Michelle LaFrance

Michelle LaFrance

Michelle LaFrance

Associate Professor

Feminist research/feminist rhetoric, creative nonfiction, community writing, writing across the curriculum/in the disciplines, ethnography, writing program administration and pedagogy

Michelle LaFrance (Ph.D., University of Washington, 2009) is a feminist critical ethnographer, who teaches courses on community writing, feminist methodologies, writing studies, and critical pedagogy. Michelle has published on institutional ethnography, the materialities of academic labor, e-portfolios, e-research, and writing center pedagogy. Her current work has her participating in urban communities, studying discourses of volunteerism and belonging, and treating the evolution of research practice and sensibilities in Writing Studies.

In 2021, Dr. LaFrance was awarded the College Composition and Communication Research Impact award for her book, Institutional Ethnography: A Theory of Practice for Writing Studies Researchers (USUP 2019). This book was also awarded "Honorable Mention" in the 2021 Best Book category from the International Writing Across the Curriculum Association.   

Current Research

Institutional Ethnography, DC's Historic Congressional Cemetery, Community Writing, How We Study Work, and Writing Studies Research

Selected Publications

LaFrance, Michelle and Melissa Nicolas. Institutional Ethnography as Writing Studies Practice. (WAC Clearinghouse, Practice in Perspective Series, Under Contract 2023).

LaFrance, Michelle and Jay Hardee. “The Irreverent Rhetorician Vlogs It Out: A Case Study of Creative Play for Graduate Student Writers (in Experimental Form).” (JAELP: Journal for the Assembly of Expanded Perspectives on Learning, special issue on Creative Writing Pedagogies, Fall 2022.)  

LaFrance, Michelle. “I Walk Among the Living and the Dead.” (for Journal of Multimodal Literacies, special issue on Care Work and COVID, Fall 2022)

LaFrance, Michelle, Beth Caravella, David Corwin, Sarah Johnson, Tom Polk, Robyn Russo, and Lacy Wooten. “Feminist Fingerprints and Composition Research: An Analysis of Research Trends from 2007 to 2016 in Four Top Tier Composition Journals.” (College Composition and Communication, June 2021).

LaFrance, Michelle. Institutional Ethnography: A Theory of Practice for Writing Studies Researchers. (2019.) Utah State University Press/University of Colorado.

LaFrance, Michelle and Wardle, Elizabeth. "The 21st Century Feminist WPA," Journal of Writing Program Administration (June 2019). 

LaFrance, Michelle and Alisa Russell. “Preparing Leaders Familiar with WAC-Contexts: Research Methods Course/Program Review as PhD Student Mentoring Opportunity.” WACJournal (Winter 2018/2019.)

Corbett, Steven J. and Michelle LaFrance. Peer Review and Peer Response: A Critical Sourcebook. Bedford/St. Martins. (2017.)

Anicca Cox, Timothy R. Dougherty, Seth Kahn, Michelle LaFrance, and Amy Lynch-Biniek “The Indianapolis Resolution: Responding to 21st Century Exigencies/Political Economies of Composition Labor.” College Composition and Communication, Special Issue: Political Economies. 68.1 (2016): 38-67. 

LaFrance, Michelle. “An Institutional Ethnography of Information Literacy: Critical Challenges for a First Year Writing Program.” Journal of Writing Program Administration. 39.2 (2016): 105-22.

LaFrance, Michelle. “Making Visible Labor Issues in Writing Across the Curriculum: A Call for Research.” Forum: Issues about Part-Time and Contingent Faculty. Fall 2015, 18.3. A13-A17.

Corbett, Steven J., Michelle LaFrance, and Teagan E. Decker, ed. Peer Pressure, Peer Power: Theory and Practice in Peer Review Response for the Writing Classroom. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead Press, 2014.

Corbett, Steven J., Michelle LaFrance, Cara Lane, and Janice Fournier. “Mapping, Re-Mediating, and Reflecting on Writing Process Realities: Transitioning from Print to Electronic Portfolios in First-Year Composition.” ePortfolio Performance Support Systems: Constructing, Presenting, and Assessing Portfolios in the Academy and Workplace. Ed. Katherine Wills and Richard Rice. Fort Collins: WAC Clearinghouse and Anderson, South Carolina: Parlor Press, 2014. 181-203.

Benson, Nancy, Steven J. Corbett, Anicca Cox, Will Higgins, Robin Kish, Michelle LaFrance, and Katy Whittingham. “Rethinking First-Year English as First Year WAC: A Writing About Writing Approach.” Double Helix: A Journal of Critical Thinking and Writing 1.1 (September 2013). 1-16. .

LaFrance, Michelle and Melissa Nicolas. “What’s Your Frequency?: Preliminary Results of a Survey on Faculty and Staff Perspectives on Their Work in Writing Centers.” Writing Lab Newsletter 38.5-6. (January/February 2013). 10-13.

LaFrance, Michelle and Melissa Nicolas. “Institutional Ethnography as Materialist Framework for Writing Program Research and the Faculty-Staff Work Standpoints Project.” College Composition and Communication. 64.1 (2012): 130-150.

Steven J. Corbett and Michelle LaFrance. “From Grammatical to Global: The WAC/Writing Center Connection.” Praxis: A Writing Center Journal 6.2 (Spring 2009). n.pg.

Tatum, Clifford and Michelle LaFrance. “The Case of Neoliberalism: Wikipedia as a Distributed Knowledge Laboratory.” E-Research: Transformations in Scholarly Practice. Ed. Nicholas Jankowski. New York: Routledge, 2009. 310-327.

Courses Taught

ENGL 302: Advanced Composition

ENGH 382: Writing Nonfiction Genres

ENGH 484: Writing Ethnography

ENGH 486: Community Writing

ENGH 602: Pedagogical Research

ENGH 690/822: Public Writing

ENGH 697: Composition Theory

ENGH 701: Core Readings

ENGH 702: Research Methods in Writing and Rhetoric

ENGH 720: History of Institutional Rhetorics

ENGH 722: Public Rhetoric

ENGH 822: Emergent Pedagogies

ENGH 822: Feminist Research Methods

ENGH 822: Writing at the End of the World

Dissertations Supervised

Michelle Ruehl, Theater as a Rhetorical Social Intervention: Using Trauma Responsive Rhetoric with Military and Veteran Communities (2024)

Anna Habib, Linguistic Justice, Translingualism, and the Lived Experience of Language: “the Unraveling of What Once Felt Intact” (2024)

Lauren Foster, Metacognition as a Transformative Process in Teaching and Learning (2023)

Lacey Wootton, Doing the Right Thing: Professionalism, Deep Accountability, and Emotional Labor in Disciplinary Writing Instruction (2022)

Sarah Johnson, Mortuus et Vivus: Uncovering Writing Instructors’ Negotiations of the Standard English Dilemma and Paradox in Their Writing Assessment Practices (2021)

Robyn Russo, Towards an Expansive Equity: Reimagining How Writing in Two-Year Colleges Can Facilitate a New Vision of Equity as a Practice (2021)

Jennifer Messier, How Contingent Composition Faculty Members Reframe Professional Identity Through Faculty Learning Communities (2020)