The Politics of Belonging in Writing Studies

Wednesday January 25, 2023
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Join us on Wednesday January 25 2023 for “The Politics of Belonging in Writing Studies,” a panel event featuring junior women of colour scholars in Writing Studies discussing the state of the field.

“The Politics of Belonging” is the first event in the new “Writing Studies Now” guest-speaker series, sponsored by the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media

The event will take place on Zoom Wednesday 25 January from 1.30-3pm Pacific. No registration is required and all are welcomed.

The panel will offer one hour of discussion between our three guests, Ashanka Kumari PhD, Amilia N. Evans PhD, and Pritha Prasad PhD.

The panel will be moderated by JWAM’s Louis M. Maraj PhD.

Panellist profiles

Ashanka Kumari, PhD
Doctoral Coordinator & Assistant Professor, Literature & Languages Texas A&-M University-Commerce

Dr. Kumari believes in creating an academic community that promotes inclusion and diversity. As a student-focused professor, her students come first above all else. Her current work centers first-generation-to-college doctoral students in rhetoric and composition. Her research and teaching areas include graduate student professionalization, multimodal composition and pedagogy, and the intersections among identity studies, digital literacies, and popular culture. Ashanka also serves as Reviews section Editor for Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy and Associate Copy Editor for enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture. She is the inaugural faculty recipient of the Inclusive Excellence Champion award at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Her work can be found in Reflections, Composition Studies, and Mobility Work in Composition.

Amilia N. Evans, AbD Graduate Scholar/Student, Rhetoric + Writing Virginia Tech
Project manager, technical writer, and academic, Amilia N. Evans has worked in industry for over 13 years in bid and proposals for government contracts. Her depth of knowledge in the proposal development process makes her a valuable asset to proposal teams having years of experience in various positions through proposal management. Amilia is in the process of obtaining her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing bringing her professional knowledge to academia by maintaining her industry relationships. Her in-progress dissertation approaches diversity discourse/rhetoric at predominantly white institutions with a Black feminist lens toward an institutional critique.

Pritha Prasad, PhD Assistant Professor, English University of Kansas
Dr. Prasad’s research broadly explores how antiracist movements and rhetorics have historically shaped rhetoric, writing, and English studies. Her current book in progress, Rematerializing Race/isms: Rhetoric After Ferguson, mobilizes Black feminisms and women of color feminisms to consider how the heightened visibility of racialized violences after the Ferguson Uprising, #BlackLivesMatter, and Trump demand a critical reorientation of rhetoric, writing, and English studies’ intellectual and professional paradigms. Dr. Prasad is also currently co-authoring a second book with Dr. Louis M. Mara entitled The Benevolent Gaslight: A Technology of Whiteness, a study that explores how Western rhetorics of whiteness have situated racial trauma and injury as teaching/learning moments in the teleological pursuit of collective progress. This project explores this phenomenon across humanities disciplines/epistemologies, educational history, university race management, and popular culture. Prasad’s essays have appeared in Prose Studies, Present Tense, Spark: A 4C4Equality Journal, and Inventing the Discipline.