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Ghanashyam Sharma

Publications, Presentations

Dissertation

Other Research Projects/Plans

Education

Teaching

Research,
Scholarship

Service, Admin Experience

New Media

publicationsPUBLICATION

• “Digital Storytelling in the Composition Classroom: Addressing the Challenges.” Computers and Composition Online, Winter 2013.
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• “Review of Student Mobility and the Internationalization of Higher Education: National Policies and Strategies from Six World Regions (A Project Atlas Report) sponsored by the International Institute of Education.” Journal of International Students, Fall.
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• “The Third Eye: An Exhibit of Literacy Narratives from Nepal.” Stories that Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives. (Edited multimodal collection). Ed. H. Lewis Ulman, Scott L. DeWitt, Cynthia L. Selfe. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2012. Web. (in "press")
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This chapter exhibits and discusses literacy narratives that were contributed to the DALN by seven teachers and scholars of English from Nepal, a small country in South Asia. I first develop theoretical and analytical frameworks, using which I later discuss how each of the narrators puts disparate details of his or her literacy experiences into a thematically coherent story. My intention behind creating and using those frameworks is threefold. First, I argue that multimodal literacy narratives like these should not be seen merely as “interesting” cultural artifacts that are mediated by new technologies; they should be recognized as semiotically rich scholarly texts that deserve to be researched, studied, discussed, and written about. Second, I address a number of challenges that scholars will encounter while researching, understanding and writing about such texts; some of those challenges are due to the unfamiliar cultural content, others are the result of a complex convergence of local with global discourses about literacy, and some others cause by the multimodality of the texts. Finally, I analyze the stories in order to show how narratives like these, which are at once intensely personal and socio-politically significant, gain their full rhetorical force and semiotic richness when presented in multimodal forms. I conclude by arguing that the study of such artifacts has become both viable and necessary as serious scholarly work. (View draft.)

• "Monolingualism among Multilingual Scholars and its Implications for ESP/EAP." Journal of the IATEFL ESP SIG. October 2012.
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• “Criticalizing the pedagogy of English studies.” Bodhi: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Kathmandu University). 4.1 (2011): 111-35.
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Even in postcolonial societies and far-flung global peripheries, English Studies still retains its traditional canons of colonial British literature, Enlightnenment narratives, critical and theoretical appratuses emanating from the socio-cultural realities of Western societies, and the tendency to view the world from Orientalist lenses. As a result, while the discipline retains its popularity, the knowledge and skills that English graduates gain through their prestigious degrees are stunningly irrelevant to the professions in the developing world into which they enter upon graduation. This article discusses the lack of relevance and productive application of higher education in English Studies in Nepal, where more students enrol into English literature programs than, for instance, all their counterparts in science and engineering combined. The number of students who fail their degrees in English are stunning, and worse than that is the fact that even those who technically pass their exams understand little and make little use of the content of the curriculum. This article argues that as a result of undue focus on the canons rather than relevance of the content of curricula in English Studies, the epistemological agency of students in English Studies in societies like Nepal is suppressed rather than promoted. It proposes a pedagogical solution to the dismal situation: it argues that it is possible to increase students' understanding of the content of the curriculum and subsequently their ability to consciously respond to and purposefully use that content in their lives and work by foregrounding pedagogy rather than critical/postcolonial theory, by putting the students' and the society's need before the legacies of distant cultures and traditions, and more specifically adapting critical pedagogies in order to enhance the epistemological agency of the students vis-a-vis the dominance of the contents/canons of the discipline.
Here's the link to the full text online.

• “Global Popular Culture and Literacy Practices of Nepalese Youth Online.” Co-authored with Bal K. Sharma. In New Media Literacies and Participatory Popular Culture Across Borders. Eds. Bronwyn Williams and Amy Zenger. London: Routledge, 2012.
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Based on a research of online social networking activities of college going youths in Nepal, this chapter shows and discusses how increasing access to global popular culture and literacy practices enables young people around the world to subvert traditional hierarchy in the access to knowledge, develop new “glocal” cultures, and bring about a convergence of multiple forms of literacy. In contrast to conventional belief about clashes between global and local cultures, traditional and modern values, and school and out-of-school literacies, this study shows that young people appropriate, mesh, and apply all those resources to fulfill their needs and desires.

