I’ll be honest, growing up I absolutely hated English—enough so that I actually considered majoring in math (yeah, it was that bad). While I’ve always loved writing, I never understood the importance of learning and regurgitating grammar rules, literary devices, and vocabulary, topics that secondary teachers often rooted the foundations of writing in. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I finally had an instructor who demonstrated writing is a tool for self-exploration and social critique, not a platform for proving the mastery of mechanics. Since then, I’ve always turned to the written word for discovering, negotiating, and collaborating on social conventions and standards.
Following high school, I attended Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, where I graduated valedictorian for the School of Humanities with my bachelor’s in English and an emphasis in professional/technical writing. During my time at DSU, I presented my research at several conferences, including the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and the Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Most of my undergraduate research focused on how rhetoric functions in settings variying from literature to the classroom.
I’m currently a first-year M.A. student studying Rhetoric and Composition at Washington State University. My research interests have narrowed from rhetoric in general to the presence of othering in political and marketing-based discourses. More specifically, I want to understand if othering is absolutely necessary for a message to prove persuasive, or if a more inclusive rhetorical method exists. This blog includes my responses to the readings and prompts from English 595.2.