Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Lorelei Blackburn
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Lorelei Blackburn


Office: 163 Bessey Hall

Email: lorelei@msu.edu


Research Areas

Service Learning, Community Literacy, Pedagogy


I am formally trained in rhetoric and writing, as well as in pedagogy. And, over the course of the last eight years, I have taught first-year writing; professional and business writing; technical writing; academic writing for adults; and ESL and EFL writing. I have taught classes domestically, online, and in Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucuses, to both native speakers and to ESL/EFL students.

Current research projects:
"Trauma-Informed Pedagogy: Using a trauma-informed approach to create safe learning spaces for trauma- and conflict-affected students." This project researches how trauma-informed care can offer a framework upon which effective pedagogy can be built to help educators create safe spaces in which traumatized students can learn. Ongoing.

"The Affordances of Organic Relationship-Building in Civic Engagement Projects." This research project examines an idea of organic relationship building between scholars and the community members, paying specific attention to how authority is obtained and bestowed.


BA English major, Spanish minor from Purdue University
MA Writing and Rhetoric from DePaul University
PhD coursework completed at MSU

Representative Work

Blackburn, Lorelei, and Ellen Cushman. "Service Learning and Distance: Sustainability in Traditional and Organic Service-Learning Relationships." Service-Learning in Literacy Education: Possibilities for Teacher Educators. Eds. Peter Smagorinsky and Valerie Kinloch. 2014. Print

Blackburn, Lorelei, and Ellen Cushman. "Assessing Sustainability: The Class that Went Terribly Wrong." Unsustainable: Owning Our Best, Short-Lived Efforts at Community Writing Work. Eds. Jessica Restaino and Laurie Cella. 2012. Print.

"Practical Pedagogy: Using A Trauma-Informed Approach To Teach Traumatized Students." International Journal of Arts and Sciences' (IJAS) Multidisciplinary Conference, Florence, Italy. 16 June, 2015.

"Traumatized Students: A practical approach to classroom teaching." Liberal Arts International Conference, Doha, Qatar. 3 February, 2015.

"Sustaining and Developing MENA Regional Writing Centers: A Participatory Workshop/Discussion." Middle East-North Africa Writing Centers Alliance (MENAWCA), Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 7 November, 2014.

Selected Courses Taught

WRA 101
WRA 135
WRA 150
WRA 380