Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start

Instructor News: December 2022

Amid the return to classes this fall, many of our instructors celebrated notable accomplishments in their professional lives.  In addition, we also welcomed four new colleagues on December 1, who will be joining us in the classroom for winter and spring quarters.

Welcome to new lecturers

Christian Nagler joins PWR from UC Berkeley where his dissertation is based on five years of critical ethnographic research in the think tanks, research institutes, VCs and other discursive sites that shape the speculative political economy of Silicon Valley. Before that he did his MFA in literary arts at Brown University. This winter he will teach "You Have my Undivided...: The Rhetoric of Attention." You can find him seated at Sweet 320C if you'd like to introduce yourself!

Jill Schepmann joins PWR after having taught in the Rhetoric and Language Department at the University of San Francisco. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vanderbilt University, and her writing has appeared at such venues as Black Warrior Review and The Rumpus. Her PWR 1 course this winter is titled "Let’s Get Radical: Rewriting the Rhetoric of Our Shared Systems". You can find her at Sweet 323B if you'd like to welcome her in person.

Emily Southerton joins PWR as a doctoral candidate at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. Her dissertation finds that learners develop a sense of agency when they co-design their own digital and curricular learning environments; what's more, they curate agentic opportunities for others. Emily is also the creator of the Poet Warriors Project, a digital publishing platform that amplifies the work of K-12 poets from low-income public schools across the country. She will teach "‘Writing the world’: A Workshop for Students as Digital Agents of Change.”  When she's in Sweet Hall, you'll find her at 318A, in the same row as Michelle and Cristina.

Peter Tokofsky has a Ph.D. in Folklore with a dissertation on carnival celebrations and cultural politics in German villages. He has taught Folklore and German Studies at UCLA and returns to Stanford where he was Director of Public Programs at the Cantor Arts Center in 2020. He writes on politics, education and culture for the Half Moon Bay Review and the Pacifica Tribune. He will teach "Who Speaks for the Past: The Rhetoric of Public Memory."  When we return from winter break, you can find him in Sweet 323A.

Our new colleagues, from left to right: Top row - Christian Nagler, Jill Schepmann; Bottom row - Peter Tokofsky, Emily Southerton

Instructor news

Christine AlfanoMeg FormatoJennifer Johnson, and Ashley Newby are excited to share that their article, "Research-Writing Pedagogy as Sustaining First-Generation College Student Identities in a Bridge Program" has been published as part of Kelly Ritter's collection, Beyond Fitting In: Rethinking First-Generation Writing and Literacy Education (MLA 2023), which interrogates how the cultural capital and lived experiences of first-generation college students inform literacy studies and the writing-centered classroom. Christine, Meg, JJ, and Ashley's research draws on their work with FLI students as part of the Leland Scholars Program.

Nissa Cannon writes: "A long-delayed roundtable I originally organized for the Modernist Studies Association's 2020 conference on 'Modernism in the Writing Classroom' finally took place in October, at the Modernist Studies Association's 2022 Conference! And at the same conference, I presented a paper on May Birkhead, a prominent society columnist from the 1920s."

Lindsey Felt presented a talk with artist-researcher M Eifler for Stanford's HAI weekly seminar titled "Art, AI and Disability Futures." (She would like to share a special shout-out to Jennifer Johnson and Ruth Starkman "for their generous feedback!").

In addition, she shared that "in my new advanced PWR course, 'The Art of Access: Disability, Creativity, Communication,' students had some amazing discussions with Leonardo CripTech Incubator fellows who spoke about their work and disability justice: Andy Slater, Claudia Alick, Carmen Papalia, Meesh Fradkin, moira williams and JS Shokrian."

Alex Greenhough presented a videographic adaptation of Jane Eyre at the "Theory and Practice of the Video Essay" conference at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in September.  He also made a music video montage for the release of "Old Light," a new album by the New Zealand experimental music group Nova Scotia. 

Hayden Kantor reports: "My PWR 1 student Mariel Camargo won the Christine Wilson Award for her RBA, 'Gangsta Gardening: Revitalizing Urban Futures through Guerilla Gardening in South Central Los Angeles.' The Christine Wilson Award is a national-level competition held by the Society of Food and Nutrition (SAFN), a section of the American Anthropological Association. It recognizes the best undergraduate paper that examine topics related to anthropological approaches to food and nutrition."

