Sibylle Gruber
Professor, Northern Arizona University

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Curriculum Vitae
Rhetoric and Writing
Research Interests
As educators, it is especially important to stay current in our field of expertise. It is not enough to teach our subject area; instead we need to explore new ideas by actively engaging in research.Without engaged research, our teaching becomes jaded and outdated, and our students won't be prepared for participating successfully in the future.
General focus

Much of my research has focused on gendered language uses, feminist approaches to language studies, technologies in the writing classroom, literacy studies, and the impact of visual and technological literacy on written communication. My work in these areas shows the importance of reflective practices that acknowledge the complex positionalities of the researcher. My research and conclusions are often shaped by my own status as a woman, my status as an international faculty at a U.S. institution, my training in Austrian and U.S. universities, my Austrian cultural background, my family histories, as well as other personal, private, and social reasons.

Current explorations

Currently, I focus on the connections between the rhetorical strategies used to discuss internationalization on U.S. college campuses, and the experiences—based on language use, culture, politics, religion, class, and/or gender—of international faculty in the U.S. college classroom and as scholars and researchers in U.S. institutions. This work is an expansion of a strand of scholarship I started to incorporate in my latest book, Literacies, Experiences, and Technologies: Reflective Practices of an Alien Researcher (2007). In this work, I used methodologies and theories that allowed me to look at my position as an international faculty through the lens of a reflective practitioner whose approaches to gender, technology, race, and class shifted based on my own experiences and my own growth as a teacher, scholar, and researcher in the U.S., and my educational experiences, political training, and cultural background as a native Austrian.

My approach to discussing the language of internationalization and the positionalities of international faculty is influenced by the work of Min-Zhan Lu, Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Sondra Perl, Victor Villanueva, and Keith Gilyard who have shown the importance of understanding who we are—as internationals or as members of a minority community—in order to understand those who we research. I will expand on this research by looking at international faculty as part of a larger community that influences and contributes to how literate practices become integrated within a network of home, school, and community practices. In my work, I will include my own experiences as an international faculty to show how my understanding of language as a communication tool and my current approaches to teaching U.S. students and to researching the literacy practices of underrepresented students is influenced by my educational, political, and cultural experiences in a variety of communities, by specific people, as well as by the overall understanding of what it means to be literate in specific communities inside and outside the U.S.

Future Directions

Over the next several years, I would like to continue my research on how my own approaches to teaching change based on my international status, my experiences and practices as a teacher, a researcher, and member of a variety of communities that often promote conflicting ideas about education, politics, gender, the environment, and cultural practices. I will also continue my work on how students’ personal experiences influence their understanding of academic literacy and global communication. I will incorporate what I learn from my research into my pedagogical approach, making sure that the research findings correspond to how I approach student learning. This reflective approach, in other words, will be part of my research as well as my teaching.

Monument Valley
Copyright © 2011 SibylleGruber.
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