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Mara Holt

Dr. Mara Holt, portrait
Professor Emerita

Recent News


Ph.D., English, University of Texas, Austin.

M.A., English, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

B.S., Psychology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Scholarly Focus

  • Rhetoric and Composition

Areas of Interest: Collaborative Theory and Practice; Critical and Feminist Pedagogies; Academic Labor; New Materialism; Writing Program Administration; Women’s Rhetorics; Rhetorics of Race

Selected Publications

“It Depends on the Context: The Role of Ideology in First Year English.” On Teacher Neutrality: Praxis, Politics, and Performativity, ed. Dan Richards. Utah State UP. Forthcoming.

Collaborative Learning as Democratic Practice: A History. Urbana, IL: CCCC/NCTE 2018.

“The Way We Work Now” (with Leon Anderson). Profession 2012: In Retrospect. MLA (2012): 192-203. (Originally published in 1998.)  Selected as the one article from 1998 to be published in the retrospective, which was the final paper copy of the journal.

“Teaching U.S. and Transnational Feminisms with Thelma and Louise (1991) and Chaos (2001).” The International Journal of the Arts in Society. Vol.4. In press.

“The Importance of Dissent to Collaborative Learning.” The Writing Center Journal 28.2 (2008): 52-60.

“Electronic Versions of Collaborative Learning: A Brief Survey” (with Albert Rouzie). Rhetorical Agendas: Political, Ethical, Spiritual. Ed. Patricia Bizzell.  Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2005.  199-204.

“Collaboration and Conflict in a Faculty Mentoring Relationship” (with Albert Rouzie). Dialogue. 8.2 (Spring, 2003). 75-95.

“Making Emotion Work Visible in Writing Program Administration” (with Leon Anderson and Albert Rouzie). A Way to Move: Rhetorics of Emotion and Composition Studies. Eds. Dale Jacobs and Laura Micciche. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 2003. 147-60.

Selected Presentations

“From Protest to Innovation: Black Lives Action Coalition and the Imperfect Story of Cultural Competencies in First Year Writing” (with Jolana Watson, Jazzmine Hardges, and Madeline Fitch). National Womens Studies Association. 40 Years After Combahee: Feminist Scholars and Activists Engage the Movement for Black Lives.” Baltimore, MD. November 16 – 19, 2017.

Students of Color Initiating Change: A Curricular Experiment.” National Women’s Studies Association. Baltimore, MD. November 16-19, 2017.

“Role of Ideology in Teaching English.” University of Cincinnati. 27 October 2017. (Invited)

“Unlikely Affiliations: Initiating Curricular Reform with Interdisciplinary Coalitions. Workshop, University of Cincinnati. October 27, 2017. (Invited)

“Cultural Competencies: A Call from Black Lives Action Coalition.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Portland, OR. March 15-18, 2017.

“In Ph.D Programs, Whose Interests Should We Serve?” Roundtable on “Mapping the Future of Doctoral Programs in Rhetoric and Composition.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Tampa, Florida. March 18-21, 2015.

“Differences Within” From Consensus to Multivalent Identities in Feminist Pedagogies.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Indianapolis, IN March 19-22, 2014.

“Collaborative Learning.” Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, OH. Full-day Workshop. February 19, 2010. (Invited).

“Because Collaborative Learning, Like Democracy, is Misunderstood, Subverted, and Harder than it Looks (or Different Than it Seems).” University of Findlay, Findlay, Ohio. Full-day Workshop. March 24, 2009. (Invited.)

“Collaborative Theories and Practices: A Focus on Peer Critique.” Full-Day Workshop. Department of English, Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA. May 15, 2009. (Invited.)

“U.S. and Transnational Feminisms of Thelma and Louise (1991) and Chaos (2001).” Fourth International Conference on the Arts in Society. Venice, Italy. July 28-31, 2009.

“Trans-Collaboration: Productively Engaging Difference in the 21st-Century,” 2008 Santa Barbara Conference on Writing Research: Writing Research Across Borders. Santa Barbara, CA. Feb. 21-24, 2008.

“The Power of Peership, Collaborative Authority, and the Importance of Dissent.” National Conference on Peer Tutoring and Writing. State College, PA. October, 2007.

“Re-theorizing Student Identities Through Transnational Perspectives on Collaboration.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. New York, March 21-24, 2007.

“Beyond Diversity Initiatives: Engaging Race in Academic Close(d) Spaces,” Race and Pedagogy Conference. Tacoma, WA. September, 2006.

Recent Dissertations and M.A. Essays Directed

Miguel Franco M.A. 2016. “A/Void [in] Open Admissions: Decolonizing College Composition”

Amanda Hayes Ph.D. 2015. A Prolegomena to Appalachian Rhetorical Sovereignty.

Matthew Nunes Ph.D. 2015. The Theme System: Current-Traditionalism, Writing Assignments, and the Development of First-Year Composition, 1885-1920.

Lana Oweidat Ph.D. 2014. Disrupting the Western Gaze:  An Arab-Islamic Intervention in Rhetoric and Composition Studies.

Kate Firestone M.A. 2014. Re/visioning the Asian American Subject.  

Todd Snyder Ph.D. 2011. The Hillbilly Speaks of Rhetoric: Critical Theory, Composition Pedagogy, and the Appalachian Region.

Courses Taught


  • Teaching College English and Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • Composition Histories and Theories
  • Racial Difference and the Identity of Composition Studies
  • Academic Publishing
  • Women’s Rhetorics
  • Writing Program Administration
  • Writing and Rhetoric I and II
  • Women and Writing
  • Women's Rhetorics