Amy Wan

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Special Assistant to the Provost for Writing Klapper Hall, Room 634 718-997-4673

Research Interests

My research is guided by an interest in how literacy is used for citizen-making in school and non-school settings. My book, Producing Good Citizens: Literacy Training in Anxious Times (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014), examines citizenship, literacy, and the productive worker-citizen in the United States. Drawing on literacy studies, composition history, and citizenship theory, along with historical evidence of U.S. immigration and labor practices and policies in the early 20th century (1910-1929), the book constructs a history of work-inflected citizenship and the role of literacy in its cultivation and complicates liberatory and participatory notions of citizenship commonly taken up by contemporary literacy teachers.

Other research interests include language policy, multilingualism, literacy and public education. I’m currently working on two new projects: a second book project about mass literacy, federal policy, and public education during the Cold War and a qualitative project that examines language diversity and university policies. I also have written about immigration policy and the rhetoric of labor reform movement.

Teaching Interests

I teach courses about writing and the teaching of writing. My first-year writing courses have been on topics like language and literacy, higher education, and food. I have also taught creative non-fiction to undergraduates, and writing pedagogy, composition theory, and literacy studies to secondary teachers and graduate instructors.

Selected Publications

Producing Good Citizens: Literacy Training in Anxious Times. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014

“Rhetoric, Deliberation, and Democracy in an Era of Standards.” College English, May 2015.

“In the Name of Citizenship,” College English, Fall 2011. (recipient of the Richard Ohmann Award for Outstanding Article Award in 2012)

“Pushing the Boundaries of Citizenship: Undocumented Workers and Temporary Work Policies in the United States.” In Entertaining Fear: Rhetoric and the Political Economy of Social Control, 2009