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Ana Cooke

Ana Cooke

Assistant Professor of Professional Writing

15 Burrowes Building

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building
University Park, PA 16802

Office Phone: (814) 863-0261

Office Hours:

  • Fall 2019:
  • Wed 3:30-5
  • Thu 1:30-3 and by appointment

Education

  1. PhD Rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University, 2018
  2. MA Rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University, 2011
  3. BA English, Reed College, 2005

Professional Bio

My work focuses on how networked media shapes public and professional discourses, particularly in collaborative online environments. More specifically, I study how the different spheres of discourse that intersect online shape public discourse around controversial issues such as global warming.

My current book project, Collaborating in Public, traces how the global-warming related articles in Wikipedia have changed over time, particularly in the wake of the 2007 International Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. I focus particularly on how Wikipedia’s openness shapes how editors take up genres, argue over the validity of sources, and enact genres as they write and curate global warming-related articles. Combining methods of genre, discourse, argument, and network analysis, I show how “facts” about the issue become destabilized, how genre functions as a deliberative resource in arguments, and also how divergences in how the issue is written about become sedimented within the site’s information architecture. In doing so, I explore the epistemic and rhetorical implications of what happens when the public collaborates online to compose “the truth” about high-stakes issues.

I also study professional writing, composition, and online learning, with a particular interest in the way genre pedagogy and reflection shape how writers transfer composing knowledge across contexts.  My work has appeared in Composition Studies, Proceedings of the Rhetoric Society of America Conference, and Proceedings of the IEEE. At Carnegie Mellon I served as both Assistant and Acting Director of the First-Year Writing Program, and was awarded the Dietrich College Teaching Award. I have taught courses in professional and technical writing, business writing, composition, composition pedagogy, and intertextuality and rhetoric.

Before returning to academia, I was Associate Editor of Composition at W.W. Norton & Company; my projects included The Norton Book of Composition Studies (Susan Miller, Ed.) and The Little Seagull Handbook (Richard Bullock and Francine Weinberg). I am also a co-founder and former web editor for re:verb, CMU’s graduate-run podcast on discourse and rhetoric.

Areas of Specialization

Media and Digital Studies

Specifically, networked discourse, online communities, open collaborations

Rhetoric and Composition

Specifically, genre studies, public controversies, professional writing, argument and deliberation