Professor of English
- Baker Hall 145 H
Department of English, Carnegie Mellon University, Baker Hall 259, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Area of Study
Professional Writing, Rhetoric
BioMy work has led me down two complementary paths of inquiry. My first love was an attempt to understand writing as a social-cognitive process and to teach the art of rhetorical problem solving. This research, which allowed me to work as co-director of the National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy at Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon, helped shape both my teaching (published in Problem Solving Strategies for Writing in College and Community) and my inquiry into what students are actually doing (in The Construction of Negotiated Meaning: A Social Cognitive Theory of Writing).
Looking at writers as rhetorical agents and at writing as a form of social action also lead me into the collaboration that created Pittsburgh’s Community Literacy Center (whose story I documented in Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Public Engagement). The CLC’s practice of intercultural inquiry, which supports the rhetorical agency of marginalized speakers, has since allowed me to both study and promote the rhetorical work of deliberative local publics in the form of Carnegie Mellon Community Think Tanks organized around issues from urban workplace policy to acknowledging learning disabilities, to supporting low income “independent” students. My current research tracks the outcomes socially engaged education has had for students up to ten years after college.
Ph.D., Rutgers University
BA, Simpson College
ResearchCognitive rhetoric, community literacy, the public sphere
PublicationsFlower, L. “Going Public—In a Disabling Discourse.” In J. Ackerman and D. Coogan (Eds), The Public Work of Rhetoric: Citizen-Scholars and Civic Engagement. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 137-156, 2010
Flower, L. “Difference-Driven Inquiry: A Working Theory of Local Public Deliberation.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 46 (4), 308-330, 2016.
Flower, L. “Hidden Frames: Writing a Road to Change”. College Composition and Communication. 73 (1), 27-51(2021).
Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Public Engagement. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2008
"Going Public-In a Disabling Discourse." In J. Ackerman and D. Coogan (Eds), The Public Work of Rhetoric: Citizen-Scholars and Civic Engagement. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2010
"Talking Across Difference: Intercultural Rhetoric and the Search for Situated Knowledge." College Composition and Communication, 55 (1). 38-68, 2003