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Wendy Williams

Biography: 

Wendy R. Williams studies adolescents' and college students' creative multimodal writing, especially focusing on songs, spoken word poems, and visual narratives. Her research examines writers' practices, tools, and attitudes, as well as the contexts and "communities of practice" (Wenger, 1998) in which writers thrive. She often draws on sociocultural theory and employs narrative and arts-based approaches to research (Barone & Eisner, 1997). 

Professor Williams is the author of the book, Listen to the Poet: Writing, Performance, and Community in Youth Spoken Word Poetry (2018, University of Massachusetts Press). She is currently at work on her next two books: 1) Mentoring Youth Writers and 2) Visual Storytellers. 

Her research has appeared in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Journal of Visual LiteracyEnglish JournalPedagogies: An International JournalContemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE English Language Arts)A Symphony of Possibilities: A Handbook for Arts Integration in Secondary English ClassroomsScreen Lessons: What We Have Learned from Teachers on Television and in the MoviesTeaching Young Adult Literature Today: Insights, Considerations, and Perspectives for the Classroom Teacher (2nd ed.), Examining Images of Urban Life: A Resource for Teachers of Young Adult LiteratureLiterature for Today’s Young Adults (9th ed.)Language Arts, and Literacy Today.

Professor Williams teaches in ASU's Master's in Narrative Studies program and has developed many new English courses, including ENG 446/520: Visual Narratives, ENG 466: Studio Ghibli Films, ENG 473: Critical Approaches to Children's Literature, ENG 484/584: Mentoring Youth Writers (Internship), and ENG 505: Narrative Research Methods. 

She enjoys overseeing honors projects and independent studies and mentoring graduate students. Before becoming an assistant professor in 2015, she taught high school and middle school English for nine years. 

Education: 

Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction: English Education, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University (2015)

Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 466Studies in International Film
ENG 484Internship
ENG 584Internship
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 446Visual Narratives
ENG 505Narrative Research Methods
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 466Studies in International Film
ENG 473Crit Approaches Children's Lit
ENG 598Special Topics
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 446Visual Narratives
ENG 484Internship
ENG 520Visual Narratives
ENG 584Internship
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 505Narrative Research Methods
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 473Crit Approaches Children's Lit
ENG 484Internship
ENG 499Individualized Instruction
ENG 584Internship
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
COM 394Special Topics
ENG 394Special Topics
ENG 471Literature for Young Adults
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 101First-Year Composition
ENG 394Special Topics
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 394Special Topics
ENG 482Methods of Teaching: Language
ENG 493Honors Thesis
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ENG 471Literature for Young Adults
ENG 480Methods Teaching English: Comp
ENG 492Honors Directed Study
Service: 

Professor Williams is the founding director of Young Authors' Studio, a free writing program for youth in grades 5-12 that is run by ASU students enrolled in ENG 484/584: Mentoring Youth Writers. This program launched in 2017 as a series of face-to-face Saturday workshops. This program moved online in 2020 and now consists of a website with writing activities, online writing feedback from ASU students, and a new online journal that publishes the work of young authors and artists: Unscripted. Professor Williams also launched ASU's Sparky Slam, a spoken word poetry competition for youth poets, which was held in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

In addition to doing service that builds bridges between ASU and the community, Professor Williams is engaged in national service to her profession. She is the "Teaching Creative Writing" column editor for English Journal (vol. 110) and is Co-Chair of the NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing Advisory Committee (2020-2022 appointment). In addition, she serves on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and has reviewed manuscripts for Routledge, the Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, and the International Journal of English Studies. Professor Williams has reviewed conference proposals for several national organizations, including the National Council of Teachers of English, the NCTE Assembly for Research, the Literacy Research Association, and the American Educational Research Association.   

She founded the annual fall series, Humanities Dialogues @ Poly, which promotes the creative and scholarly work of professors in humanities fields at Poly and encourages cross-disciplinary conversations between students and professors.