Bronwyn T. Williams

Professor of English and Director, University Writing Center

I’m a professor of English at the University of Louisville where I teach and write about issues of literacy, identity, digital media, popular culture, and creative nonfiction. I love to write and teach writing. My recurring research interests have been the intersections of the literacy practices people engage in through their daily lives and the literacy practices they encounter in schools and universities. I've recently been focusing on issues of literacy and identity, specifically how and why people perceive a sense of agency in a given writing situation. Or, to put it more simply, when do we feel literate? My book on this research, which draws from research both in the U.S. and internationally, is titled Literacy Practices and Perceptions of Agency: Composing Identities and has just been published by Routledge Press.

I also have an ongoing interest in digital media technologies and literacy as well as popular culture. Other current projects include work on community writing projects and writing center research. I also write creative nonfiction, both as an approach to my scholarly writing and as essays on other subjects. My interest in cross-cultural communication and identity has also taken me to a number of different countries to teach and do research, including the United Kingdom and Kazakhstan.

My previous books include New Media Literacies and Participatory Popular Culture Across Borders (with Amy Zenger,), Shimmering Literacies: Popular Culture and Reading and Writing Online; Popular Culture and Representations of Literacy (with Amy Zenger); Identity Papers: Literacy and Power in Higher Education; and Tuned In: Television and the Teaching of Writing. I’ve also published in a number of journals and collections.

My teaching is inextricable from my writing and research. As a teacher I believe that we need to build on the knowledge our students bring into the classroom, and that we can only do this when we listen carefully to what they have to say. I am also interested in the question of how writers respond to unfamiliar literacy situations. Although we cannot prepare our students for every rhetorical or literacy challenge they will meet in their lives, we can work to help them develop a rhetorical awareness that will help them negotiate the unfamiliar writing and reading situations they encounter both inside the academy and beyond. I also believe that writing can be pleasurable and fulfilling, even as it is hard work, and I hope that my teaching provides opportunities for students to realize such moments and achievements. I am currently director of the University of Louisville Writing Center. I have had a broad range of teaching experiences in composition and rhetoric, literature, creative writing, popular culture, and journalism.

For more on my research interests and publications, teaching, and other bits of information, follow the links on the left or visit my page at:


Contact Information

Department of English
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292