Beth Davila, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing, has won the “Kenneth A. Bruffee Award” from the national Council of Writing Program Administrators for her spring 2017 article “Standard English and Colorblindness in Composition Studies: Rhetorical Constructions of Racial and Linguistic Neutrality.” The award is given every two years for the outstanding article published in WPA: Writing Program Administration. Beth was presented the award at the 2019 Writing Program Administrators Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland.
As the abstract reads, “This article examines instructors’ talk about standardness in anonymous student writing in order to identify discursive patterns that perpetuate colorblind ideologies. Specifically, this article explores explicit and implicit assertions that academic student essays and standard English should not or cannot reveal authorial identity, including race. Identifying colorblindness in talk about student texts highlights rhetorical constructions of racial and linguistic neutrality and illustrates the ways that the ideologies undergirding colorblindness and so-called standard English (ideologies of whiteness and standard language ideologies, respectively) are co-constitutive—especially concerning perceived neutrality. Finally, the article offers suggestions for disrupting the rhetorical patterns that promote colorblind ideologies in talk about written standardness.