COVID-19: Essential Information


Past Events

Dr. Carrie Helms Tippen Talk

The Urgency of Pleasure: Theorizing a Rhetoric of Pleasure in Contemporary Cookbooks

March 12, 2020 3:30-5:00pm Axinn 100

Carrie Helms Tippen is Assistant Professor of English and Director of First Year Writing at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.  Her 2018 book, Inventing Authenticity: How Cookbook Writers Redefine Southern Identity (University of Arkansas Press), examines the rhetorical strategies that writers use to prove the authenticity of their recipes in the narrative headnotes of contemporary cookbooks. Her academic work has been published in Gastronomica, Food and Foodways, Southern Quarterly, and Food, Culture, and Society. Carrie is a host of the podcast New Books in Food from the New Books Network.

The cookbook genre is highly conventional with an orientation toward celebration and pleasure. Contemporary cookbook readers have come to expect a story from their cookbooks wherein they imagine themselves as a co-protagonist with a wise guide on a path to pleasure, whether that pleasure comes from cooking and eating or just imagining those processes. From the glossy photographs to the heartwarming stories to the adjective rich ingredient lists, the conventions of the cookbook genre prime readers for pleasure.

Salt of the Earth: The Rhetoric of White Supremacy

January 21, 2020, 12:30-1:30pm
CTLR Lounge 

In this talk, James Chase Sanchez argues that contemporary rhetoric of white supremacy is built around structures of preservation. Using ethnographic and autoethnographic research (along with film footage) from his hometown of Grand Saline, Sanchez pinpoints the ways communities preserve their white supremacy via tactics of identity-formation, storytelling, and silencing.

Writing Pedagogy Lunch

November 4, 2019  12:20-1:20pm Grille Conference Room

On the topic “Stories from Partnering with Peer Writing Tutors in Writing Intensive Courses,” facilitated by our new Writing Center director, Genie Giaimo. This WRPR writing pedagogy lunch will be a collaborative one that focuses on peer writing tutors (PWTs). We will welcome a peer tutor who will be present to share their experiences working in writing intensive courses. We will also share a range of approaches to engaging PWTs in writing-intensive courses and highlights from writing center studies research on “high impact practices.” This lunch is also an opportunity for faculty who have worked with peer tutors to share their own best practices. All faculty are welcome, whether or not they have worked with PWTs in the past. RSVP if possible to

"Assessment and Equity"
October 7, 2019

In this conversation, faciliated by James Chase Sanchez, we will examine intersections between assessment and equity, including student-centered and discipline-specific strategies for feedback and evaluation. We invite you to bring questions about assessment from your own classroom experiences.

Middlebury Writing Boot Camp

Monday-Wednesday, May 20-23, 2018 9:00am-12:00pm McCullough Center, Faculty Lounge

Want to get a head-start on your summer writing projects?  Need to carve out time to actually sit down and focus on writing?  Join the Writing and Rhetoric Program's Inaugural Writing Boot Camp to kick start your summer writing goals!

Coffee and snacks will be provided!

To reserve your spot, please email James Chase Sanchez at

Screening of "Man on Fire"

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 7:00pm Dana Auditorium

Screening of “Man on Fire” with a 45 minute Q&A with director Joel Fendelman and producer Dr. James Chase Sanchez.

Engaging New Learning and Public Spheres with Technology

Monday, March 5, 2018 4:30pm Axinn Center, Room 229

Technologies in the classroom can be used to create complex, collaborative projects that challenge students cognitively and rhetorically. Faculty in this “Show & Tell” panel conversation will discuss how they develop invigorating learning spaces that include writing in digital spaces.  For more information, please visit here.

J.C. Ellefson Poetry Reading

Thursday, March 1, 2018 4:30pm Axinn Center, Abernethy Room

J.C. Ellefson, Poet-In-Residence at Champlain College, will read from his latest book of poems, Under the Influence: Shoutin’ out to Walt (2017). Ellefson has published poetry and short fiction in magazines throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, and Japan. His first book of poems, Foreign Tales of Exemplum and Woe (2015), draws on his experiences teaching in Shanghai and the Azores. Jim has made his living as a hired hand, a blacksmith, a fiddler, and most recently, running an organic farm in Leicester with his wife Lesley.

(Co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Writing and Rhetoric Program)

Assessment and Equity: How to Consider ‘Fairness’ in the Classroom Space

Discussion facilitated by James Chase Sanchez

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Grille Conference Room

When it comes to grading and assessing writing assignments, all of us aim to be “fair” in our policies and procedures, but sometimes (uncritical) assessment can further marginalize students who are already disadvantaged. In this lunch discussion, James Chase Sanchez will discuss emerging conversations on writing assessment and equity in the classroom, focusing on tools and strategies, such as contract grades and generative heuristics, you can utilize to make your approaches more inclusive and equitable. Come with questions and an appetite!

PDF iconAssessment Lunch Discussion 2-20-18.pdf

PDF iconInoue Contract 2-20-18.pdf

Fall lunch series for faculty teaching CW classes and beyond

Memorable Writing Assignments
Wednesday, September 27
12:20 - 1:20 pm
Grille Conference Room

This session features student writers/writing tutors who will discuss assignments that made a lasting impression on them. Student-faculty pairs such as Emily Jean Eslinger and Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Martin Seehus will speak about assignments from both student and faculty perspectives. Please feel free to bring a writing assignment of your own to share in this session! (Facilitated by Mary Ellen Bertolini, Director of the Writing Center)

Responding to Student Writing
Tuesday, October 3
12:20 - 1:20 pm
Grille Conference Room

In this workshop participants will discuss various ways of creatively responding to student papers for the purposes of a) assessment and b) inspiring students to revise. We will examine a short, anonymous student piece so as to establish a common language and themes for our discussion. Brett Millier, Professor of English and American Literature, and Louisa Burnham, Professor of History, will then describe their approaches and raise critical questions. (Facilitated by Hector Vila, Assistant Professor of Writing)

College Writing Mid-Semester Check-In
Wednesday, October 18
12:20 - 1:20 pm
Grille Conference Room

For those who attended our initial lunch on College Writing in August and also for those who did not, this session is designed to follow up on areas of interest to you. What's coming up in your classes by mid term? What tensions, success stories, and/or failures? We will gather topics for discussion from those in attendance and let the conversation flow from there. (Facilitated by Shawna Shapiro, Associate Professor of Writing and Linguistics, and Catharine Wright, Director of the Writing Program and Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies)

Science Writing Seminar
Wednesday, November 1
12:20 - 1:20 pm
Bicentennial Hall, Room 438

In this interactive seminar Molly Costanza-Robinson, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Environmental Studies, plans to share student survey data about writing in the sciences at Middlebury and discuss why she created a multi-disciplinary, multi-genre website on Scientific Writing. She will invite faculty to use the site and welcomes participant suggestions for that use. This session will take place in 438 Bicentennial Hall and lunch will be provided. 

Faculty Writing Lives
Tuesday, November 7
12:20 - 1:20 pm
Grille Conference Room

How do we, as faculty, see ourselves as writers? What are our joys, challenges, and fears in regards to writing, and how is our experience informed by our disciplinary identities? How do we find the time, energy and curiosity we need to have fulfilling writing lives? We will discuss these and/or other topics related to the writing we do as scholars, artists and public intellectuals. (Facilitated by Shawna Shapiro, Associate Professor of Writing and Linguistics)