I am currently working on two articles based on my dissertation, Ideologies of Language, Authority, and Disability in College Writing Peer Review, which intervenes in the long-standing assumption that collaborative learning pedagogies, such as peer review, can empower students by decentering instructor authority and helping students claim authority over the texts they produce.

Using qualitative data from two sections of first-year composition at a diverse regional university, I explore the role of difference in peer review groups. I argue that for multilingual students and students who identify as disabled, peer review can become an inequitable space that de-authorizes rather than authorizes them as writers and peer reviewers. My data include:

  • 43 hours of interviews, including 11 focal students interviewed three times over the course of the semester
  • 33 hours of peer review audio-recordings
  • Semester-long ethnographic observations
  • All student writing, including drafts, finals, and peer review materials
  • Instructor feedback on student work

I conclude that more inclusive models of peer review, which I also analyze, allow students to claim a non-hierarchical power in the real-time exchanges of classroom discourse. My research provides a point of departure for new studies of collaborative learning that will be useful as the field of faculty in higher eduction continue to explore methods for enacting socially just and effective pedagogy.

On a personal note, I’m grateful to my dissertation co-chairs, Anne Ruggles Gere and Anne Curzan, for their feedback and support. My committee members, Camille Wilson and Krista Ratcliffe, have also been invaluable!