Working Paper Authors

To learn more about the Institute and the working papers, please see the Institute page. 

Deborah Brandt, University of Wisconsin-Madison

brandt bio pic

  • Working paper title: “Studying Writing in a Sea of Change”

Deborah Brandt is professor emerita of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where for nearly 30 years she taught undergraduate writing and graduate courses in literacy studies and research methodology.  She is author of four books, including Literacy in American Lives (2001) and The Rise of Writing: Redefining Mass Literacy (2015). Influenced by the materialist, sociological perspectives of C. Wright Mills, Daniel Bertaux, and Howard Becker, Brandt collects and comparatively analyzes in-depth, retrospective life interviews with everyday people to explore the social structures and processes that bear on literacy and its changing conditions and meanings over time. Her research has been supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation, among others.


Charles Bazerman, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • bazerman2Working paper title: “The Puzzle of Conducting Research on Lifespan Development of Writing Abilities”

Charles Bazerman has studied the evolution of scientific and academic writing, the strategic discursive innovations and actions of rhetorically reflective writers, the developmental cognitive consequences of enculturation into specialized writing practices, and many other historical and contemporary issues concerning the role of writing in society, the rhetorical use of writing practices, and development of writing competence. To study this wide range of issues he has used a variety of methods, depending on the demands of the research questions and the opportunities of the research site, from archival research and textual analysis, to interviews and ethnographic observation, to statistical analysis of coded discourse. In addition to his many research studies, he has authored several articles and chapters on research methods.


Ellen Cushman, Northeastern University

  • cushmanWorking paper title: “Decolonial Rhetorics and Sequoyan”

Citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Ellen Cushman is Dean’s Professor of Civic Sustainability and Director of Civic Sustainability, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Her decolonial and activist qualitative research in literacy studies focuses on practices of struggle and perseverance. She co-edits Research in the Teaching of English, the flagship research journal of the National Council of Teachers of English. Her recent publications have taken up methodological questions concerning the nature of validity in assessment (Journal of Writing Assessment, 2015), the collection of artifacts for archives (College English, 2013, 2015 ), the nature of mediation (Mediating Indianness, 2015) and literacy (Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations, 2013).


David Galbraith, University of Southampton

  • davidWorking paper title: “Writing as Understanding”

David Galbraith joined the Education School at  the University of Southampton in January 2012. His main research interests are in the psychology of writing and the development of understanding through writing. This involves basic research into the cognitive and social processes involved in writing and is focused on the development of a dual process model of writing. Insights from this model are applied to research into the teaching of writing; the use of writing as a tool for learning, particularly in science learning; the effects of dyslexia on writing; and the therapeutic effects of expressive writing. He collaborates with colleagues at the Universities of Groningen, Antwerp, Poitiers, Amsterdam, Porto and Lund. David is currently vice-chair for the International Society for the Advancement of Writing Research and is past coordinator of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction’s (EARLI) SIG writing. David is Associate Editor of the open-access Journal of Writing Research, a member of the editorial boards for the Journal of Educational Psychology, Learning and Instruction and Educational Research Review, and a member of the editorial board for the Studies in Writing book series. He regularly reviews papers for a range of other journals.


Sinfree Makoni, Pennsylvania State University

  • makoniWorking paper title: “Using Integrationism, System D and Spontaneous Orders to frame Economies of Language: Implications on Language Planning”

Sinfree Makoni is an Internationalist interested in contributing to the development of alternative conceptualizations of language, society and culture in diverse contexts. He has held professional appointments in southern Africa. He currently teaches at Pennyslvania State University in the US. Among other works, he is co-editor of Black Linguistics: Language, Society, and Politics in Africa and the Americas (2003, Routledge); Freedom and Discipline: Essays in Applied Linguistics from Southern Africa (Bahri-India (2001), Language and Institutions in Africa (1999, The Centre for Advanced Studies of African Societies, Cape Town), and Improving Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Wits University Press, 2000).


Clay Spinuzzi, University of Texas at Austin

  • spinuzzi-headshot-2010f[1] copyWorking paper title: “What’s Wrong with CHAT?”

Clay Spinuzzi is a professor of rhetoric and writing at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include workplace studies, qualitative research methodology, activity theory, actor-network theory, and genre theory. Spinuzzi has conducted multiple workplace studies, resulting in several articles and four books: Tracing Genres through Organizations (MIT Press, 2003); Network (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Topsight (Amazon CreateSpace, 2013); and All Edge (University of Chicago Press, 2014).