Dr. Rebecca Gerdes-McClain
Director of First-Year Composition and Assistant Professor of English
Dr. Rebecca Gerdes McClain
Ph.D. English, University of Oklahoma, 2012–2017
Primary Area: Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy
M.A. English, Indiana University South Bend, 2006–2009
Area of Specialty: Eighteenth-Century British Literature
B.A. English, Honors Certificate, Indiana University South Bend, 2002–2006
Dual Focus: English Literature and English Writing
Minor : Film Studies
Research and Teaching Interests:
Labor in First Year Composition
Writing Program Administration
History and Historiography in Writing Studies
Dr. Rebecca Gerdes-McClain graduated from the University of Oklahoma in May 2017 with a Ph.D. in Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy. Her dissertation, Pivotal Moments: Personal Histories of Labor in First-Year Composition, studies significant first-year writing teachers in the history of American higher education and how their labor conditions supported and complicated their work. She is currently revising her dissertation into a book project focusing on labor, embodiment, and ethics in the history of labor practices in first-year composition.
As a teacher, her interests include responding to student writing, cultivating meaningful writing projects for students, and preparing students to effectively respond to the range of writing situations they will encounter in the classroom, the workplace, and their public lives. She enjoys meeting with students during office hours, learning from and about her students, and watching her students progress toward graduation and achieving their professional goals.
As a scholar, her interests include the history of first-year composition, academic labor, feminist rhetorical practices, revisionist historiography, embodiment, and ethics. Additionally, she enjoys using real-life administrative and pedagogical questions, failures, and successes to inspire her conference presentations, writing, and collaborations.
As an administrator, her goals in include raising the profile of student writing across campus, building partnerships with faculty in all disciplines,and --most importantly--supporting the teachers and students involved in first-year composition. If you ever want to talk about first-year writing at CSU, she is your go-to professor!
Of course, even professors are more than their professional roles. Rebecca is "mom" to 3 cats, 5 parrots, and 2 bunnies. She also enjoys traveling (most recently to Shanghai) and knitting.