Mary Lourdes Silva, associate professor in the Department of Writing specializing in writing studies and multimodal composition, has recently had work published in Our Body of Work: Embodied Administration and Teaching and in The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics—among working on other exciting projects.
According to its press release, Our Body of Work: Embodied Administration and Teaching, published in September 2022 and edited by Melissa Nicolas and Anna Sicari, “invites administrators and teachers to consider how physical bodies inform everyday work and labor as well as research and administrative practices in writing programs.” Professor Silva’s chapter, titled “Dancing with Our Fears: A Writing Professor’s Tango,” addresses bias in student assessments of teaching. “I’m building a platform for other minorities in my field,” Silva said. “I write to empower others, educating them about gender/racial biases that go undetected every day. The pandemic and my research simply made things clearer and there’s a need for change moving forward.”
In conjunction with the work done for her book chapter, Professor Silva has been conducting her own research on the racist implications of evaluations as a professor. Her team of researchers conducted a nationwide survey looking at the financial and psychological effects of such evaluations (especially on BIPOC/female/minority groups), and they received 344 faculty responses. In February 2023, she will be presenting these findings with her team in Norway.
Professor Silva also published her essay, “I Am Not Okay” in The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics (Sept. 27, 2022). This piece similarly follows her experience teaching through the pandemic with the added element of grief. “I enjoy writing for journals because it allows me to keep my creative and literary voices alive,” said Professor Silva, who has also taught a course called Writing and Healing. “‘I Am Not Okay’ is a perfect example of how I blend my creative and analytical styles together because I was writing as a professor for other professors. It still needed to feel academic, but the literary moments formed naturally.”
You can read more about Professor Silva's work as a professor here.