Discovering Voice Through Multimodal Writing: An Anti-Racist Model for Writing Instructors

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Literature and Languages

Date of Award

Spring 2021


This dissertation contributes to the growing body of scholarship in rhetoric and composition responding to calls for explicitly anti-racist teaching and research practices. Titular examples of the field's widespread commitment to this work include official "Position Statements" by our flagship professional organizations, like the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) and the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE). Much like the aforementioned position statements, the CCCC’s “Black Technical and Professional Communication Position Statement with Resource Guide” insists on inclusion for Black professionals and scholars in developing germane materials. To this end, the current study brings together seminal scholarship on student voice, by Peter Elbow and Darsie Bowden, and multimodal writing by Jody Shipka and Gunther Kress, along with the dominant narrative by Toni Morrison. The author offers a new pedagogical framework, through a carefully designed sequence of writing and classroom activities, created to take up difficult conversations about race endemic. Ultimately, this dissertation argues that multimodal writing instruction can enable students of all races to discover their own voices and, thereby, disrupt the master narratives. The author articulates a new theoretical framework for anti-racist writing instruction called pedagogy of rhetorical projection, a model for writing instructors. Pedagogy of rhetorical projection is a communicative trilateral approach to writing, interconnecting definition, identification, and application, affectionately referred to as DIA. To compose traditional and/or digital writing, students possess a cognitive definition of the conceptualization that warrants representation through identification and employs articulation through application; therefore, conscientious meanings reflect emblematic forms of communicative structures to convey cohesive content. This rhetorical framework provides students with linguistic prognosticism, which is supported by semantography, that aids in the expression of voice.


Shannon Carter

Subject Categories

Education | Higher Education