Meet new faculty member Hannah Rule

Hannah Rule, assistant professor, English Language and Literature

Degrees: Ph.D., rhetoric and composition, University of Cincinnati; master of English, Michigan State University; bachelor's, English literature, Bowling Green State University. 

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in a small town in northwest Ohio.

What’s your area of research?

My focus within English is composition and rhetoric. I focus specifically on how individuals acquire and practice writing — writing process theory  as well as how writing is taught in college and K-12 contexts.

Why did you choose Carolina?

USC is a leader, an institution that values research, innovation and effective teaching. But really I decided to come here because of the people in my department — they are welcoming, interesting and extremely accomplished. I'm so happy to be working among them.

What are you most looking forward to about being in Columbia?

I'm looking forward to the retreat of the heat and the mild winter. I'm thoroughly Midwestern, so being in the South requires some adjustments, particularly to the heat and bugs. But what makes it feel most like home is the genuine kindness from folks I've only just met that makes me feel really welcome and at ease.

How did you become interested in your work?

I've been interested in words for as long as I can remember, fascinated by how texts come to be meaningful to us, how they change our lives. In both my research and teaching, I want to understand the puzzles of literacy, how individuals learn to write and read and how they practice reading and writing in different contexts. These questions are important to me because I believe that every person should have access to the continuously transformational processes of reading and writing. Living starts with literacy, I think.

What made you decide to go into academia?

I've always loved the atmosphere of school — thinking, learning, discovering, discussing, questioning. A university campus is probably the best place I can imagine; it's a job where I'm expected to keep learning and discovering new things.

Tell us about your dissertation.

My dissertation focused on the material and physical dimensions of writing practices. Using case study methods, I examined how writers interacted, structured and talked about their writing spaces to try and better understand how technology and other objects participate in, rather than provide the inert background for, the development of a piece of writing. I'm now extending this project into a book manuscript that focuses on the mobility  that we can do writing most anywhere now with a dizzying range of technologies  of contemporary writing practices.

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