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Jennifer Clifton

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Project Manager
University Staff, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 8604
Student Information:
Graduate Student
Integrative Sciences & Arts


Jennifer Clifton is Project Coordinator of Research of “Beyond Secularization: New Approaches to Religion, Science and Technology in Public Life” with the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict. Her work focuses on theorizing collaborative methods for inquiry and deliberation in various ill-defined contexts. More specifically, her scholarship takes up the design of social practices of public life—public literacies—among diverse stakeholders in local communities putting public policy and scientific and technical expertise in conversation with people’s everyday experiences of risk, struggle, dignity and desire. To do this, she puts theories and rhetorics of public life, deliberative arts, and situated action to work, often in contexts where globalization and transnational movement complicate the conditions and consequences of engagement in public life. Importantly, writing—and learning to put writing to new purposes—typically infuses such situated action.

Central to this work is the question of what people do with deep differences and disjunctures as they are trying to construct something shared, distributed, contingent and contested. Her two books—both with Routledge, 2017—take up this question, theorizing dialogue across difference: one taking up the multiplicity of a self in dialogue; the other, argument in public life. Her second book—Argument as Dialogue Across Difference: Engaging Youth in Public Literacies—was nominated for the Conference on Community Writing’s 2017 Outstanding Book Award. A third book, The Potentiality of Difference: Singular Rhythms of a Generative Humanities in Community Contexts, is forthcoming with Intermezzo.

Previous projects include:

  • an NSF-funded National Research Traineeship grant Employing Model-Based Reasoning in Socioscientific Environments focused a) on the design of technologies to support model-based reasoning about the shared use of a transboundary aquifer and b) on developing and teaching interdisciplinary methodologies with a range of emergent researchers taking up wicked problems with diverse stakeholders;
  • an intercultural collaboration with the Tigua of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo to re-design a National Park Service museum exhibit focusing on the concretization of the Rio Grande at the U.S-Mexico-Pueblo border as a multi-national site of public memory.

Prior to coming to ASU, she was faculty and program director of Rhetoric and Writing Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso and, before that, faculty and director of the Missouri Writing Project at the University of Missouri.


Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction (English Education)                                       May 2012

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Dissertation: Prioritizing Phronesis: Theorizing Change, Taking Action, Inventing Possibilities with the

Sudanese Diaspora in Phoenix  - Passed with Distinction

M.A. Professional Writing (Composition and Rhetoric)                                      May 2008

Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA

B.S. Communication                                                                                                 May 1999

Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA


Book Manuscripts

Kimball, Elizabeth, Elenore Long, Laura Gonzales, Jennifer Clifton. “The Potentiality of Difference: Singular Rhythms of a Generative Humanities in Community Contexts.” Enculturation | Intermezzo. Forthcoming.  

Clifton, Jennifer. Argument as Dialogue Across Difference: Engaging Youth in Public Literacies. Routledge. 2017. [nominated for 2017 Conference on Community Writing Outstanding Book Award]

Fecho, Bob and Jennifer Clifton. Dialoguing across Cultures, Identities, and Learning: Crosscurrents and Complexities in Literacy Classrooms. Language, Culture, and Teaching series. Routledge. 2017.


Refereed Scholarly Articles

Clifton, Jennifer, Jordan Loveridge, and Elenore Long. “Healthy Infrastructure: A Constructive Approach to Conflict.” Community Literacy Journal. Special Issue: “Envisioning Engaged Infrastructures for Community Writing.” 11(1): 22-32. Autumn 2016.

Clifton, Jennifer. “Feminist Collaboratives and Intercultural Inquiry: Constructing an Alternative to the (Not So) Hidden Logics and Practices of University Outreach and Micro-Lending.” Feminist Campus-Community Partnerships: Intersections and Interruptions. Special Issue of Feminist Teacher. 24(1): 110-137. U of Illinois Press, 2016.

Clifton, Jennifer. “Embracing a Productive Rhetorical Pragmatism: Teaching Writing as Democratic Deliberation.” Teaching/Writing: The Journal of Writing Teacher Education. 2 (2): 62-76. Fall 2013. Web.

Clifton, Jennifer, Elenore Long, and Duane Roen. “Accessing Private Knowledge for Public Conversations: Attending to Shared, Yet-to-be-Public Concerns in the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing DALN Interviews.” Stories That Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives. Eds. H. Lewis Ulman, Scott Lloyd DeWitt, & Cynthia L. Selfe. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2012. Web.

Clifton, Jennifer and Justin Sigoloff. “Writing as Dialogue Across Difference: Inventing Genres to Support Deliberative Democracy.” Choices and Voices: Teaching English in a Democratic Society. Special Issue of English Journal. 103 (2): 73-84. Nov 2013. Print. [Note: Publication co-authored with doctoral student]

DeCosta, Meredith, Jennifer Clifton, and Duane Roen. “Collaboration and Social  Interaction in English Classrooms.” English Journal. 99(5): 14-21. May 2010. Print.


Refereed Chapters

Clifton, Jennifer. “Cultivating Participatory Publics Through Dialogue Across Difference.” Eds. Azuri Gonzales and Gina Nunez, High Impact Practices in Community Settings: Strategies for Student Success in Higher Education. Kendall, 2017.

