Elizabeth Lenaghan Assistant Director, The Writing Place; Assistant Professor of Instruction, The Cook Family Writing Program

Elizabeth Lenaghan teaches courses in expository writing, communication, and practical rhetoric in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the McCormick School of Engineering. Her current freshmen seminar—Lying, Cheating, and Stealing—explores historic and contemporary hoaxes, plagiarism, and copying by writers and artists to critically assess the role that digital technologies play in the propagation, circulation, and discovery of such practices. Another expository writing class examines how new modes and genres of written communication impact the style, content, and frequency of formal and informal writing practices.

Lenaghan also serves as the Assistant Director of Northwestern University’s Writing Place. After working as the sole peer tutor in Northwestern’s Graduate Writing Place during its first two years of operation, she now selects and oversees a group of advanced PhD candidates who serve as Graduate Writing Fellows. The Writing Fellows and she hold one-on-one writing consultations with graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members, providing feedback and assistance about writing in a variety of genres, including course work, dissertation proposals and chapters, fellowship applications, job market materials, and manuscripts for publication. She also facilitates writing workshops, interdisciplinary writing groups, and dissertation boot camps aimed at teaching participants concrete strategies and exercises to improve both the quality and productivity of their writing both within the workshops and outside of them. Lenaghan earned a Graduate School Service Award for this work in 2014. She has also presented on some of this programming at regional writing center conferences and published an article, “Writing Centers and Graduate Student Leadership,” in the December 2013 issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly.

Like her teaching, Lenaghan’s other research focuses on the impact of new media on the reception, consumption, and production of traditional cultural objects and modes of expression. Her current book project explores how book collectors use and understanding of digital technologies inform their devotion to the printed word. Recent related publications and presentations include the book chapter, “Readers as Audiences,” in The Handbook of Media Audiences (2011), “Media’s Material Meanings: Book Collectors as ‘Alternative’ Audience,” (paper presented at the 2011 Reception Studies Society Annual Meeting), “Making Material Matter: How Contemporary Collectors Remediate the Medium of the Book,” (paper presented at the 2010 National Communication Association Annual Meeting and winner of the conference’s Donald P. Cushman Best Student Paper Award), and “Kindling Consumption: How Amazon’s E-Reader Marketing Refashions Readers,” (paper presented at the 2010 Society for the History of Technology Annual Meeting).