Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Currently, Writing Studies and Creative Writing occupy different disciplinary positions, but this relationship doesn’t need to be adversarial. This project illustrates “line-crossing” pedagogies of creative writers who teach first-year writing (FYW) to further discussions of how they can situate themselves into Writing Studies. To help bridge disciplinary gaps, I narrate the practices of participants and put them in conversation with existing Writing Studies scholarship and the field’s expertise. For several years, I interviewed 26 creative writers who teach FYW at 15 different institutions, which included R1s, Community Colleges, Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), Private Art Schools, Small Liberal Arts Colleges (SLACs), and Women’s Colleges. I supplemented this interview data with a post-interview survey, classroom observations, and textual analysis. Although I interviewed 26 participants, this project details eight case studies. I utilized a method of narrative analysis and focused on a limited number of narratives to provide thick descriptions. I coded all the interview data and then grouped the narratives based on recurring themes and how well I thought the stories complemented – or contradicted – each other. The findings chapters examine the themes of imposter syndrome, genre, voice, and revision. This thematic grouping partially echoes the structure of Joseph Harris’s foundational text A Teaching Subject: Composition Since 1966. These case studies, then, connect to the discipline’s past as they look to its potential future. Creative writing was once taught in composition courses, but the branches of writing split. Creative writing eventually became associated with poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, while composition focused on academic genres and professional or technical writing. This project helps creative writers see ways they can fuse their creative writing experiences with Writing Studies scholarship and helps those in Writing Studies see ways they can add creative writing practices into their existing frameworks. This will help them become better teachers, which will, in turn, help them become better able to support their students. Both Writing Studies and Creative Writing can learn a lot from each other, and this research seeks to help support a dialogue of unity.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest
Embargoed until 7/20/2025
Gillespie, Tyler, "Artistic Approaches: A Study of Creative Writers Who Teach First-Year Writing" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3019.
Available for download on Sunday, July 20, 2025