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Composition & Rhetoric Faculty

picture of Comp-Rhet faculty left to right: Hoang, Dingo, LeCourt, Fleming, Lorimer Leonard and Solberg

L to R: Haivan Hoang, Rebecca Dingo, Donna LeCourt, David Fleming, Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, Janine Solberg

Anne Bello, Administrative Director and Senior Lecturer of the Writing Program

Degree: PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Areas of Interest: history of rhetoric

Anne Bello is deputy director of the Writing Program. She received a BA in English Language and Literature from Smith College and an MPhil in American Literature from Cambridge University. She earned a PhD in English, specializing in composition and rhetoric, from UMass Amherst. A former assistant editor at Merriam-Webster, she writes about rhetorical history as well as intercollegiate sports. She directs placement testing and Writing, Identity, and Power for the Writing Program.

Elkie Burnside, Associate Director and Senior Lecturer of the Writing Program

Degree: PhD, Oklahoma State University

Areas of Interest: multimodal composing; professional communication; curricular assessment and design

Elkie Burnside is the Assistant Director of the Writing Program where she is responsible for curricular assessment and design. She teaches College Writing and works within our teacher training program. She holds a PhD in English, (Composition & Rhetoric), from Oklahoma State University, a MA in English from Emporia State University, and a BS from Barclay College with a concentration in Ministry with Educational Emphasis. In addition to her academic background in rhetoric and composition, she has more than twenty years of experience as a writing instructor specializing in multimodal composing, training in a variety of environments, and professional communication. Her main research focus has always been on her classroom (and training instructional environments) – because this is where the work of writing, critical thinking, and building up students comes into focus.

Rebecca Dingo, Professor of English

Degree: PhD, Ohio State University

Areas of Interest: transnational feminist rhetorical methods, transnational literacy, writing program administration and globalization

Rebecca Dingo is the author of Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing (Pittsburgh 2012) (winner of the W. Ross Winterowd Award for outstanding book on Composition Theory 2013) and co-editor of The Megarhetorics of Global Development (with J. Blake Scott) (Pittsburgh 2012). She has published articles and chapters on a wide range of topics related to rhetoric, feminism, composition, and globalization. She has reviewed manuscripts for several rhetoric, composition, and women’s studies journals, and is on the Editorial Board of Lexington Press’s Cultural Studies/Pedagogy/Activism series. Dingo's research spans the fields of composition & rhetoric and feminist studies; she has published essays on transnational feminist rhetorical methods, transnational literacy, writing program administration and globalization, as well as a policy brief on UK international disability and development policies.

David Fleming, Professor of English

Degree: PhD, Carnegie Mellon University

Areas of Interest: history and theory of rhetoric; history and pedagogy of first-year composition; argumentation theory and practice; writing in the disciplines and professions

David Fleming is the former Director of the University Writing Program. He is the author of City of Rhetoric: Reviving the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America (SUNY, 2008) and From Form to Meaning: Freshman Composition and the Long Sixties, 1957-1974 (Pittsburgh, 2011). He has published articles and chapters on a wide range of topics and in a variety of venues. He has served on the CCCC Research Committee, reviewed manuscripts for several composition journals, and is on the Editorial Boards of Written Communication and Rhetoric Review.

Haivan Hoang, Associate Professor of English

Degree: PhD, Ohio State University

Areas of Interest: literacy studies; composition theory and practice; ethnographic research methods, ethics, and writing; writing center theory and practice

Haivan Hoang is author of the book Writing against Racial Injury (Pittsburgh UP, 2015), a study that focuses on literacy, minority speakers and writers, and college student organizations. Active in the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), she has served on the Diversity Committee, Public Policy Committee, and Second Language Writing Committee. She is former co-chair of the CCCC Asian/Asian American Caucus.

