Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
You are here:
Ana Cooke

Ana Cooke

Assistant Professor of English
Preferred Pronouns: she~her~hers
(814) 863-0261
15 Burrowes Building
Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

Mailroom: 430 Burrowes Building

Ana Cooke

Spring 2023 Office Hours

Wednesday, 12-2pm Thursday, 2-3pm and by appointment


PhD Rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University, 2018
MA Rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University, 2011
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 deliberate 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 the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Composition Studies, Proceedings of the Rhetoric Society of America Conference, and Proceedings of the IEEE. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in professional and technical writing, composition, science and technical discourse, and digital writing 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

online communities, open collaborations, online knowledge construction/circulation

Rhetoric and Composition

professional writing, genre studies, rhetorics of science/tech/environment, public controversies, rhetorics of risk