In October, Kevin Moore co-moderated the Ralph Ellison Seminar at the Association of Literary Scholars Critics and Writers conference (ALSCW), held this year at Yale University.  He also presented a paper titled "Ellison and Anti-Semitism" at that conference.  He took his students to the conference with him -- at least virtually: "While at Yale, I brought my PWR 2 students on a 'virtual field trip' to the conference, and discussed the relationship between oral presentations and publication in the humanities."

Person with a library background behind them
Kevin Moore taking his students on a virtual field trip to his conference at Yale University.

He also recently shared that his former student (and current NSC student) Annie Ostojic published an op-ed in the December 15 SF Chronicle“Medical Deepfake Disinformation is Coming. We Aren’t Ready," and article based on work Annie conducted for her PWR 2 RBA in his Propaganda and Rhetoric class. In the op-ed, Annie focuses on the implications of the potential loss of the “epistemic backstop” in biomedicine. She was also interviewed the next day by Bay Area ABC 7 news about her research.

Emily Polk along with Dr. Sibyl Diver who codirects Stanford's Environmental Justice Working Group with her, helped to lead the planning for the Inaugural Dean's Lecture for the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability on December 6. The lecture featured David Pellow, Dehlsen Chair and Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Pellow presented a talk on environmental justice, after which he was joined on stage by a panel -- which included Emily as well as Khalid Osman, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and Elliott White Jr., assistant professor of Earth System Science -- for a more extended Q&A and conversation. You can read the Sustainability School's article on the event (which includes a link to a Zoom recording) here.

In celebration of Lisa Ramee's new book, MapMaker, and the paperback of Kath Rothschild's book, Wider than the Sky, local bookstore A Great Good Place for Books hosted a book event to bring recently published authors and readers together to celebrate. Lisa has also been launched by Kepler's, and has been attending regular school visits and has been in conversation with other middle grade authors such as Shannon Messenger, C.C. Harrington and Kalynn Bayron.

Matthew Redmond had an article published in Literary Hub recently: "What's The Crown Without a Living Queen Elizabeth II?"  You can find an archive of Matthew's other contributions to LitHub here.  In addition, Matthew also has an article on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, titled "Magnificent Wreck," forthcoming with Public Books.

This fall, Becky Richardson shares that she "had the chance to join a different conversation related to research around self-help, writing an article for The British Psychological Society's publication, The Psychologist (Oct. 2022 issue), titled 'Ambition, Monomania and the Seeds of Self-Help.'"

Selby Wynn Schwartz's debut novel, After Sappho, was longlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize.  She also received a glowing review from The Guardian, whose reviewer wrote, "Schwartz brings something new and necessary to the dance across time, and it's a dialectic in which our embodied lives are central."  Her novel will be released in the U.S. in late January.

Lisa Swan's student, Sophie Callcott published an opinion essay in The New York Times based on her research and writing in my PWR 1 class, Writing about Education.  Lisa shared that "Sophie explained that her writing in The Daily was noticed by The Times, and credits PWR 1 with inspiring her interest in this topic: 'At the end of spring quarter, an opinions editor at the New York Times read my pieces in the Daily and reached out to ask to me write a piece about inequities in college admissions, specifically looking at private high schools. I'm thrilled to write that it looks like my article will be published in the Times on September 27th!  I wanted to let you know so I could thank you for giving the platform to write about a subject I didn't know I was this passionate about in class and then pushing me to deepen my thinking with the Daily. Truly, without your encouragement this would not have happened.'"  Sophie has published several pieces in the Stanford Daily; you can browse the collection of her work here.

Lisa was also selected as a "Professor of the Game" by her student on the Stanford Women's basketball team, and had this to say about the experience: "I didn’t realize how involved being the professor of the game would be! I’m not normally a jumbotron kind of person. My student, Stavroula Papadaki, invited to me and one guest to the game. Valerie, my officemate, was able to join too. We got to sit in on the pre-game talk where I was quickly reminded that a) I am very short and b) I know nothing about basketball. Stravi has a whole basketball literacy and a rich rhetorical repertoire. I enjoyed getting to peak into her world. Val and I then watched the game courtside. Stanford dominated Cal Poly and won. Stavroula is currently researching the mental health challenges of female student-athletes and how universities, coaches, and teammates can support athletes’ mental health."

Lisa Swan on the jumbtron

More News Topics