Donna LeCourt, Professor of English

Degree: PhD, Ohio State University

Areas of Interest: composition theory; identity politics (i.e. race, class, gender, and sexuality) in composition; working-class pedagogies; computers and composition; public sphere theory

Donna LeCourt teaches courses in composition theory, digital composition, and political economy. She has directed the Writing Program, the Writing Center, the Western Mass Writing Project, and co-directed the Digital Humanities Initiative. She is the author of Identity Matters: Schooling the Student Subject in Academic Discourse (SUNY, 2004), and has edited (with Amy Goodburn and Carrie Leverenz) Rewriting Success: Constructing Careers and Institutional Change in Rhetoric and Composition (Parlor Press, 2012). Her current book, Social Mediations: Writing for Digital Public Spheres is currently under review.

Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, Associate Professor of English

Degree: PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Areas of Interest: literacy studies; language ideologies; community literacy; comparative rhetoric; WAC/WID; writing center studies

Rebecca Lorimer Leonard holds a Ph.D. in English from the program in composition and rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research is situated at the intersection of literacy studies, multilingual writing, and language ideologies.  

Professor Lorimer Leonard’s current research focuses on the relationship between community-engaged writing and critical language awareness, studies of which have been published in Community Literacy Journal, College English, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, and Composition Studies. She also has published on the transfer of writing knowledge (College Composition and Communication, College English); language identities and institutional surveys (Journal of Language, Identity & Education); and the literate practices of multilingual migrant writers (Mobility Work in Composition, Written Communication, College English, Research in the Teaching of English). Professor Lorimer Leonard’s monograph, Writing on the Move: Migrant Women and the Value of Literacy, won the 2019 Outstanding Book Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Anna Rita Napoleone, Director of the Writing Center and Senior Lecturer of the Writing Program

Degree: PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Areas of Interest: writing center studies; classed literacy practices

Anna Rita Napoleone is the Director of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Writing Center and the Site Director for the Western Massachusetts Writing Project. She has a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research focuses on classed literacy practices in higher education, how social class and affect impact teachers' pedagogy and how class intersects with global, racial, and gendered literacies. She has published in the journal Pedagogy, and has contributed to edited collections such as Examining Education, Media, and Dialogue under Occupation (book), and Out in the Center (book). She has served on the Northeast Writing Centers Association and as a course director in the UMass Amherst Writing Program. She has presented at national and international conferences. She is a first-generation college student.

Tara Pauliny, Associate Director and Lecturer of the Writing Program

Degree: PhD, Ohio State University

Areas of Interest: rhetorics of the body; queer writing studies; contemplative pedagogy

Tara Pauliny is the Associate Director of the Writing Program where she teaches undergraduate academic writing and is responsible for teacher training. She earned her PhD in rhetoric and composition/English from the Ohio State University in 2002 and has served as a faculty member and writing program administrator at several academic institutions. She has taught courses in writing, rhetoric, gender studies, and liberal studies and has been a Writing Center Director, Director of Writing Programs, Writing Across the Curriculum Director, and Academic Director of Liberal Studies.

Tara's research interests include rhetorics of the body, queer writing studies, and contemplative pedagogy. In 2016 she published Neoliberal Rhetorics and Body Politics: Plastinate Exhibits as Infiltration with Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield; her scholarship has also appeared in a variety of academic journals and edited collections. Tara believes deeply in collaboration, critical contemplation, and learning with and from her students.

Janine Solberg, Director, PWTC Program

Degree: PhD, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Areas of Interest: gender, technology, and culture; professional and technical communication; usability and user experience design; information design

Janine Solberg co-directs and teaches in the Professional Writing and Technical Communication (PWTC) certificate program. At the University of Illinois, she directed the Programs in Professional Writing and helped develop and run communication workshops for the Mid-America Earthquake Center. She has taught courses in business and technical writing, web design, and an advanced composition course called Writing with Video. She has published in Advances in the History of RhetoricLiteracy in Composition Studies (LiCS), and Kairos.