• “Rethinking Language and Writing in Composition.” JAC. 29 (1&2): 2009. 251-55. (a response)
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This essay was a response to the symposium papers presented at the 2009 Watson Symposium, an event that brought together some of the promiment scholars who directly or indirecely address the emerging issue of multilingualism and translingualism in composition and rhetoric: Bruce Horner, Min-Zhan Lu, John Trimbur, Suresh Canagarajah, Vershawn Young, Damian Baca, Scott Lyons, Jacqueline Royster, Deborah Brandt, and Catherine Prendergast. It responded to one of the major themes in the symposium, namely that the two key terms of these disciplines--language and writing--are being redefined as a result of linguistic diversification of the academy as well as increasing transnational/cross-cultural flows of knowledge. In order to respond to this theme in the symposium, I offered my personal experiences with language and writing--especially how I did not see orders of and boundaries around the many languages and language varieties that I learned as a result of being in the societies--suggesting that multi- and translingual experiences are more often the norm rather than exceptions in todays world. I suggested that "disruptive rethinking about language and writing will allow composition studies to free itself from the myths of standard English and academic writing. . . . [because there is no denying that] standard English and academic writing are contextually defined and rhetorically negotiated in the process of communication and composition," rather than being fixed entiries we can set out to teach.
NON-REFEREEED WORKS

• “A Teacher's Letter Home: Educational Worldviews and Approaches to ELT” Journal of NELTA (Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association). 13. 1-2 (2008): 131-36.
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Critical Pedagogy has vitalized the discussion of language teaching as well as that of education in general in many societies today. The practical application of the ideas and approaches of this discourse, however, does not match the passion with which many teachers discuss, present, and publish on the subject. In societies like our own [Nepal], for instance, few teachers seem to really believe that the theoretical, political, and visionary ideas of critical pedagogy can really be implemented in the classroom. They are quick to suggest that our material conditions do not allow us to do anything drastic as start implementing the ideas of critical pedagogy. In this article, I suggest that it is not material circumstances like the lack of resources or the size of our classes that keep us from brining the great philosophies and theories of education into our classrooms; it is instead our outlooks, beliefs, and commitment towards what education should do that limit our thoughts and actions. I share my experiences of reading and working with language teachers from different countries, arguing that we need to be inspired by the examples of other societies where humble teachers like ourselves have thought of and put into practice visionary ideas in order to transform education.

• “Teaching: What, How, and Why?” Chrysanthemum. (Society of English Studies in Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal), 5. (2007): 27-31.
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In this brief article published in a journal run by the Nepalese organization of students of English Studies, I argued that without making transparent the "how" of interpretive strategies and the "why" of curricular goals behind literary content being taught, teaching the content of literature can potentially further mystify students. With an anecdote, I illustrate how even the best teachers can fail to teach in ways that students' learning will last beyond the course and the degree. I suggested that it is when the teacher shares his or her understanding of the text along with his or her interpretive strategies and the curricular/educational goal behind teaching the text that the teaching becomes relevant to the student and socially also productive.

CREATIVE WRITING

• Dukhirahane Desh (a collection of poems in Nepali), Sunlight Publication, Kathmandu, 2006.
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This anthology of poetry in Nepali centers on the democratic revolution of 1990-2006 in Nepal. With a few exception of poems about love, life, and general social commentary, the collection expresses the visceral reaction to the fear, anxiety, and discomfort of the time. The title is hard to translate, but the closest that I can get in English would be "A Country that Continues to Pain" ("pain" being a verb in Nepali, which expresses neither as involuntary a sensation as "to be in pain" nor so voluntary as in "to hurt oneself," because even though the pain is suffered by the poems' persona, the country itself is the quasi-victim of the "third voice" in Nepali syntax in this expression). As the almost impossible attempt to translate the title indicates, translation doesn't do much justice to poetry, but here is one rendering of the title poem from this collection:

When they threatened
With their guns pointed at me
I decided to seal these lips
That kept daring to speak rebellion
          Because I could not keep listening to the cries of persecution
          I shoved cotton pads into my ears
Then I blindfolded myself
Because I could not bear to see the oppression anymore
          Corruption stank beyond tolerance
          I managed to somehow shut these nostrils
Now I was afraid that the pores of my skin would speak out
So I waxed my whole body and stayed at home

          But alas
          A country that had pained for a long time
          Had rankled, festered
          Inside my heart

