Each of the chapters recognizes the prevalence of immigrant students in writing classrooms across the United States—including foreign-born, first- and second-generation Americans, and more—and the myriad opportunities and challenges those students present to their instructors. These contributors have seen the validity in the stories and experiences these students bring to the classroom—evidence of their lifetimes of complex learning in both academic and nonacademic settings. Like thousands of college-level instructors in the United States, they have immigrant stories of their own. The immigrant “narrative” offers a unique framework for knowledge production in which students and teachers may learn from each other, in which the ordinary power dynamic of teacher and students begins to shift, to enable empathy to emerge and to provide space for an authentic kind of pedagogy.
By engaging writing and literature teachers within and outside the classroom, Teaching Writing through the Immigrant Story speaks to the immigrant narrative as a viable frame for teaching writing—an opportunity for building and articulating knowledge through academic discourse. The book creates a platform for immigration as a writing and literary theme, a framework for critical thinking, and a foundation for significant social change and advocacy.
Contributors: Tuli Chatterji, Katie Daily, Libby Garland, Silvia Giagnoni, Sibylle Gruber, John Havard, Timothy Henderson, Brennan Herring, Lilian Mina, Rachel Pate, Emily Schnee, Elizabeth Stone
‘Composition students need this book.’
—Eli Goldblatt, Temple University
‘Teaching Writing through the Immigrant Story offers clear ideas, examples, and experiences that demonstrate the ways that immigrant narratives support students’ meaning making in terms of family history, politics, social justice, and social relations.’
—Kaia Simon, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire
Heather Ostman is professor of English and director of the Humanities Institute at SUNY Westchester Community College. She is the author or editor of several books, and she was a recipient of the NEH Community College Challenge Grant in 2012.
Howard Tinberg is professor of English at Bristol Community College. He is a former editor of Teaching English at the Two-Year College and chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. He is the author or editor of several books, including Border Talk: Writing and Knowing at the Two-Year College and Writing with Consequence: What Writing Does in the Disciplines. He was recognized in 2004 as the Outstanding Community College Professor by the Carnegie Foundation and CASE.
Danizete Martínez teaches a cross-cultural and regionally driven composition pedagogy at Central New Mexico Community College. She contributed a chapter, "Teaching Chicana Literature in Community College: Social, Ethnic, and Linguistic Hybridity,” to Transnational Chicanx Perspectives on Ana Castillo.
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