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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Humanities

Advisor 1

Karla Kitalong

Committee Member 1

Andrew Fiss

Committee Member 2

Carlos Amador

Committee Member 3

Harry Denny


Drawing from Stuart Hall and Lawrence Grossberg’s use of articulation theory, this dissertation considers the forces and structures at play in writing center work within the emergent context following the 2016 presidential election and what writing center practitioners can do to promote functional, critical, and ethical literacy development in the face of emotionally charged controversies, broadly circulated illusory beliefs, and an uncertain present. The dissertation proposes an articulation theory heuristic for use in writing center design and writing center sessions. The heuristic is user tested through its application in the context of the Michigan Technological University Multiliteracies Center’s contemporary writing center work. The result of the analysis leads to an examination of possible interventions through center design and coach training that may improve literacies and open possibilities for working through the tenacious cultural problems of the emergent context.