Bradley Smith, Ph.D.

  Associate Professor
  708-235-7144 ext. 7144
  Office Location: E1541-Q
  
  College: CAS
  Division of Humanities and Social Sciences
  

Ever since my first experience as a TA in graduate school, I have enjoyed teaching. I find that it’s the most rewarding part of my job as a professor and an academic. It’s a big reason why I’m happy to be working here at Governors State University, where teaching is at the center of the institutional mission. As a writing teacher, I often find that a lot of students—particularly early in their college careers—dislike writing because they had a bad experience with the subject in high school or because they don’t think of themselves as writers. It’s a joy for me to work with these students, especially when I hear that, by the end of the semester, they have not only learned something new about writing but have begun to enjoy some of the experiences and challenges associated with writing complex texts. In every writing class I teach, while working on the course’s particular goals, I try to instill this basic experience of making writing fun.

I began my academic career by earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Northern Illinois University in 2000, followed by a master’s degree in 2003 from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. in English Studies, specializing in Rhetoric and Composition, in 2010 also from ISU. For my dissertation I conducted a study of the conceptual metaphors that students and teachers used to think and talk about writing. Conceptual metaphors are metaphors that form our basic mental models and understandings of complex topics. I found that students and teachers used different conceptual metaphors for thinking about writing and the act of learning to write. As a result, they expected very different things to happen as part of the everyday activities of a writing classroom. For writing teachers to be successful, I concluded, they must employ conceptual metaphors in consistent and strategic ways, in order to produce the desired educational experience for students. In recent years, I have continued to concentrate my scholarship on the role that conceptual metaphors play in thinking about learning to write and the act of writing. This scholarship has resulted in a number of publications and presentations in local and national venues. In addition to teaching at ISU, I have taught a wide variety of writing courses at Lincoln College-Normal, Central Washington University, Wenatchee Valley College, and most recently at Columbia College Chicago. I began teaching at GSU in the fall of 2013.

I enjoy community service projects that encourage learning and that help foster people’s natural curiosity. These kinds of projects are best exemplified by one of my favorite community service projects, which I was involved with while working at Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee, Wash. The project, called “I’m Going to College,” was designed to interest young, lower-income students in attending college. For the project, I ran a mock college writing class for grade school students, introducing them to the kind of writing that college students are asked to do. At the same time, I worked to get these students interested in attending college later in their lives. In this project, as I attempt to do with every writing class, I worked to make writing a fun experience, one that the students would enjoy so that they would continue to work at honing their writing skill all of their lives.

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

“A Study of the Journey Metaphor’s Entailments for Framing Learning” JAEPL (2014). Forthcoming.

“On Reality and Virtuality: A Study of Time-Spaces in Plowing the Dark.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature. 42.3 (2009): 95-108. Print.

Other Publications

“Writing in Transit.” College Composition and Communication. Vignette. (2014). Forthcoming.

Rev. of CCCC Session D.13 “Composing Place and Self: Travel as Metaphor and Motive for Writing.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 17.  (2012) Web.

Rev. of Metaphor and Writing: Figurative Thought in the Discourse of Written Communication, by Philip Eubanks. Composition Studies. 39.2 (2011): 154-157. Print.

“Retelling the Vietnam War: The Role of Realism, and the ‘Realistic,’ in Constructing Narrative in We Were Soldiers.Pimps, Wimps, Studs, Thugs and Gentlemen:Essays on Media Images of Masculinity. Ed. Elwood Watson. Jefferson: McFarland & Co. Publishers, 2009. 180-195. Print. ISBN: 978-0-7864-4305-5.

Smith, Bradley, et al., eds. First-Year Writing Anthology. Columbia College. n.d. Web. 28 August 2012.

Cuti, Linsey and Bradley Smith, eds. The Redbird Reader: A Collection of Student Writing from Language and Composition, 3rd edition, ISU Freshman Anthology, fall 2004-summer 2005. Stipes Publishing. Print. ISBN: 1-58874-403-5.

Invited Talks:

Smith, Bradley and Molly Ades. “Understanding the Inquiry and Ethnography Methods for Teaching Writing and Rhetoric II.” Writing Program Fall Plenary. Columbia College. Columbia College, Chicago. 26 August 2011

“Sponges and Puzzles and Flowers . . . oh my!: Using Conceptual Metaphor to Enhance Classroom Communication.” Teaching and Learning Center Professional Development Series. Kishwaukee College. Kishwaukee College, Malta. 1 October 2010.

“The Instructional Value of Wiki Pages.” Nuts & Bolts of E-Learning Technology. Wenatchee Valley College. Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee. 16 May 2008.


Conference Presentations:

Smith, Bradley and Valerie Perry Rendel. “On the Fringes of Rhetorical Scholarship.” 49th Annual Allerton English Articulation Conference. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Allerton Park and Retreat Center, Monticello. 17 April 2013.

“Identifying the Basics: A Study of Developmental Writing Course Sequences.” Great Lakes Region College Reading and Learning Association Conference. Columbia College, Chicago. 13 October 2012.

“Communication in the First-year Writing Classroom: A Rhetorical and Cognitive Linguistic Study.” Research Network Forum, Conference on College Composition and Communication. America Center, St. Louis. 21 March 2012.

Smith, Bradley and Sarah Meltzer. “Selecting and Reflecting: What Editing a First-Year Writing Anthology Showed Us About Our Teaching.” Reflection and Renewal: 47th Annual Allerton English Articulation Conference. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Allerton Park and Retreat Center, Monticello. 20 April 2011.

Smith, Bradley, et al. “The First-Year Writing Anthology and its Pedagogical Implications.” The Integrated First-Year Experience Conference. Columbia College. Columbia College, Chicago. 18 January 2011.

 “Troubleshooting your Way through a Conversation about Writing.” Evolving Literacies: 45th Annual Allerton English Articulation Conference. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Allerton Park and Retreat Center, Monticello. 13 April 2009.

“Building Community around Difference: Dialogue about Learning and Knowledge in the College Classroom.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. Palmer House, Chicago. 22 March 2006.

“Speaking from Experience…: Peer Interaction and the First-Year Experience” English Studies Symposium at Ewing Manor 2005: Emerging Practices: Rhetoric, Critical Inquiry, and the First-Year Experience. Illinois State University. Ewing Manor, Normal. 1 April 2005.

 “Mel Gibson Versus the World: Realism, the Realistic and We Were Soldiers . . .Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language, and Media. Northern Illinois University. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. 2 April 2004.

“Remaining Men Together: Creating Polyglossia and Undermining Ideology in Fight Club.Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language, and Media. Northern Illinois University. Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. 29 March 2003.

“‘T’were a Tard in t’Loo’: Returning Meaning to Laughter in Infinite Jest.Thirty-First Annual 20th Century Literature Conference. University of Louisville. University of Louisville, Louisville. 28 February 2003.

“Publish or Perish: Getting Students Beyond the Teacher-as-Reader through Magazine Writing.” English Studies Symposium at Ewing Manor 2002: From Learning to Teaching (And Back Again). Illinois State University. Ewing Manor, Normal. 5 April 2002.