Episode 24, we talk to Dr. Rochelle Gold and Dr. Liz Blomstedt of the USC Writing Program about the democratizing potential of multimodal and online writing assignments, embracing new citation practices, navigating inequities on online platforms, and letting students lead the way in digital spaces.
This episode was recorded on August 17. Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.
“Online teaching…gives [students] experience writing in digital environments, which I think is something they are going to be asked to do in their future lives and careers, as so much of our existence occurs online these days.” @lizblomstedt
“As much as I really like to see the students who have their cameras on…we need to be really conscious of those kinds of biases we have toward certain students. And so today, on syllabus day, I found myself articulating that it was okay if we weren’t able to do those kinds of ideal sets of practices and maybe we should even quit calling them ideal because of how they privilege certain students over others.” @lizblomstedt
“Citations…are a really kind of interesting space for re-inventing how we think about writing and having conversations about credit that are important not only in academic in writing but that are important in all forms of communication… Students are always so surprised that a bunch of people just come up with these [style] guides. There’s nothing inherent about them…This is something that’s transforming.” -Rochelle Gold
“One of the benefits [of writing in digital environments] is I think that students often get to determine their own purpose to writing in those environments…and that they have more freedom to think about what their purpose is in this assignment and perhaps even shape that purpose for themselves…And in my experience it has led to some students embracing the opportunity to write in other Englishes or in a kind of a hybrid of English and whatever their home language is. So that’s another, I think, benefit of thinking about writing in digital environments specifically.” @lizblomstedt
“I think…that there’s a lot of fear of the kind of democratizing quality of digital media. At the same time, I would say my concern, and the concern of many others, is that it’s not democratizing enough.” -Rochelle Gold
“I think that the other part of the digital future of composition/rhetoric is keeping the critical thinking piece there. I would argue that multimodal writing does nothing to counteract critical thinking and that it can enhance critical thinking, but I do think that there’s this kind of fear that we’ll get too stuck on that stuff that looks good and kind of miss the depth…Critical thinking has to be a key component.” -Rochelle Gold
“Most of our writing happens online these days. And, not to be dramatic, but the future of our democracy is at stake, essentially, and the future of our society is at stake. It’s absolutely essential that our students get comfortable reading and writing online and that they develop their savvy and they hone their skills…Wherever they’re writing, they can really have an impact, much more so than if we try to silo their writing in other ways or if we feel tied to old traditions. I assume we all do this because we think that writing can change the world, and we hope that it will, and so I think that the future of rhetoric and composition has to be digital because that’s where these things are happening.” -Rochelle Gold
“[There’s] power in letting students be experts in the digital space…[and] feeling like they’re bringing that kind of knowledge to the table…It’s really vital that we embrace that kind of digital future for our field. ” @lizblomstedt
In Episode 23, we talk to Dr. Kristiana Willsey of USC’s Anthropology department about folklore (the field of study and the new Taylor Swift album), the social function of fairy tales and urban legends, and the meaning-making that happens in the stories we tell about our lives.
This episode was recorded on July 28. Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.
People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
Jan Harold Brunvand
folklore by Taylor Swift
Reputation by Taylor Swift
Murder Ballads by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
The Antitheatrical Prejudice by Jonas A. Barish
Self-Help Books: Why Americans Keep Reading Them by Sandra K. Dolby
Change Your Story, Change Your Life by Carl Greer
Search Party (TV show)
The Woman Who Wasn’t There (documentary)
Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar
“The Death of the Author” by Roland Barthes
Christine de Pizan
Other People’s Stories by Amy Shuman
“The things that people remember about fairy tales are…things that are often embodied. And that’s partly what makes these such versatile stories and why they can move cross-culturally…I don’t think it’s the morals of fairy tales that make them resilient. I think it’s the imagery.” -Kristiana Willsey
“Storytelling is meaning-making…If you’re trying to understand illness, if you’re trying to understand difficult experiences of any kind, you have to be able to put them in order and say why something happened. That meaning is not in the experience; it’s in the story.” -Kristiana Willsey
“We are using our bodies to measure the world, and we are all variable. We’re all different. So the evidence, the analysis, the criticism that we generate is a combination of what that person puts out in the world and what shape it takes in the receptacle of our own bodies.” -Kristiana Willsey
In Episode 22, we talk to Professor Shenishe Kelly about the importance of teaching non-canonical and oral stories and encouraging students to bring their textual lineages–whatever form they take–into the classroom with them.
Shenishe L. Kelly is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She serves as an Assistant Lecturer (Teaching) of Writing in the University of Southern California’s undergraduate Writing Program while pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership.
