John Tassoni

John Tassoni


Joint Appointment, Department of English
203D Johnston Hall, Middletown

Dr. Tassoni joined the Department of English at Miami University in August 1994. Prior to that time, he taught at Francis Marion University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Widener University. Since arriving at Miami, he has served as Coordinator of English and Co-Coordinator of the Center of Teaching and Learning at the Middletown campus. He has served, as well, as Director of College Composition and University Director of Liberal Education. A teacher of writing and literature across a variety of course levels, he is a past winner of Miami Middletown’s Teaching Excellence Award and the Distinguished Educator Award from Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Tassoni’s research interests have explored the intersections of critical pedagogy, composition theory and practice, faculty development, institutional critique, issues in basic writing, writing centers, integrative writing, and access to postsecondary education. He has published multiple articles on the teaching of literature and writing in journals such as Teaching English in the Two-Year College, Writing on the Edge, Pedagogy, and Journal of Basic Writing. He has co-edited three books and is the founding editor of two scholarly journals—Journal on Centers of Teaching and Learning and Open Words: Access and English Studies (with William H. Thelin). 


Ph.D, Literature and Criticism, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
M.A., 19th- and 20th-Century British and American Literature, Villanova Univeristy
B.A., English (Creative Writing), Widener University


  • Seminar in Integrative Studies II
  • Fundamentals of Writing
  • Writer’s Studio
  • Composition and Rhetoric
  • Composition and Literature
  • Life and Thought in American Literature to 1860
  • Sexuality and Literature
  • Integrative Writing for Global Contexts
  • American Women Regionalist Writers
  • Writing Center Consulting
  • Theory and Practice of Teaching Composition
  • Issues in Basic Writing

Professional Affiliations

  • Professional and Organizational Development Network
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • American Association of Colleges and Universities



Composing Other Spaces.  Co-Edited with Douglas Reichert-Powell. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton, 2009.

Blundering for a Change: Errors and Expectations in Critical Pedagogy. Co-Edited with William H. Thelin. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 2000.

Sharing Pedagogies: Students and Teachers Write About Dialogic Practices. Co-Edited with Gail Tayko. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1997.

Selected Chapters and Articles

“Deep Shit: A Dialogue About Rhetoric, Pedagogy, and the Working Class.” (Co-Authored with Sara Webb-Sunderhaus and Richard Lee Walts.) Open Words: Access and English Studies 2.1 (2007): 24-47.

“(Re)Membering Basic Writing at a Public Ivy: History for Institutional Redesign.” Journal of Basic Writing 25.1 (2006): 96-124.

 “The Student Literary Magazine on a Two-Year Campus: Where Politics of Place Meet Politics of Literary Representation.” (Co-Authored with Eric Melbye.) Pedagogy 6.2 (2006): 289-308.

“Blundering Border Talk: An English Faculty Member Discusses the Writing Center at His Two-Year Campus.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College. 33.3 (2006): 264-278.

“Retelling Basic Writing at a Regional Campus: Iconic Discourse and Selective Function Meet Social Class.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College 33.2 (2005): 171-184.

“Forty-minute Drive to the Main Campus: Teaching for and from Rhetoric and Composition's Invisible Borderlands." Culture Shock and the Practice of Profession: Training the Next Wave in Rhetoric and Composition. Eds. Susan Romano and Virginia Anderson. Hampton, 2005. 101-119.

“Not Just Anywhere, Anywhen: Mapping Change Through Studio Work.” (Co-Authored with Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson.) Journal of Basic Writing 24.1 (2005): 68-92.

“Editing Dialogics: Ethical Issues Concerning Student Contributors in Edited Collections.” (Co-Authored with Gail Tayko). Writing on the Edge 13.2 (2003): 83-101.

“Rhetoric and the Writer’s Profile: Problematizing Directed Self-Placement.” (Co-Authored with Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson and Jeff Sommers). Assessing Writing 7 (2000): 165-183.

"Deep Response: An Ecofeminist, Dialogical Approach to Introductory Literature Classrooms." Ecofeminist Literary Criticism: Theory, Interpretation, Pedagogy. Eds. Patrick D. Murphy and Greta Gaard. Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1998. 204-23. (Rpt.)

"A Course in Crisis: Deconcising College Composition and Creative Writing." Teaching Writing Creatively. Ed. David Starkey. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook. 1998. 15-28.

"Should I Write About My Grandparents or America?: Writing Center Tutors, Secrets, and Democratic Change." Journal of Teaching Writing 15.2. (1998): 195-209.

"The Liberatory Composition Teacher's Obligation to Writing Centers at Two-Year Colleges." Teaching English in the Two-Year College 25.1 (1998): 34-43.

"Deep Response: An Ecofeminist, Dialogical Approach to Introductory Literature Classrooms." ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 3.1 (1996): 131-154.

"Lying with Sea-gull: The Ecofeminist Dialogics of Beauty in Robinson Jeffers's 'Inhumanist.'" ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 2.2 (1996): 45-63.

"'I can step out of myself a little': Feminine Virtue and Female Friendship in Hannah Foster's Coquette." Communication and Women's Friendships: Parallels and Intersections in Literature and Life. Eds. Janet Doubler Ward and JoAnna Stephens Mink. Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1993. 97-111.

"'I'm not a poor slave': Student-Generated Curricula and Race Relations." (Co-Authored with Gail Tayko). Social Issues in the English Classroom. Eds. C. Mark Hurlbert and Samuel Totten. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1992. 258-66.

"Redburn's Kunstlerroman: Nineteenth-Century Linguistics and Melville's Signification of Delusion." Nineteenth Century Studies 6 (1992): 51-60.

"Play and Co-option in Kenneth Koch's Ko, or a Season on Earth: 'Freedom and the Realizable World!'" Sagetrieb 10 (1992) 123-32.