Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Angela Morris



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Katherine Fredlund

Committee Member

Terrance Tucker

Committee Member

Liz Lane

Committee Member

Joseph Jones


Within the current kairotic moment where political attacks against Critical Race Theory and “woke” curriculums continue to gain traction, this dissertation refutes such attacks by offering investigations on how to best implement more inclusive classrooms that explore and examine the intersections of race and writing using antiracist pedagogical approaches. This dissertation features three separate mixed-methods studies all set within first-year writing (FYW) classrooms. Each study engages with one of the three questions: (1) how do we challenge white language supremacy in our writing classrooms through encouraging and investigating code-meshing, (2) how do challenge predilections towards white meritocratic discourse through the integration of racially diverse rhetorical traditions into core FYW curriculum, and (3) how do we train culturally responsible and socially effective teachers to engage with these topics? Traditionally, scholarship regarding acceptance towards linguistic and rhetorical diversity, as well as antiracist teacher training, have utilized a top-down approach (scholar/teacher to scholars/teacher then to student). However, all three featured studies were designed to center student voices and feedback on these issues, therefore reversing the flow in a bottom-up manner (student to scholar/teacher then to scholar/teacher). In centering students’ thoughts on these conversations, results engage with lesson plans designed to encourage students to code-mesh within their academic and professional prose. Results also offer vetted curriculum designs and classroom assignments that pair both Greco-Roman rhetorical traditions and African American rhetorics side-by-side in core FYW curriculum. This unique pairing includes racially diverse theoretical framework from which students can appropriately analyze and apply these various traditions within their writing. Lastly, this dissertation offers tangible steps towards training graduate Teaching Assistants (TA) on these antiracist approaches. Such steps include teacher-training reading lists, guided discussion prompts, exercises on antiracist assessment practices, and ideas for antiracist professional development opportunities. This dissertation also acknowledges the white positionality of its author and therefore situations this research as supplementary text in the antiracist movement—to be read in tandem with scholarship by our colleagues of color. Testimonials written by the author and woven throughout this dissertation prompt discussions on how to best serve as an antiracist ally.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access