Dr. Kevin Brooks
Office: Minard 318E24
I have been a professor at NDSU since the fall of 1997.
For the next three years (Fall 2013-Fall 2016), I think I will be teaching Introduction to English Studies (Engl 167) and Advanced Writing Workshop (Engl 467) each fall. Introduction to English Studies orients our majors to some of the big questions we ask our selves in English Studies; it also explains our department's balanced curriculum (literary studies, writing studies, English Education, linguistics, creative writing--and more!). I will try to help students establish some personal knowledge management strategies and tools, and introduce them to our faculty, university, and community. The Advanced Writing Workshop will bring a workshop approach to writing and producing literacy narratives (print, digital, including audio) and remixing works of literature for scholarly and expressive purposes. This writing course is designed primarily for English Education majors but English majors and writing minors are welcome!
I've only outlined fall teaching because I plan to use the spring of 2014 and 2015 as professional development leave semesters that will allow me to pursue the work of my Bush Foundation Fellowship. I'm being funded for two years by the Bush Foundation to improve and expand English Language Learning opportunities for New Americans and Immigrants in Fargo-Moorhead. I'm specifically focusing on informal instructional spaces: volunteers going to homes, meeting at libraries, schools, and other locations. Within these informal instructional spaces, I am trying to figure out what kinds of materials, print and electronic, are particularly effective. While trying to answer these questions, I will also be working towards rebuilding Giving + Learning, a program that matched volunteers and New Americans in Fargo-Moorhead for about 10 years before closing its doors.
ELL and community literacy research is newish for me. My research coming out of grad school focused on the history of writing instruction in western Canada and the Red River Valley, but for about 10 years I focused on the future of writing instruction through investigations of the use of weblogs in classrooms, laptops in our graduate program, PowerPoint Music Videos in our first-year composition courses, and Scott McCloud's visual language as a guide to reading and writing visual compositions. I started down a new research and creative activity path in 2007 by working on a documentary about one of Fargo's Lost Boys of Sudan. The African Soul, American Heart project took me to Kenya and Sudan in December of 2007, our documentary premiered on Nov. 9, 2008, and I have written about my experiences a few times, including this essay in the NDSU Magazine, "The Trip of a Lifetime Doesn't Need to Come to an End." I have composed a MEmorial for the Lost Boys of Sudan, and worked on a Virtual Peace Garden website and Second Life island, both of which have been mothballed, but not forgotten. I have moved on to founding "Sugar Labs at NDSU" and running an after-school program for students at Madison and Jefferson Elementary Schools that we call "Fargo XO." Two publications related to that project are in the works.
The Bush Foundation Fellowship allows me to extend my work in refugee studies into English Language Learning and community literacy, but also draw on my career-long interest in instructional technology. My research path has been far from straight, but I think I'm set for the last 20 years of my career.
Last updated: July 11, 2013.