Wendy Williams

Biography

Dr. Wendy R. Williams, Associate Professor of English, is interested in multimodal forms of writing and narrative (e.g., graphic novels, picturebooks, animated works, movies, songs, spoken word poems) and the ways that students make sense of these works and compose original pieces of their own. She is the author of Listen to the Poet: Writing, Performance, and Community in Youth Spoken Word Poetry (2018, University of Massachusetts Press) and numerous articles and chapters. Currently, Dr. Williams is working on two books (monographs), Mentoring Youth Writers and Visual Storytellers, which share findings from several years of original research. She also serves as the "Teaching Creative Writing" column editor for English Journal.

Professor Williams is the founding director of ASU's Young Authors' Studio, a free writing program for youth in grades 5-12 that is administered by undergraduate and graduate students, and she teaches in the Narrative Studies MA program and the English BA program in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts. She has designed several new courses for ASU, including ENG 446/520 Visual Narratives, ENG 466 Studio Ghibli Films, ENG 473 Critical Approaches to Children's Literature, ENG 505 Narrative Research Methods, and ENG 484/584 Mentoring Youth Writers.

Before earning her Ph.D., she taught high school and middle school English, studied Shotokan karate, and went to culinary school. In her free time, she enjoys playing the cello and reading visual narratives.

Education

Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction: English Education, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University (2015)

Publications

 

Book (Monograph)

Williams, W.R. (2018). Listen to the Poet: Writing, Performance, and Community in Youth Spoken Word Poetry. Boston: University of Massachusetts Press. 

 

Articles and Chapters

Williams, W.R. (2021). "Reflections on Writing and Teaching: A Study of Five Writing Contest Winners." English Teaching: Practice and Critique. (Currently available through early view; print issue forthcoming.)

Williams, W.R. & ByBee, K.D. (2021). “Visions of the City: Examining Urban Landscapes in Shaun Tan’s Visual Narratives.” In L. Nicosia and J. Nicosia (Eds.), Examining Images of Urban Life: A Resource for Teachers of Young Adult Literature, pp. 151-163. Myers Education Press. 

Williams, W.R. (2020). “Examining Studio Ghibli’s Animated Films: A Study of Students’ Viewing Paths and Creative Projects.” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 63(6): 639-650.

Williams, W.R. (2020). “Taking Risks with Form.” English Journal, 110(2), 104-106.

Williams, W.R. (2019). “Attending to the Visual Aspects of Visual Storytelling: Using Art and Design Concepts to Interpret and Compose Narratives with Images.” Journal of Visual Literacy, 38(1-2): 66-82.

Williams, W.R. (2019). “Exploring the Art of Spoken Word Poetry with Students: A Sample Unit.” In K. Macro and M. Zoss (Eds.), A Symphony of Possibilities: A Handbook for Arts Integration in Secondary English Classrooms, pp. 36-50. National Council of Teachers of English Press. 

Williams, W.R., & Reid, S.F. (2019). “Young Authors’ Studio: Writing and Learning Together in Arizona.” Literacy Today, 38-39. 

Williams, W.R. (2018). “Attempting Arts Integration: Secondary Teachers’ Experiences with Spoken Word Poetry.” Pedagogies: An International Journal, 13(2), 92-105. 

Williams, W.R. & Blasingame, J. (2017). “Celebrating All Voices: Assuring Diversity in Young Adult Literature.” In J.A. Hayn, J.S. Kaplan, and K.R. Clemmons (Eds.), Teaching Young Adult Literature Today: Insights, Considerations, and Perspectives for the Classroom Teacher, 2nd ed., pp. 223-250. Rowman and Littlefield. 

Williams, W.R. (2017). “Learning from a Teacher-Machine: Terror and Implanted Knowledge in The Prisoner.” In M.M. Dalton and L.R. Linder (Eds.), Screen Lessons: What We Have Learned from Teachers on Television and in the Movies, pp. 59-66. Peter Lang. 

Williams, W.R. (2015). “Every Voice Matters: Spoken Word Poetry in and outside of School.” English Journal, 104(4), 77-82. 

Williams, W.R. (2014). “New Technologies, New Possibilities for the Arts and Multimodality in English Language Arts.” Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE English Language Arts), 14(4), 327-355. 

Williams, W.R. (2014). “Art Does Align with Common Core State Standards.” Language Arts, 92(2), 120. 

Williams, W.R. (2013). “‘Untold Stories to Tell’: Making Space for the Voices of Youth Songwriters.” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 56(5), 369-379. 

Williams, W.R. (2013). “What’s Cooking in Your YA Literature Class?” In A.P. Nilsen, et al. (Eds.), Literature for Today’s Young Adults (9th ed.), pp. 378-379. Pearson. 

Courses

Summer 2021
Course Number Course Title
ENG 466 Studies in International Film
Spring 2021
Course Number Course Title
ENG 466 Studies in International Film
ENG 471 Literature for Young Adults
ENG 484 Internship
ENG 584 Internship
Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
ENG 446 Visual Narratives
ENG 520 Visual Narratives
ENG 590 Reading and Conference
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
ENG 466 Studies in International Film
ENG 484 Internship
ENG 584 Internship
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
ENG 446 Visual Narratives
ENG 505 Narrative Research Methods
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
ENG 466 Studies in International Film
ENG 473 Crit Approaches Children's Lit
ENG 598 Special Topics
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
ENG 446 Visual Narratives
ENG 484 Internship
ENG 520 Visual Narratives
ENG 584 Internship
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
ENG 505 Narrative Research Methods
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
ENG 473 Crit Approaches Children's Lit
ENG 484 Internship
ENG 499 Individualized Instruction
ENG 584 Internship
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
COM 394 Special Topics
ENG 394 Special Topics
ENG 471 Literature for Young Adults

Service

Dr. Williams is the founding director of Young Authors' Studio (YAS), ASU's free writing program for youth in grades 5-12, which launched in 2017. In this program, undergraduate and graduate students serve as writing mentors for youth while earning college credit. YAS moved online in 2020 and today consists of a website with writing activities, online writing workshops, and Unscriptedan online journal for youth. She is also the force behind ASU's Sparky Slam. This spoken word poetry competition for youth poets was held in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Both Young Authors' Studio and the Sparky Slam have welcomed kids onto ASU campuses, celebrated youth voices, encouraged out-of-school writing, provided leadership opportunities for ASU students, and made college more real and accessible to people in the community.

In addition to doing service that builds bridges between ASU and the community, Professor Williams is the "Teaching Creative Writing" column editor for English Journal and Co-Chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards in Writing Advisory Committee. She has served as Chair of her college's Awards Committee, where she streamlined the application process, established new grants for the college, and added awards to recognize outstanding staff, equity and inclusion, innovation, and faculty who mentor other faculty members. Dr. Williams is also the founder of the annual fall series, Humanities Dialogues @Poly, which promotes the scholarship of colleagues in her unit and encourages cross-disciplinary conversations with students and professors. 

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