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In Spring 2011 I was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Grant to "consult, collaborate, and inform" on the future of the Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications at the University of Winnipeg, located in the city of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. The Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications department (hereafter, RWC) was a pioneer in writing instruction in Canada, where it became the first unit to establish itself independently as a department with a full-‐time faculty committed to both teaching and scholarship in writing and rhetoric. It remains a rare phenomenon on the Canadian higher education scene, where studies and programs in rhetoric and writing have developed late and along a different trajectory from the discipline in the United States. Because of its unique history, the faculty is positioned to make significant contributions to the further development of writing instruction and scholarship in rhetoric and writing in Canada and beyond. At the same time, the close fit between the department’s character and the mission of the institution makes it a strategic asset to the university. This report presents my findings, analyses, and recommendations to the Department and the Fulbright Specialist Program, based on six weeks of inquiry and conversations.


A Fulbright Project Report prepared for The Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications, the University of Winnipeg.

© 2011, University of Winnipeg. All rights reserved.

Included with the kind written permission of the publisher.

Original Publication Citation

Phelps, L. W. (2011). Liminal Practice in a Maturing Writing Department. Fulbright Project Report, Aug.