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Elizabeth Lenaghan

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

PhD, Northwestern University, Communication Studies (Media, Technology & Society); MA, Columbia University, English and Comparative Literature; BA, Tufts University, English and French

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 first-year seminar—Truth in Representation—explores historic and contemporary hoaxes to critically assess the roles that fake news and other lies have played throughout history. 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. As the founding director of the Graduate Writing Place, she 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 published two pieces on graduate student writing: the article “Writing Centers and Graduate Student Leadership,” in the December 2013 issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly and the chapter "Revisiting the Remedial Framework: How Graduate Writing Centers Can Better Serve Graduate Students and Themselves" in the 2019 edited collection Re/Writing the Center.

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. 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).


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