Michelle Grue, alumna of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, has been hired as an Assistant Teaching Professor with a join appointment in UCSB’s College of Creative Studies and Writing Program. Grue joined UC Santa Barbara in 2015 as a masters student in the Department of Education, earning her MA in 2018. She continued in a doctoral program in the same field and completed her Ph.D. in 2020. As a graduate student, she taught for the UCSB Writing Program, and in 2019, became a CCS Writing & Literature Fellow and Teaching Associate at CCS.
In Grue’s new position at UCSB, she will continue to split her time between the UCSB Writing Program and the CCS Writing & Literature program. She will be teaching introductory writing courses in addition to courses in creative nonfiction, multimedia writing, gender studies, and others.
Grue’s strong dedication to UCSB undergraduate and graduate learning can be seen from her enthusiasm for co-organizing research conferences at UCSB, including the first and second Celebrating Black Scholarship Conference in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Both conferences, hosted by the UCSB Black Graduate Student Association, showcased research from Black undergraduate and graduate students at UCSB.
In addition to Grue’s work with students, she has an extensive research background. Grue’s research in Education and Writing is inherently interdisciplinary and draws on Black feminism to investigate diversity issues in academia, creative writing, and digital writing. Her dissertation, “Walking the walk: How Rhetoric and Composition doctoral programs prepare their graduate students for intersectional Writing Studies research,” examines the curriculum of doctoral programs in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition and looks at how they address the study of race and gender issues in writing pedagogy and research. Her thesis specifically focuses on the ways graduate students learn, both officially and unofficially, how to research race and gender in these programs.
Grue’s most recent academic publications include an article that examines the rhetorical performances in the dress practices of Black women professors in the Journal of Multimodal Rhetoric and an essay about Afrofuturism as a frame and resource for literacy instruction. She has presented her work at a variety of national and international conferences. Recently, Grue gave a guest lecture on “Race in the United States” and led an invited workshop on “Diversifying Curriculum? Let’s get started: A hands-on workshop” at the University of Kent in the UK. She presented her research on Mitigating isolation through social media: Twitter use of Black professors in the US and UK at the 2019 Annual Society for Research in Higher Education Conference in Wales.
Aside from her academic work, Grue is an active creative writer. She recently published a poem in the Zingara Poetry Review about race and motherhood in the US called "Cotton and Coconut.” In Astral Waters Press, Grue published a short fantasy story, "Mercy," about a Black mermaid who saves the life of a slave thrown overboard from a slave ship during the TransAtlantic Slave Trade. This story was recently republished in Exposition Review as part of their Expo Recommends: #AmplifyBIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) list and Grue is currently developing it into a novel.