My dissertation project, which I will defend in the spring of 2018, investigates how student beliefs about linguistic and cultural difference shape classroom discourse. I carry out this work by focusing on one widespread practice of college writing pedagogy, face-to-face peer review, where ideologies of difference can play a pivotal role in how students negotiate about their writing. My study uses critical and ethnographic methods to present “thick” descriptions of the power dynamics of peer review in two first-year writing classrooms. 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 observations of two FYC sections
  • All student writing, including drafts, finals, and peer review materials, for 34  students (17 per section)
  • Instructor feedback on student work

This work has direct implications for classroom practice: by learning more about how students experience peer review, researchers can develop peer review models based in anti-racist, linguistically inclusive pedagogy. Indeed, new research in this area is sorely needed in the field, as empirical work on peer review has declined drastically since its peak in the 1980s and early 1990s (Haswell; Kerschbaum; Ching; Flynn).