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New Faculty Members Join the Department of English

October 2010—The English Department recently announced the appointment of three new faculty to the department.

Michelle LaFrance joins the department as Assistant Professor of English and Director of First Year Writing. Professor LaFrance received her Ph.D. in English (with a concentration in Writing Studies) from the University of Washington. As a qualitative research-scholar, Professor LaFrance’s work explores the ways that language and identity compel and inform one another in a variety of different contexts. Her work often asks: How does writing reflect the values of a community of scholars? How do our ideas about language organize us, give shape to, and order our belongings? Her interests include understanding how students join academic communities as writers, pedagogy, writing centers, language resuscitation activism, and socio-linguistic community building. In recent years, she has begun to explore new media (in particular, documentary filmmaking), looking into writing centers and classrooms as locations that may support multiple modalities of expression and communication. Professor LaFrance has published on e-research, e-portfolios, writing center pedagogy, and independent comics, and is co-author of the forthcoming collection Peer Pressure, Peer Power: Collaborative Peer Review and Response in the Writing Classroom (Fountainhead Press 2011).

Kara Miller joins the department as an Assistant Professor specializing in journalism. Professor Miller received her B.A. from Yale and her Ph.D. from Tufts, where she focused on how presidents communicate with the public during wartime. She has also taught at Babson College and Tufts University. Dr. Miller’s work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Boston Magazine, and The International Herald Tribune; she writes the "Culture Club" blog on Boston.com. Currently, she is a contributor to WGBH-TV (PBS) in Boston, serving as a guest panelist on “Beat the Press.” She also writes commentaries for WGBH’s NPR station (89.7) and is a frequent panelist on “The Emily Rooney Show,” which she has also guest hosted. Previously, she did on-air commentary for NECN (New England Cable News). From 2003 to 2010, she worked as a contributing columnist for The MetroWest Daily News covering politics, media, and pop culture.

Changing Lives Through Literature News

Changing Lives Through Literature is currently running several programs, including one on Wednesday evenings on the UMass Dartmouth campus. The Guardian newspaper in London published an article on the CLTL program in July 2010.

Keep current with CLTL happenings by checking out the CLTL webpage and the CLTL blog.