Sara Webb-Sunderhaus

Sara Webb-SunderhausAssociate Professor of English
Director of Composition

Bachelor 356A
Oxford Campus


  • PhD, English (Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy), The Ohio State University, 2006
  • MA, English, Miami University, 2001
  • BA, English, Bluffton College, 1995

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Composition theories, histories, and pedagogies
  • Literacy studies
  • Appalachian studies
  • Retention and writing studies
  • Feminist methodologies and pedagogies

Selected Publications

Book–Edited Collection

  • Rereading Appalachia: Literacy, Place, and Cultural Resistance. Co-edited with Kim Donehower. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, December 2015.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • "'Life Gets in the Way: The Case of a Seventh-Year Senior." Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs. Ed. Todd Ruecker, Dawn Shepherd, Heidi Estrem, and Beth Brunk Chavez. Utah State University Press, April 2017. 114-131.
  • "'Keep the Appalachian, Drop the Redneck': Tellable Student Narratives of Appalachian Identity." College English 79.1 (2016): 11-33.
  • "Re-Shaping Literacy Studies: A Theory of—and for—Appalachia." Rereading Appalachia: Literacy, Place, and Cultural Resistance. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2015. 179-198.
  • "Introduction." With Kim Donehower. Rereading Appalachia: Literacy, Place, and Cultural Resistance. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2015. 1-12.
  • "The Kairotic Moment" (with new afterword). With Stevens Amidon. Ecologies of Writing Programs: Profiles of Writing Programs in Context. Ed. Mary Jo Reiff, Anis Bawarshi, Michelle Ballif, and Christian Weisser. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press, 2015. 22-40.
  • "'It's Me and the Adjuncts': Writing Program Administration and Marginalized Students/Teachers." Open Words: Access and English Studies 6.1 (2012): 19-32.
  • "The Kairotic Moment: Pragmatic Revision of Basic Writing Instruction at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne." With Stevens Amidon. Composition Forum 23 (Spring 2011).
  • "Living with Literacy's Contradictions: Appalachian Students in a First-Year Writing Course." Reclaiming the Rural: Essays on Literacy, Rhetoric, and Pedagogy. Ed. Kim Donehower, Charlotte Hogg, and Eileen E. Schell. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2011. 207-221.
  • "When Access Is Not Enough: Retaining Basic Writers at an Open-Admission University." Journal of Basic Writing 29.2 (2010): 102-121.
  • "A Family Affair: Competing Sponsors of Literacy in Appalachian Students' Lives." Community Literacy Journal 2.1 (2007): 5-24. Print. Reprinted in: The Norton Book of Composition Studies. Ed. Susan Miller. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009.

Grants and Awards

  • Purdue Research Foundation Summer Faculty Grant. Purdue University, 2013. $8,000
  • Summer Faculty Grant. IPFW, 2010. $8,000
  • Robert Hacke Scholar-Teacher Award. College English Association. 2009 

Work in Progress

Dr. Webb-Sunderhaus is currently drafting a book-length manuscript that focuses on how Appalachians with graduate degrees negotiate the literacy and identity decisions they face in their academic and professional lives.

She is also revising chapters for two edited collections:
"Becoming a Researcher-Participant: The Case for Interactive Interviewing." College Writing: From the 1966 Dartmouth Seminar to Tomorrow. Ed. Christiane Donahue et al.

"You Can’t Go Home Again: Gender and Sexuality Among Appalachian Academics." Queer Appalachia: Reading, Writing, Teaching, and Imagining the “Unspeakable” Other. Ed. Sherrie Gradin, Hillery Glasby, and Rachael Ryerson.