Prior to teaching and learning at USC, Shenishe served as a certified secondary English teacher for ten years—five years stateside in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, Illinois and and five years abroad in Busan, South Korea and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Some of her career highlights include participating in the development of test questions for the Korean National English Test administered to approximately five million Korean high school students annually, creating curriculum and assessment resources utilized in 83 high schools throughout the emirate of Abu Dhabi, leading small group professional development sessions for English teachers from five continents (i.e., North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia), coaching more than half a dozen ESL students to place as semi-finalists and finalists in a university-sponsored English creative writing competition, and her class being selected as model of best practices during in international school inspection.
Shenishe is an emerging educational scholar and creative writer who will publish in both fields in the coming year. Her scholarship centers around intergenerational inquiry and learning, identity development, learned humanity and hopefulness, and critical family literacy. Her creative writing interests center around poetry and flash creative nonfiction, which she uses to navigate the intersection of her past, present, and future. She is committed to engaging with her many communities around literacy education for collective uplift.
This episode was recorded on July 21. Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.
Too Much Schooling, Too Little Education: A Paradox of Black Life in White Societies by Mwalimu J. Shujaa
The Allegory by Royce da 5’9″
The allegory of the cave in Plato’s Republic
Kala by M.I.A.
“Beyond Beats, Rhymes, & Beyoncé” by Gloria Ladson-Billings
“Toward a Theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” by Gloria Ladson-Billings
Culturally Responsive Teaching by Geneva Gay
Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies by Django Paris and H. Samy Alim
Siren (TV series)
Lola Igna (TV series)
Miracle in Cell No. 7 (film)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
“Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)” by Nikki Giovanni
“Beyond the Methods Fetish: Toward a Humanizing Pedagogy” by Lilia Bartolomé
“On Being White…and Other Lies” by James Baldwin
“I approach words in the same way that I approach the world, and that’s rooted in the Sankofa proverb. It translates to, ‘It’s not taboo to go back and fetch it.’ And so, most of my life is kind of rooted in me trying to understand the relationship between my past, my present, and my future.” -Shenishe Kelly
“I’m very passionate about oral stories…I really want to untangle that [textual lineage] and take that primary focus off of looking at print texts because in a lot of cultures that’s not so salient; they don’t always engage in print texts, particularly working class people.” -Shenishe Kelly
“Sometimes when we talk about community engagement we try to push students to go out in the community, but sometimes we need to push them to turn internally, to unpack who they are, their identity.” -Shenishe Kelly
“I really believe in trying to resonate with people’s souls or seeing in which ways my soul resonates with someone else. That’s the way I move through the world…I want people to see me beyond those color labels, see the other parts of my humanity…I’m not just going to agree or be in the Amen corner with what my students are writing about just because we share the same race. I dig deeper than that.” -Shenishe Kelly
“I can’t gloss over these things [the protests and resistance]. We have to be in conversation. That’s why I say for people who are looking for that packaged ‘best practices’…around race and class and culture, etc….You have to live it…All these things should always be a part of your teaching and classroom in an organic way. It should not be forced…or sprinkled on.” -Shenishe Kelly
“Students who have been racially constructed as ‘of color’ or students who are socially constructed as [having] lower economic backgrounds…our whole society is designed to ‘fix’ them, to ‘solve’ them, and so most of the texts that they engage with, or we’ve engaged with in that way, are texts that are turned on us. And so that kind of forces us, from my perspective, to always stay inward. And so sometimes I have to push students from upper middle class backgrounds or students who are racialized as white to go inward because they’re used to doing the gaze and they’re not used to going inward…I try to coach my students individually to see if they need to go more inward or more outward.” -Shenishe Kelly
“Having students engage in that self-discovery [means] they’re seeking out texts that they can relate to…or they’re bringing in texts that they relate to and using that to approach other texts that we’re engaging with….We have to privilege stories of all kinds. I think that is crucial…It does not have to be this traditional, academic way that we bring people into our stories or we try to understand and to be in community with each other around story.” -Shenishe Kelly
“It’s not about all the texts you’re reading, but it’s the texts that shape who you are, your thinking and your identity. We can push and cram things down students’ throats all we want to, but…that does not mean that that text is going to resonate with students. When we start to think of each other as living texts…every student is not going to jibe or resonate, but [we can] continue to try to find ways in which we can see our common humanity through that.” -Shenishe Kelly
This episode was recorded on June 8. Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.
