Brenda Glascott

Animals In Pools - Georgia Gerber

Brenda Glascott, Ph.D.

Director of the Honors College                                     Associate Professor of Humanities
Office: UH 105  |  Email:
Ph.D., English -  University of Pittsburgh, 2007
On the PSU Faculty since 2016


I earned my PhD in English Studies with a specialization in Composition, Literacy, Rhetoric, and Pedagogy. I study the history of women’s rhetorics and literacy practices. My research considers how women navigate rhetorical agency in relation to the ideological constrictions imposed by their literacy sponsors and historical contexts. I have been particularly interested in how rhetorical and literacy conventions embed cultural values within composing processes and genres, reading practices, and conceptions of rhetorical agency. My interest in the interdisciplinary field of Literacy Studies led me to co-found the scholarly journal Literacy in Composition Studies, for which I am the Managing Editor. The journal is open-access and can be found at

My current research project examines how women labor activists fostered rhetorical agency and transformed the public spheres they operated within in response to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (1911) that horrified the city of New York and the national public. In this project, I am developing a theory of micropublics as a way of understanding the overlapping and conflicting rhetorics emerging from the coalition of middle-class Anglo and working-class ethnically marked women activists that effectively used the fire as a catalyst for legislative action. 


Like many in Composition/Rhetoric, I have been influenced by and borrowed from multiple scholars and schools of thought in developing my approach to teaching. Critical pedagogy is the theory or school of thought that I think is most visible day-to-day in the courses I teach.  In this theorization of teaching and the classroom, the teacher seeks to cooperatively build knowledge with students. In order to accomplish this, the course must be built around real inquires so that the teacher becomes a learner alongside her students. This approach to pedagogy grew out of critiques of the ideological work historically enacted on students in schools. Critical pedagogy seeks to position students as active investigators and shapers of knowledge who will continue to work from this activated position in other parts of their lives (say, for instance, as a citizen).  Here are some elements of the critical pedagogy classroom you will encounter in this class: 1. Open inquiries which we will pursue to attempt to articulate provisional answers; 2. A student-centered, discussion-based seminar; 3. An emphasis on methodologies over information; 4. Written feedback that I will undertake as an honest but generous reader.

Selected Publications

Glascott, Brenda. “Revising Letters and Reclaiming Space: The Case for Expanding the Search for Nineteenth-Century Women’s Letter-Writing Rhetoric into Imaginative Literature.” College English 78.2 (2015): 162-182.

Glascott, Brenda. “Evangelical Masculinity in The Pilgrim Boy: A Historical Analysis with Methodological Implications.” Mapping Christian Rhetorics: Connecting Conversations, Charting New Territories. Eds. Michael-John DePalma and Jeffrey M. Ringer. New York: Routledge, 2014. 141-158. Invited chapter. Awarded Book of the Year by the Religious Communication Association

Glascott, Brenda. “Constricting Keywords: Rhetoric and Literacy in our History Writing.” Literacy in Composition Studies 1.1 (2013): n. pag. Web. 

Parks, Steve, Brenda Glascott, Brian Bailie, Heather Christiansen, and Stacey Waite. The Best of the Independent Rhetoric and Composition Journals 2011. Anderson, South Carolina: Parlor Press, 2013.

Glascott, Brenda. “Dying Readers: Power and Self-Abnegation in Nineteenth-Century Evangelical Literacy Narratives.” Reader 63/64 (2012/2013): 84-113.

Glascott, Brenda. “An (Em)bodied Workshop: When Service Learning Gets Bawdy.” Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service-Learning, and Community Literacy 9.2 (2010): 70-88.