Clifton, Jennifer L. “Mastery, Failure and Community Outreach as a Stochastic Art: Lessons Learned with the Sudanese Diaspora in Phoenix.” Unsustainable: Owning Our Best, Short-Lived Efforts at Community Writing Work Eds. Laurie Cella and Jessica Restaino. Cultural Studies/Pedagogy/Activism series. Lexington Books, 2013. 

Clifton, Jennifer and Bob Fecho. “Navigating Complex Cultures and Selves in the Classroom: Fostering Possibilities for Agentive Dialogue.” Eds. Hubert Hermans and Frans Meijers, The Dialogical Self Theory in Education: A multicultural perspective. Springer, 2017.

Long, Elenore, Jennifer Clifton, Andrea Lewis and Judy Holiday. “Charting Intercultural Inquiry: Cartography for Local Public Transformation.”  Crossing Border/Drawing Boundaries: The Rhetoric of Lines Across America. Eds. Patti Wojahn and Barbara Couture. Utah State University Press, 2016.


Book Review

Clifton, Jennifer L. Rev. of The Public Work of Rhetoric: Citizen Scholars and Civic Engagement. Eds. Ackerman, John L., and David J. Coogan. Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, & Pedagogy. 2015. [Note: The content and design were peer-reviewed; approximately 17 pages]  


Public Facing Humanities Articles

Clifton, Jennifer. Casting Public Imagination for the Evolving Major. Inside Higher Ed.  3 Jan 2019.




2018            Argument as Dialogue Across Difference: Engaging Youth in Public Literacies. Dr. Elenore Long's ENG 556 Writing, Rhetoric and Literacies. ASU, Tempe, AZ. 

2018            Nested Epistemologies and Interdisciplinary Research. Dr. Deana Pennington’s ESE 6307 Interdisciplinary Problem Solving. UTEP, El Paso, TX. 28 Sept.

2018            Interdisciplinary Research as a Wicked Problem. Dr. Deana Pennington’s ESE 6307 Interdisciplinary Problem Solving. UTEP, El Paso, TX. 23 Feb.

2017            Stakeholder Analysis and Participatory Design of Interdisciplinary Research. Dr. Deana Pennington’s ESE 6307 Interdisciplinary Problem Solving. UTEP, El Paso, TX 28 Sept.

2017            Mapping public participation and power in environmental policy decisions. An NSF-funded summer training workshop preparing doctoral students across the country to do interdisciplinary research as part of Employing Model-Based Reasoning in Socio-Environmental Synthesis (EMBeRS). UTEP, El Paso, TX. 9 July.

2013            Community Literacies: Mapping the (Inter)Disciplinary Terrain. University of Missouri 16 October. Dr. Lenny Sanchez’s Sociopolitical Perspectives of Literacy in Urban Education course, Columbia, MO.

2013            Keynote Speaker. Creating Contexts for Real-World Writing. Missouri Writing Project Network. 19-20 September 2013. Columbia, MO. (Invited keynote for annual statewide conference across five National Writing Project sites in Missouri)

2013            Situated Language and Literacies. University of Missouri. 11 July 2013. Dr. Carol Gilles’s Theories of Language course. Columbia, MO.

2013            Grounded Theorizing. University of Missouri. 2 April 2013. Dr. Betsy Baker’s Qualitative Research I course. Columbia, MO.

2013            Public Literacies Symposium. Arizona State University. 18-20 March 2013. Tempe, AZ (Enterprise Knowledge Consultant and Co-Host)

2013            Transnational Literacies and Situated Public Literacies. University of Missouri. 31 January 2013. Dr. Rebecca Dingo’s Transnational Literacies course.

2013            Listening for the ‘Limits of the Local’: A Series of Critical Incidents. University of Missouri. 5 Feb 2013. Dr. Rebecca Dingo’s Transnational Literacies course. Columbia, MO.

2012            Half the Sky Movement: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. University of Missouri. Sponsored by Department of English and Women’s and Gender Studies. 1 Oct 2012. Columbia, MO (Invited respondent)

2012            Countering Dismissive Moves in the Composition Classroom. Arizona State University. 26 Nov 2012. Sponsored by ASU’s Writing Programs. Tempe, AZ.

Honors / Awards: 


Argument as Dialogue Across Difference: Engaging Youth in Public Literacies’ nomination for the Conference on Community Writing Outstanding Book Award



Appointed 1 of 12 scholars in the U.S. to serve a 3-year term on the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Standing Committee on Research



Selected as 1 of 5 highlighted sessions of more than 1,000 for the 2014 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual convention in the July 2014 issue of the Council Chronicle



Valedictorian, Defense Information School, Basic Mass Communication Specialist Course         

Valedictorian, Defense Information School, Basic Public Affairs-Writer Course 

Navy Achievement Medal



Navy Achievement Medal



Rear Admiral Keith Leadership Award


2014 – 2015            Lead Co-Editor, Editorial Team for Literacy Research: Theory, Method, Practice [a double-blind reviewed journal of the Literacy Research Association]

2013 – 2019            Editorial Board member, Managing Editor, Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal


2018 – 2019            Vice president, Association for Rhetoric and Writing Studies.

2018 – Present        Reviewer and Graduate Mentor, Community Literacy Journal.

2017 – 2019            Advisory Board, National Consortium on Environmental Rhetoric and Writing.

2015 – 2017            Standing Committee on Research, National Council of Teachers of English.