University of Minnesota
literacy & rhetorical studies
center for writing

link to lrs homepageCenter for Writing's home page.

Research Series

The LRS Minor Research Series promotes awareness of current scholarship about literacy and rhetoric by providing an opportunity for faculty and students affiliated with the LRS Minor to present their research.

See the past Research Series page for information about past Research Series events.

Spring 2017 Research Series

Literacy in the Public Sphere: Methods, Voices, and Visions

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
12:00–1:30 pm
135 Nicholson Hall (Fireplace room), East Bank

Lunch provided to registrants. Please register here.


Sarah Puett (PhD candidate, Writing Studies)
Literacy of Counterpublics: An Ethnographic Study of Local Resistance
This research combines literacy and rhetorical studies to consider a local activist group, their processes, and the rhetoric they produce for the public sphere. Given that post-election events in the United States have heightened public scrutiny of social movement groups and coalitions, this presentation focuses on the methodological challenges that are common both to ethnographic work and work directly related to recent events. They include gaining participants’ trust, negotiating IRB approval, and considering the risks of state surveillance for participants and the research project. In light of these challenges, this presentation will explore how the methodological frameworks of literacy and rhetorical studies, paired particularly with public sphere theory, offer unique insight into how local resistance forms and functions.

Dan Philippon (Associate Professor, English)
Eating in the Anthropocene: What's Writing Got to Do with It?
How should we eat in the Anthropocene, our current era of unprecedented human impact on the environment? This research looks at several prominent food writers—Wendell Berry, Carlo Petrini, Julia Child, and Alice Waters—who have diagnosed the problems inherent in modern food production and consumption and offered utopian visions for what our individual and cultural relationships to food should be instead. This presentation will provide an overview of this research and reflect on the challenges of doing rhetorical analysis through literary nonfiction for an audience of both academics and general readers.