“Traditional academic work is often translated into other genres too, so that’s been a way that I’ve been trying to open up my first-year students to the idea of challenging genre…I’ve been trying to assign works by academics who are in a different genre–like they’re appearing on a podcast or they write an op-ed or they’re a guest on a talk show. This is something that even the more traditional academic does. They have to present their work to different audiences.” @mbrittanrosado
“It feels like a really artificial wall, or walls, that we’ve placed around the academic essay that it’s like the end-all be-all when really all of our communication is constantly being repurposed, inside and outside of the academy.” @mbrittanrosado
“I feel a real tension between wanting to bring, and bringing, a sense of imagination and play into the composition classroom and thinking about writing as a series of choices–there are no rules here; whether it’s a poem or an essay, you’re making a choice, and that choice has an effect on your reader–and then also wanting to make sure they know what that box is, in case they’re in a situation in which they really need to use that box of the essay.” -Corinna Schroeder
In Episode 20, we talk to Yan Sham-Shackleton about Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, government censorship, the complicated nature of revolutions, and the importance of free speech to the work of a writer.
Yan Sham-Shackleton is a Hong Kong writer who lives in Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in Chicago Quarterly Review, Litro, Great Weather for Media, Popmatters, and others. She is a columnist on Hong Kong Free Press. She is seeking an agent for her coming-of-age novel “Island of Lights” set during the 1997 regime change of Hong Kong. Learn more at her website: www.YanShamS.com
This episode was recorded on July 14. Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.
Writers and Texts Mentioned in the Episode
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Frederico Garciá Lorca
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Read & Riot: A Pussy Riot Guide to Activism by Nadya Tolokonnikova
“Without free speech, you can’t be a writer.” @YanShamS
“I had a really romantic view of the protest, and I actually went home in December to see it and…it was actually very angry and very dirty and hateful…It was a ‘carnival of hate’ more than a romantic democratic movement…I felt really torn when I was home. But…it’s still the movement. The movement’s right, whether everybody is doing the right thing for the movement, I still support the movement, no matter what….But I did wonder…can I capture the ugliness of it? Would I be selling out or hurting the movement if I talked about the ugliness I saw in the protest? But, you know, that IS the beauty and the romanticism… Fighting for freedom is really complicated. ” @YanShamS
In Episode 19, we talk to Dr. Meghan P. Nolan about identity fragmentation and embracing our fullest, messiest selves–and empowering our students to do the same. We also talk about multi-genre writing projects, the (in)accessibility of academic writing, institutional barriers to equity and progress, gender roles in mystery novels, and finding joy in our scholarship.
Come for Fernando Pessoa; stay for P.D. James!
Meghan P. Nolan, MFA, MA, PHD is an Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center at SUNY Rockland Community College. She is a multigenre writer who focuses on fragmented perceptions of self-hood through academic works, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is the author of the poetry collection, Stratification (BlazeVOX Books, 2008); her poetry has appeared in Blue Door Quarterly, The Nepotist, MiPOesias, Quest, Coconut, No Tell Motel, Sawbuck, Free Focus, and more. Her essays have recently been published in Persona Studies, Thread, The 100 Greatest Detectives, Exquisite Corpse: Studio Art-Based Writing in the Academy, and Transnational Crime Fiction.
This episode was recorded on July 7. Please be aware that, because we recorded via Zoom, there are occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @writingremixpod.
“Students are exploring their identities through their writing, in their own ways, in the classroom…It becomes this hodge-podge, almost like a collage, of creative work and academic work that they’ve connected with a theme throughout the semester, and that theme is really their own identities and how they view themselves.” @DrNolanRCC
“We fall back into those really comfortable zones, where we’re like, yes this is how I present myself, this is who I am to this group of people, instead of seeing all those disparate parts as one cohesive whole…We’ve got to be willing to mash up our own identities in front of audiences that aren’t expecting it and be willing to share all parts of ourselves.” @DrNolanRCC
“That writing work [in the first-year writing classroom] can be so valuable because you can get people exploring those ideas–what makes me who I am? It’s a lot more than what’s on the surface. Let’s piece all of that together and see what you come up with, yourself. Because it can’t be somebody else telling you what they see. It needs to be what you experience, your authentic experience as yourself, that you want to share, that you see as being who you are. And that to me is giving a true account of oneself.” @DrNolanRCC
“No matter what it is that I’m writing–whether it’s creative or it’s academic or it’s poetic–whatever I’m doing, I’m always trying to…pick apart what it means to be an individual. What are those various parts, those gritty pieces that make up who we are?” @DrNolanRCC