Erik Ellis has been teaching in PWR since 2011. He holds a BA from Beloit College, an MA in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an MFA in creative writing from New York University, and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English from the University of Arizona.
Erik's PWR 1 course, “Prowling Toward Certainty: Exploration as Argument,” challenges students to research and write about controversial issues about which they feel ambivalent. Students get to practice writing as a way of thinking—an authentic, exciting quest for meaning that values intellectual discovery over formulas.
Students in Erik's PWR 2 course, “Once Upon a Cause: Producing Picture Books for Local Children,” not only analyze picture books and write essays about them but collaborate closely with a group of classmates to create an original, compelling, and educationally appropriate picture book for children at Lucille M. Nixon Elementary (a short bike ride from campus). During a series of field trips to the school, the kids offer inspiration and constructive criticism to PWR 2 students as they develop and revise their picture books, which also reflect individual research projects. Needless to say, Erik loves picture books and considers this multimodal genre not only fun--though not always--but rhetorically sophisticated and powerful.
Erik has written about style, the essay, the multimedia essay, and is currently working on a project about picture books.
Areas of specialization: creative writing, journalism, rhetoric and composition
Genre expertise: applications, personal statements, and multimodal composition
Enjoys coaching writing productivity, brainstorming, and revision strategies