Congratulations

to Pegeen Reichert Powell on the publication of her new book

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Retention & Resistance - Writing Instruction and Students Who Leave

Columbia College Chicago Department of English would like to congratulate associate professor Pegeen Reichert Powell on the publication of her new book.


Retention & Resistance combines personal student narratives with a critical analysis of the current approach to retention in colleges and universities and explores how retention can inform a revision of goals for first-year writing teachers.

Retention is a vital issue for institutions, but as these students' stories show, leaving college is often the result of complex and idiosyncratic situations that make institutional efforts difficult and ultimately ineffective. An adjustment of institutional and pedagogical objectives is needed to refocus on educating as many students as possible, including those who might leave before graduation.

Much of the pedagogy, curricula, and methodologies of composition studies assume students are preparing for further academic study. Retention & Resistance argues for a new kairotic pedagogy that moves toward an emphasis on the present classroom experience and takes students' varied experiences into account. Infusing the discourse of retention with three student voices, Reichert Powell explores the obligation of faculty to participate in designing an institution that educates all students, no matter where they are in their educational journey or how far that journey will go.


"Reichert Powell makes a compelling case for why we need to pay critical attention ti the discourse of retention . . . The questions that emerge from this critical attention and how we answer them have significant implications for the teaching of writing and the field of rhetoric and composition studies at large."

— Anis Bawarshi, University of Washington


Published by Utah State University Press, Retention & Resistance is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com

Pegeen Reichert Powell

Associate Professor

First-Year Writing



Pegeen Reichert Powell received her Ph.D. in English from Miami University (Oxford, OH). Pegeen teaches in the writing program, with a particular interest in teaching Introduction to College Writing and other first-year courses.

Pegeen’s research includes work on pedagogy, basic writing, critical discourse analysis, and mothering studies. She has published in College Composition and Communication and JAC: Journal of Advanced Composition, as well as in edited collections in composition studies and in mothering studies. A collection of essays about feminist mothering titled Mothers Who Deliver, which Pegeen co-edited with Jocelyn Fenton Stitt, was published by SUNY Press (2010).


Before coming to Columbia, Pegeen taught at Aurora University in Aurora, IL; St. Xavier University in Chicago; and Duke University in Durham, NC.