Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New WID Deputy Director is Keynote Speaker at Writing Conference

This month Prof Rachel Riedner assumed her new role as Deputy Director of WID. In December, she was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 4th Annual Locating Writing Conference at the University of Houston.

Rachel Riedner, Associate Professor of Writing and Women’s Studies, was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Locating Writing Conference. recently held at the University of Houston. Prof Riedner's work focuses on the material conditions in which writing is shaped. She describes the larger project from which her talk is extracted.

"[It] explores locations in which a range of vibrant counter-globalizations are shaped, and written by students, teachers, communities, individuals, and in the case I discuss [at the conference] garden growers." Prof Riedner's starting point was a "short news story about women who grow gardens in Cape Town, South Africa." Prof. Riedner uses these small, and often unnoticed bits of texts as her point of entry, researching the contexts and power relationships affecting the subjects of work.

University of Houston professor Dr. Jennifer Wingard, offered this praise of Prof Riedner’s work.

"This kind of writing can allow both scholars and students to become flexible and critical thinkers, as well as ones who are acutely aware of how power works through seemingly short, value-neutral texts."

In December, Prof Derek Malone-France, WID Director and Acting Executive Director of the University Writing Program announced that Prof Riedner, would be taking over for Professor Chris Sten as Deputy Director of the WID program. Prof Malone-France said of the transition:

“Chris has been both the anchor and the sail for WID for most of its existence, and Rachel and I are deeply indebted to him for all of his hard work in building up the program and his great generosity in working with us during this transitional period.... Please join me in welcoming Rachel aboard. She brings great insight and energy to the position, and I know the program will be well served by her involvement."

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