Institutional Ethnography as Writing Studies Practice

Edited by Michelle LaFrance and Melissa Nicolas
Copy edited by Don Donahue. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

CoverThe editors and contributors to this collection offer insights into the use of institutional ethnography for three primary purposes: to investigate and interrogate the cultures of work that are of interest to writing studies researchers, to understand more deeply what constitutes this work, and to consider how work takes shape within institutional contexts. Building on prior conversations about institutional ethnography, critical ethnography, and the complexities of writing programs, the editors and chapter authors consider their application to sites of writing and writing instruction. In doing so, they reveal the power of material conditions, institutional and field-based values, and the cultures of writing to shape how people carry out their everyday work in writing programs and other venues in which writing plays a central role. The findings shared in this edited collection provide insights into how institutional ethnography as a form of inquiry can make important contributions to the fields’ many ongoing conversations about the nature of our work, labor, and other writing-related interests.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter


Introduction. Inquiries into Our Work with Institutional Ethnography, Michelle LaFrance
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2029.1.03

Part One. On Practice, Work, and Work Practices

Chapter 1. Practice, Work, and Further Possibilities for IE, Michelle LaFrance
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2029.2.01

Part Two. Dynamic Practices: Actualities of Writing Program Work

Chapter 2. (Re)viewing Faculty Observation and Evaluation Beyond the “Means Well” Paradigm, Anicca Cox
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2029.2.02

Chapter 3. “Not the Boss of Us:” A Study of Two First-Year Writing Program Boss Texts, Jim Nugent, Reema Barlaskar, Corey Hamilton, Cindy Mooty, Lori Ostergaard, Megan Schoen, and Melissa St. Pierre
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2029.2.03

Chapter 4. “The tension’s in this room!:” Negotiation and Resistance in IE Focus Groups, Ruth Book
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2029.2.04

Part Three. Expanding Understandings of Institutional Coordination

Chapter 5. Writing Standpoint(s): Institution, Discourse, and Method, Erin Workman, Madeline Crozier, and Peter Vandenberg
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2029.2.05

Chapter 6. “Writing isn’t just writing:” An Institutional Ethnography Approach to the Work of Community Writing Center Instructors, Elisabeth Miller
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2029.2.06

Chapter 7. From a Faculty Standpoint: Assessing with IE a Sustainable Commitment to WAC at a Minority-Serving Institution, Cristyn L. Elder
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2029.2.07

Chapter 8. IE and Pedagogical Possibilities: A Framework for Thirdspace Explorations, Michelle Miley
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2029.2.08


About the Editors

Michelle LaFrance is Associate Professor of English at George Mason University. She has published on institutional ethnography, experimental writing, writing and writing center pedagogy, and feminist methodologies. Her work-in-process is on the many and hybrid forms of community rhetoric at the historic Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC. She teaches creative nonfiction through community centers in DC and is an avid home brewer, gardener, and concert-goer.

Melissa Nicolas is Professor of English at Washington State University. She has edited several writing studies collections, and her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. Her current research interests include the rhetoric of health and medicine, disability studies, and feminism. She lives in Pullman,  Washington, with her human and animal significant others.

Publication Information: LaFrance, Michelle, & Melissa Nicolas (Eds.). (2023). Institutional Ethnography as Writing Studies Practice. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado.

Web Publication Date: August 16, 2023
Print Publication Date: February 2024

ISBN: 978-1-64215-202-9 (PDF) | 978-1-64215-203-6 (ePub) | 978-1-64642-572-3 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.2029

Contact Information:
Michelle LaFrance:
Melissa Nicolas:

Perspectives on Writing

Series Editors: Rich Rice, Texas Tech University; Heather MacNeill Falconer, University of Maine; and J. Michael Rifenburg, University of North Georgia

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Copyright © 2023 Michelle LaFrance, Melissa Nicolas, and the authors of individual parts of this book. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License. 154 pages, with notes, illustrations, and bibliographies. This book is also available in print from University Press of Colorado as well as from any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in digital format for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website.