Books published by Composition and Rhetoric faculty 

Writing on the Move, a book by Rebecca Lorimer Leonard   City of Rhetoric, a book by David FlemingIdentity Matters, a book by Donna LeCourtRewriting Success in Rhetoric and Composition Careers, edited by Donna LeCourtTeaching the New Writing: Technology, Change, and Assessment by Anne Herrington and Charles MoranGenre Across the Curriculum, edited by Anne Herrington and Charles MoranPersons in Process: Four Stories of Writing and Personal Development in College, written by Anne Herrington and Marcia CurtisVernacular Eloquence by Peter ElbowWriting Against Racial Injury by Haivan Hoang    From Form to Meaning by David Fleming    Networking Arguments by Rebecca Dingo    Megarhetorics of Global Development, edited by Rebecca Dingo and J. Blake Scott    Writing With Power by Peter Elbow    Writing Without Teachers by Peter Elbow

Emeritus Faculty

Anne Herrington, Distinguished Professor of English, Emeritus

Degree: PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Areas of interest: writing-across-the-curriculum, specifically connections between writing, learning, and identity; composition theory and practice; ethnographic and other qualitative research approaches for studying writing and teaching.

Professor Herrington is the former Chair of the English Department. She is the co-editor, with Charles Moran of the MLA book Writing, Teaching, and Learning in the Disciplines and of Genres Across the Curriculum. She also worked with Marcia Curtis, Charles Moran, and Sara Stelzner to produce the CD-ROM Teaching in Process: Multimedia Resources for Teachers of Writing (Houghton Mifflin). She and Marcia Curtis have authored Persons in Process: Four Stories of Writing and Personal Development in College (NCTE 2000), which was awarded the David H. Russell Prize for Research in Teaching by NCTE. Former Director of the UMass Writing Program, she is active in the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Language and Learning across the Disciplines, and frequently conducts workshops with college and high school teachers on writing-across-the-curriculum models and pedagogy.

Charles Moran (1936-2015), Professor of English, Emeritus

Degree: PhD, Brown University

Areas of Interest: composition theory and practice, writing-across-the-curriculum, writing and emerging technologies.

Professor Moran, with Anne Herrington, co-edited the MLA book Writing, Teaching, and Learning in the Disciplines, and Genres Across the Curriculum. In addition he co-edited, with Elizabeth Penfield, the NCTE book Conversations: Contemporary Critical Theory and the Teaching of Literature, and, with Pat Belanoff, Sheryl Fontaine, and Marcia Dickson, Writing With Elbow. With Gail Hawisher, Cindy Selfe, and Paul LeBlanc he co-authored Computers and the Teaching of American Higher Education, 1979-1994. He worked with Anne Herrington, Marcia Curtis, and Sara Stelzner on the production of the CD-ROM, Teaching in Process. He served on the editorial boards of Computers and Composition, the Journal of Teaching Writing, the Journal of Language and Learning across the Disciplines, academic.writing, and Works and Days.

Peter Elbow, Professor Emeritus

Degree: PhD, Brandeis University

Areas of Interest: writing and the teaching of writing, voice in writing, assessment and grading, learning and teaching.

Professor Elbow has written Oppositions in Chaucer, Writing without Teachers, Writing with Power, Embracing Contraries, What is English?, and (with Pat Belanoff) a textbook, A Community of Writers. He edited Voice and Writing, he co-edited Nothing Begins with N: New Explorations of Freewriting as well as Writing to Learn: Strategies for Assigning and Responding to Writing in the Disciplines. He has published numerous essays on writing and teaching and evaluation. In 1986 he was awarded the Braddock prize for "The Shifting Relationships between Speech and Writing." In 1994 he was awarded the James A. Berlin prize for "The War between Reading and Writing-and How to End It."He taught at M.I.T., Franconia College, Evergreen State College, and SUNY Stony Brook where he also directed the Writing Program.He served on the Executive Committee of the Modern Language Association and the Executive Committee of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Peter Elbow retired from the University in 2000. 

Program history

Composition and Rhetoric has a long and distinguished history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 1970, Walker Gibson began the program, and with John Mitchell, Charles Moran, and C.K. Smith, taught and mentored small cohorts of doctoral students through the next two decades. Under the leadership of Charles Moran, the program grew and gained national recognition. Anne Herrington (now emeritus) joined the Department of English in 1986, Peter Elbow (now emeritus) in 1986, and Donna LeCourt in 2002. More recently, David Fleming, Haivan Hoang, Janine Solberg, Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, and Rebecca Dingo have also joined the composition and rhetoric studies faculty.