The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Rebecca Lorimer Leonard

Associate Professor

Rebecca Lorimer Leonard has been on the faculty of UMass Amherst’s English Department since 2012. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the program in composition and rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin-Madison an MA in English from San Francisco State University and a BA in English from the University of Southern California. 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. These interests have guided several literacy projects with the International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI), studies of which have been published in Community Literacy Journal, College English, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Composition Studies, and on ILI’s blog.

Her past scholarship includes research 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.

Professor Lorimer Leonard teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on language diversity, literacy studies, writing pedagogy, and research methods. She served as Writing Center Director from 2012-2016 and Writing Program Director from 2020-2022. In 2017 Professor Lorimer Leonard received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at UMass Amherst.

You can read more about her work at her website.

Research Areas

  • Colonial, Postcolonial, & Transnational
  • Composition and Rhetoric