Faculty Who Care
Julie Doxsee joined the School of Humanities and Sciences as Assistant Professor of English in 2016 after teaching at a private university near Istanbul’s Black Sea region for nine years. During this period overseas, she developed a pedagogical foundation in Contrastive and Intercultural Rhetoric, carrying to praxis a multi-modal approach to writing instruction based in Kaplan’s concretization of regional discourse patterns. Her ESL academic writing, creative writing, and literature undergraduates understood the integral relationship between culture and critical thinking. In 2015 she collaborated with colleagues to introduce new a graduate writing curriculum for scholars entering discipline-specific global communities, counselling graduates on SEAE for dissertations and conference papers. She also served as Director and co-coordinator of a unique CBI-medium academic writing program. In addition to a career in academic writing, she is an actively publishing poet and nonfiction author. June of 2008 marked the release of her first full-length poetry collection, Undersleep, from Octopus Books. A second full-length book of poetry, Objects for a Fog Death, which includes poetic treatments of post-Platonic aesthetics, was released by Black Ocean in April 2010. A third book of prose, The Next Monsters, an abstract consideration of domestic and social violence, was released in summer 2013 (also Black Ocean). A fourth poetry collection, What Replaces Us When We Go, is forthcoming in spring 2017. Recent projects include a book of “trance” fiction (Superplex), and a nonfiction book (Divided) about pregnancy, gender roles, and motherhood in Turkey. Doxsee holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from the University of Denver (2007) and an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2002). Professional memberships include Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). She also serves as co-editor of the Central Pen literary journal and fills seats on the 2017 CRI/SOC faculty search and General Education committees.
In 2016 I returned home to the States—to Pennsylvania with my twin sons—during a period of increasing instability in Turkey, my home for many years. We love hiking in Wildwood Park, visiting Harrisburg’s museums and libraries, shopping at farmers markets, and taking day trips to the many family attractions nearby. We also love spending weekend hours eating long Turkish-style breakfasts. I continue to write about my experiences living in Istanbul, and am planning a small East Coast reading tour to coincide with the release of my next book. I very much look forward to continuing to get to know the folklore, culture, and landscape of Central Pennsylvania.
College students become social citizens as they become critical thinkers and writers; my promotion of this idea extends beyond the classroom into the real world where problems occupy the minds of the public. I emphasize that to critically examine social issues is to begin to devise realistic solutions through building dialogue, understanding divergent perspectives, respecting social differences, and finding common bonds. Writing becomes the mode through which to organize, develop, and form conclusions for newly-exposed avenues of thought. When a student is invested in the objectives of the course, she is not only developing empathy for other citizens, she is articulating personal influences that will lead to a more comprehensive relationship with the world—its problems, passions, and idiosyncrasies. My enthusiasm for teaching writing comes alive in the classroom; I believe that my attention to individual students and to the community as a whole comes from my ability to carefully listen and respond in ways that are thought-provoking, inspirational, and respectful. Likewise, in my class, students learn to carefully listen and respond meaningfully—with insightful interpretations, suggestions, and ideas—to me and to their peers. Professors I know and admire make an active effort to form relationships with individual students, moving student work from where it is to where it could be, elucidating connections that a student herself may not see. This ability to unearth potential in a student’s work comes from experience, from a knack for mentorship, and from love for the art of teaching. I believe that a good teacher has the power to draw out what exists in the student’s soul, and that encouraging a student to keep “pen in hand” is a way to turn that seed of potential into something miraculous. For the benefit of the classroom community, the additional capacity to adapt and re-calibrate pedagogical content according to the complexion of the class, the ongoing conversation of the course, and the collective needs of the group is crucial to the intellectual development of the class. One of the great delights of teaching is that I find myself in the position of learning more from my students than I could possibly teach—one of the many aspects of my career that I find indelibly rewarding.