Denise Comer (@comerd) is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Writing Studies and Director of First-Year Writing in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University. She earned her B.A. in English from Virginia Tech, her M.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Ph.D. in Nineteenth-Century British Literature from the University of South Carolina. She teaches theme-based first-year writing seminars on such areas of inquiry as illness narratives, civic engagement, and travel writing. As Director of First-Year Writing, she hires, trains, reviews, and supports a cohort of 27 multidisciplinary postdoctoral Fellows in their teaching of first-year writing. She also designed and developed, with support from a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on English Composition, in partnership with Duke University and Coursera. Having completed its fourth iteration, the course has enrolled, since 2013, over 260,00 people from around the world. Her scholarship, which explores writing pedagogy, writing program administration, and the intersections between technology and the teaching of writing, has appeared in such journals as Pedagogy, Writing Program Administrators Journal, IRRODL, Composition Forum, and Writing across the Curriculum. She co-authored a guide for dissertation writers across disciplines, It’s Just a Dissertation: The Irreverent Guide to Transforming Your Dissertation from Daunting to Doable to Done (Fountainhead Press, 2014, co-written with Barbara Gina Garrett). She has written a first-year writing textbook focused on writing transfer across disciplines: Writing in Transit (Fountainhead Press, 2015). And, she has developed a composition webcourse, Writing for Success in College and Beyond (Connect 4 Education, 2015). Denise is also the founding director of the Duke-Ronald McDonald House of Durham Family Story Project, which bridges writing, medicine, and photography.
She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children.Contact Information:
Thompson Writing Program
Durham, NC 27708
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