JWAM announces new Chair of the Writing, Research, and Discourse Studies (WRDS)

The School of Journalism, Writing, and Media (JWAM) is pleased to announce Dr. Jaclyn Rea as the Chair of the Writing, Research, and Discourse Studies (WRDS) in JWAM. Dr. Rea is an associate professor of teaching in the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media. As a WRDS administrator and instructor, she also works on projects that explore the ways that the knowledge learned in the course WRDS 150 might transfer across courses and over the span of a student’s academic career.

“Am I excited to chair WRDS? Yes! And this excitement has a lot to do with the smart, accomplished, and engaging students we see in our courses,” she said. “WRDS students are what makes chairing this unit and working at UBC so rewarding.”

Her early work, “Ideologies of language: Authority, consensus and common sense in Canadian talk about usage,” focused on the operation of language ideologies in Canadian contexts. Specifically, she examined dictionary and newspaper accounts of ‘Canadian English’ and the ways these accounts absorb (for re-use and re-circulation) larger social, political, and cultural anxieties.

Her current work in writing studies is informed by this early work and by her interest in Rhetorical Genre Studies (RGS). Currently, she applies her interest in ideologies of language and RGS to explore the interplay between epistemology and affect in a range of academic, public, and workplace genres, arguing, with her co-researchers, that ideas about writing and related ‘feelings’ about writing are themselves ‘genred’, are socio-cultural responses to particular rhetorical situations.

Her early work on public, ‘commonsense’ talk has also led to an interest in the ways public discourses operating with larger discourse ecologies might shape rhetorical situations and practices as can be seen in her publication,“Exigencies, ecologies and street science: Emergent counter public genres in the context of Fukushima radiation risk discourses on the Internet.” As Associate Chair of Arts Studies in Research and Writing (ASRW) from 2009-2014 and Chair of the Vantage Arts program from 2015-2018, she co-developed curriculum with a team of brilliant instructors and educational leaders.

As the Chair of WRDS, Dr. Rea most looks forward, over the next few years, to working with her exceptionally talented colleagues in Writing Studies and Journalism to develop undergraduate programming for the School.

“I am humbled by the expertise and commitment of JWAM faculty and staff and am honoured to play a role in the curriculum work that they aspire to do,” Dr. Rea said.