• The malleability of disciplinary identity

      Mericle, Megan E.; Stanley, Sarah; Farmer, Daryl; Brightwell, Gerri; Harney, Eileen (2017-05)
      This paper tracks the progress of a beginning undergraduate writer's disciplinary becoming. Much research in disciplinary identity focuses on graduate students and advanced undergraduate writers; however, sites of disciplinary identity formation also occur early on during the required first-year writing course. These sites are crucial because they inform the student writer's entrance into the academic conversation, and reveal the extent to which early assumptions about disciplinary roles affects further disciplinary identity formation. Drawing from Ivanič's framework of writer identity, this case study reveals the ever-shifting tensions of "disciplinary becoming." The analysis captures how a writer's discursive self shifts from a static disciplinary identity to a more malleable disciplinary identity through a cross-analysis of two separate writing assignments in order to learn how the student's petroleum engineer identity is performed, contradicted and re-negotiated. I argue that this shift will enable writing knowledge transfer and overall identity formation.
    • Plastic Alaska

      Namey, Jason; Brightwell, Gerri; Mellen, Kyle; Carr, Rich (2018-05)
      The stories in Plastic Alaska depict characters losing--often literally--their own identities. Whether it be a young boy who believes that an Alaskan theme park ride transformed him into a different person, or a woman who finds herself compulsively imagining murdering her husband after watching a Terrence Malick film, or a desperate man who assumes the identity of his former best friend so he can get a job on a reality TV show, these characters find themselves thrown--sometimes reluctantly, sometimes willingly--into situations where they must leave their former selves behind just to survive the unwelcome intrusions of an absurd, demanding reality. Plastic Alaska shows--in worlds that range from the real to the fantastical--the dread, uneasiness, and occasional joy that accompanies metamorphosis.