Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Writing Program


Louise W. Phelps

Second Advisor

Collin G. Brooks


Archival, History, Professional Development, Syracuse Writing Program, Teacher Evaluation, Writing Program Administration

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Education


Lightning in a Bottle: A History of the Syracuse Writing Program, 1986-1996, is directed by Louise Wetherbee Phelps and Collin Gifford Brooke. This historical study of the Syracuse Writing Program's administrative structures for contingent faculty focuses on professional development and evaluation systems for the Writing Program's part-time writing instructors. The study draws on archival methodology, using saved administrative documents from the Syracuse Writing Program and retrospective interviews of past members of the Syracuse University Writing Program. This history is influenced and contextualized through scholarship on contingent faculty labor, writing program administration, and the establishment of stand-alone writing programs. The goal of this history of the Syracuse Writing Program is to study the long-term effects of professional development and evaluation systems on writing teachers' development and the growth of a teaching culture marked by shared values about writing and pedagogy within a writing program. This history argues that ongoing reflective professional development and evaluation systems are necessary for all teachers of writing, both new and experienced practitioners.


Open Access