Threshold Conscripts: Rhetoric and Composition Teaching Assistantships

Edited by William J. Macauley, Jr., Leslie R. Anglesey, Brady Edwards, Kathryn M. Lambrecht, and Phillip K. Lovas
Copy edited by Annie Halseth. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

CoverThis richly textured edited collection explores the ways in which graduate teaching assistants are prepared to enter the field of rhetoric and composition. By viewing teaching and learning from the perspective of the TAs themselves, the chapters, personal narratives, and program profiles that make up this collection speak to the diversity and complexity found within and beyond university walls and deepen our understanding of how these preparation programs shape TA identities and practices. Through their stories and reports, the contributors to this volume provide valuable insights into the programs, realities, and experiences that shape their work in rhetoric and composition.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter

Foreword, Laura R. Micciche
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.1.2

Introduction. “Begin as You Intend to Finish”: Considering the Multiple Liminalities and Thresholds of RCTAships, William J. Macauley, Jr.
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.1.3

Section 1. Approaching the Rhetoric and Composition Teaching Assistantship, Phillip K. Lovas and Brady Edwards

Chapter 1. Putting Learning First: Challenges and Possibilities for New Writing Teacher Research, Rachel Gramer
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.01

Narrative 1. First Day of Class, I-Hsien Lee

Chapter 2. “The Gift of Authenticity”: Writing Center Pedagogy and Integrated Identity Work in TA Education, Jaquelyn Davis Lugg
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.02

Narrative 2. Locating Sound While Learning How to Teach, Janelle Chu Capwell

Chapter 3. Adapting, Not Resisting: A Preliminary Understanding of TAs’ Relationships with Writing Pedagogy Education, Kali A. Mobley Finn
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.03

Narrative 3. More Than My Teaching, Eliza Gellis

Chapter 4. Coming to Teaching: Moving Beyond a Blank-Slate Model of Developing Pedagogical Expertise, Kathleen Blake Yancey, Rob Cole, Amanda May, and Katelyn Stark
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.04

Narrative 4. Back to the Start: The Transition from Adjunct Professor to Ph.D. Student, Matt Schering

Chapter 5. Becoming and Belonging: The Three Domains of New Teachers of Writing, Emily Jo Schwaller
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.01

Visualization. Approaching the RCTAship

Section 2. Inhabiting the Rhetoric and Composition Teaching Assistantship, Brady Edwards and Phillip K. Lovas

Narrative 5. Student, Teacher, Teaching Assistant: Janus and Institutional Identity, Jonathan M. Marine

Chapter 6. “Survival is insufficient”: Reimagining TA Orientation as Meaningful Threshold Boundaries, Leslie R. Anglesey
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.06

Narrative 6. Teaching Rhetoric Without a License, Megan Friess

Chapter 7. Shifting Roles and Negotiating Identities: TA Learning in Landscapes of Practice, Madelyn Pawlowski and Brad Jacobson
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.07

Narrative 7. IGTA, Thir Budhathkoi

Chapter 8. Doorways to Disciplinarity: Using Threshold Concepts to Bridge Disciplinary Divides and Develop Theory-Practice Praxis, Zack K. De Piero and Jennifer K. Johnson
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.08

Narrative 8. Always Beginning: Inhabiting the TAship after a Career, Elizabeth Topping

Chapter 9. International Teaching Assistants’ Needs and Undergraduate Native English-Speaking Students’ Expectations: Meaning Negotiation as a Rhetorical Strategy, Soha Youssef
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.09

Narrative 9. “Who is That Girl I see?” Navigating the Identities of Student and Administrator as a Graduate WPA, Analeigh E. Horton

Chapter 10. I Feel It in My Body: WC Teaching and Administration as Embodied Praxis, Rachel Robinson-Zetzer and Trixie G. Smith
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.10

Visualization. Inhabiting the RCTAship

3Section 3. Transcending the Rhetoric and Composition Teaching Assistantship, Phillip K. Lovas and Brady Edwards

Narrative 10. Collegiality as Transcendence Beyond the TAship, Matthew Sansbury

Chapter 11. The Pursuit of (Un)Happiness in Composition and Rhetoric TAs’ Experiences, Courtney Adams Wooten
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.11

Narrative 11. Worth, Sarah Lonelodge

Chapter 12. Anti-Colonialist Listening as Writing Pedagogy, Melba Vélez Ortiz
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.12

Narrative 12. Multiple Atypical Identities, Gitte Frandsen

Chapter 13. From Deficit to Asset: Rethinking Graduate Student Narratives, Nicole Warwick

Narrative 13. Mom, Cancer Patient, Doctoral Candidate, TA, Megen Farrow Boyett

Chapter 14. Integrating the Marginalized and the Mainstream: Women of Color Graduate Instructors’ Experience with Identity, Difference, and Belonging, Meghalee Das, Michelle Flahive, Jiaxin Zhang, and Michael J. Faris
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626.2.14