          One day
          Unprompted
          The pus of poetry started to flow

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

• “Writing With the World: Using Alternative Rhetorical Models to Unpack Traditional Argumentation.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Las Vegas, NV, March 16-19, 2013.
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• “Beyond the Greco-Roman View of Rhetoric: The Use of Nyaya Sutra Argument in a Writing Classroom.” Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Philadelphia, PA, May 24-28, 2012.
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• "Does Language Matter? Non-Native English Speaking Scholars’ Perceptions of Language Difference in Academic Writing in the Disciplines," (proposal accepted) Conference on College Composition and Communication, St. Louis, Missouri, Apr., 2012.
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• "Epistemological Crossroads: Writing Practices of Multilingual Scholars in the Academic Disciplines," The 22nd Pennsylvania State University Conference on Rhetoric and Composition, State College, Pennsylvania, July 11, 2011.
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• “Global Popular Culture and Literacy Practices of Nepalese Youth Online,” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Atlanta, Georgia, Apr. 8, 2011.
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• "Navigating Epistemological Worldviews: Nepalese Graduate Students in Rhetoric and Composition Programs in the US," Conference on College Composition and Communication, Louisville, Kentucky, March 18, 2010.
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• "Implications of the Politics of Language involving International Teaching Assistants for Composition Studies," Thomas R. Watson Conference, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 15, 2010.
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• “Fear of the Un-American University: Popular Sentiments and Public Debates about Higher Education in Nineteenth Century America.” Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Minneapolis, May 30, 2010.
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• “Politics of Technology in Education: The Dangers of Celebration and Resistance.” Kentucky Philological Association Conference, Richmond, Kentucky, Mar. 9, 2010.
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• “Marilyn Nelson’s The Cachoeira Tales as Transcultural ‘World’ Literature.” The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900, Louisville, Feb. 19, 2010.
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• “At the Table with the Enemy: Engaging the Public with the Rhetoric of Diplomacy,” Annual Graduate and Undergraduate Student Conference on Literature, Composition and Rhetoric, University of Chatanooga, Chatanooga, Tennessee, Oct. 17, 2009.
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• “Neither Resistance nor Zeal: A Critical View of Technology in Research Writing.” Thomas R. Watson Conference, U of Louisville, Louisville, KY, Oct. 16, 2008.
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• “The Politics of Global English: Pedagogical Response to a Double Bind.” Kentucky Philological Association Conference, Louisville, KY, Mar. 9, 2008.
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• “Perceptions and Perspectives: The Journey of Knowledge in Abhi Subedi’s Fire in the Monastery.” Literary Association of Nepal Annual Conference, Kathmandu, March 2, 2005.
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• “Teaching Speaking: Designing Activities for Large Classes.” Annual International Conference of the Nepal English Language Teachers Association (NELTA), Kathmandu, Feb, 26 2001.
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• “Teaching Listening: Developing Student-Centered Activities.” Annual International Conference of the Nepal English Language Teachers Association (NELTA), Kathmandu, Feb. 24, 2000.  
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WORKSHOPS, OTHER PRESENTATIONS

INVITED SESSION

  • “Enhancing Collaborative Learning through the Use of Wikis and Blogs,” Celebration of Teaching and Learning, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Louisville, Feb, 10, 2012. 

WORKSHOPS ON CAMPUS

• "Using Wiki as a Collaborative Learning Tool" (across the disciplines), a workshop for the Dine and Discover series organized by the University of Louisville, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, September 17, 2010.
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• “Global/Local Tensions in the 'Third Gender' Movement of Nepal” (a talk based on a paper that won the Maddox Prize for UofL Women and Gender Studies department's best research paper, 2010), March 27, 2010.
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• "Using Wiki for Enhancing Collaborative Learning in the Writing Classroom," a multimodal poster presented at the "Digital Media and Learning in a Social World" Pre-Conference Workshop, Conference on College Composition and Communication, Louisville, Kentucky, March 17, 2010.
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• SafeAssign workshops, University of Louisville, Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning (a yearlong project 2009-10).
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• "Wiki and Blog workshop," co-presented with Ryan Trauman, a workshop for the University of Louisville, Composition Program's "Pedagogy Workshop" series, Sept. 30, 2009.
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* Workshops that I conducted as part of my assistantships at UofL are included under Services page here.

© Shyam Sharma, 2011