Narrative 14. Displacement in the Classroom, Charlotte Kupsch

Visualization. Transcending the RCTAship

Afterword. The Elephant in the Room, Dylan B. Dryer

Section 4. Graduate TAship Program Profiles, Kathryn Lambrecht

Program Profile 1. Choose Your Own Adventureship: Diversity, Context, and Casuistry in Graduate Student Professionalization, Laura Hardin Marshall

Program Profile 2. Disciplinary TAs Exploring the Reciprocal Effects of Providing Writing Feedback in Physics, Hans Malmström and Magnus Gustafsson

Program Profile 3. TAs as Administrative and Teacher Researchers: Professional Development at The University of Arizona, Emily Jo Schwaller

Program Profile 4. A Focus on Education and Professional Development, Lacey Wootton

Program Profile 5. Equity Through Leadership: The Graduate Student Administrator at the University of Alabama, Khadeidra Billingsley, James Eubanks, and Luke Niiler

Program Profile 6. University of Delaware Program Description, or, Redefining RhetComp Professional Development, William Repetto

Program Profile 7. Holistic Mentoring to Advocate for Social Justice, Sue Hum, Kandice Diaz, Victoria Ramirez Gentry, Karyn L. Hixson, and Abby Leigh Mangel

Program Profile 8. Chapman University: Bridging the Gap with Action Research, Ian Barnard, Matthew Goldman, Sarah K. Robblee, Natalie Salagean, Daniel Strasberger, and Candice Yacono

Program Profile 9. Negotiating Plural Identities Through Transfer and Inclusion: Program Revision at Bowling Green State University, Adel Vielstimmig

Program Profile 10. Teaching Teaching as a Process: San José State University’s TA Program and the Development of Pedagogical Thinking, Ume Ali, Ariel Andrew, Rachel Crawford, Steven Domingo, Julia Dunn, Jessie Fussell, Olivia Lee, Alayna Mills, Jillian Murphy, Alexis Rocha, Lisa Rose, Elizabeth Rosser, Ryan Skinnell, Amber Sylva, and Claire Tromblee


About the Editors

William J. Macauley Jr. is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he has been the University Writing Center director (2011-2015) and served as director of the Composition and Communication in the Disciplines program (2015-2019). Macauley has been teaching since 1987 and leading writing centers and programs since 1990. He has authored more than 20 professional publications and taken on leadership roles in multiple international, national, regional and local professional organizations.

Leslie R. Anglesey (she/her) is Assistant Professor of rhetoric and composition in the department of English at Sam Houston State University. Her research interests focus on disability studies, composition pedagogy, mentorship, and rhetorics of health and medicine. She is a co-editor of the collection Standing at the Threshold: Liminality and the Rhetoric and Composition TAship (Utah State University Press). Her work has also appeared in College Composition and Communication, Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments, The Peer Review, and Works and Days, as well as the edited collections Interrogating Gendered Pathologies and Strategic Interventions in Mental Health Rhetorics.

Brady Edwards is Professor of English at New Mexico Junior College, where he teaches developmental writing, first-year composition, and sophomore literature courses. His first co-edited collection Standing at the Threshold: Working Through Liminality in the Composition and Rhetoric TAship was published by Utah State University Press in 2021. Besides teaching assistantships, Brady is interested in writing program administration, contingent labor, and first-year composition. He has published essays and reviews in The Peer Review, Southern Discourse in the Center, and Literature and Belief.

Kathryn Lambrecht completed her Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition at the University of Nevada, Reno and is currently Assistant Professor of Technical Communication at Arizona State University, Polytechnic. Her research draws on rhetoric, corpus linguistics, composition theory, and data visualization to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration as well as communication between experts and public audiences, particularly in STEM environments. Her research has been published in Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Bulletin of American Meteorological Society, and Journal of General Education. Her interdisciplinary focus has led her to work with the National Weather Service, public health, engineering communication, identity studies, and writing in the disciplines.

Phillip K. Lovas is Lecturer in the Karen Merritt Writing Program at the University of California, Merced, where he teaches courses in first-year writing and research, professional writing, upper division academic writing, and interdisciplinary seminars for first-year students. The Karen Merritt Writing Program has an interdisciplinary approach to writing that offers students the opportunity to work with creative writing, professional writing, and writing in the disciplines. His research interests are focused on students’ writing in the disciplines, professional and technical communication, genre theories, and how students transfer information beyond the classroom.

Publication Information: Macauley, William J., Jr., Leslie R. Anglesey, Brady Edwards, Kathryn M. Lambrecht, & Phillip K. Lovas (Eds.). (2023). Threshold Conscripts: Rhetoric and Composition Teaching Assistantships. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado.

Web Publication Date: January 19, 2023
Print Publication Date: May 2023

ISBN: 978-1-64215-162-6 (PDF) | 978-1-64215-163-3 (ePub) | 978-1-64642-381-1 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2023.1626

Contact Information:
William J. Macauley, Jr.:
Leslie R. Anglesey:
Brady Edwards:
Kathryn M. Lambrecht:
Phillip K. Lovas:

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 William J. Macauley, Jr., Leslie R. Anglesey, Brady Edwards, Kathryn M. Lambrecht, Phillip K. Lovas, 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. 466 pages, with notes, illustrations, and bibliographies. This book is 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.