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Dr. Amy Robillard

Stevenson Hall - STV 345
Office Hours
T 12:30-1:00
Th 12:45-1:45
by appointment
  • About
  • Education
  • Awards & Honors
  • Research


An essayist and a teacher of writing and rhetoric, I firmly believe in the power of life writing.

Current Courses

599.024Research And Dissertation

300.001Senior Seminar

300.002Senior Seminar

Teaching Interests & Areas

Composition theory, rhetorical theory, life writing, the personal essay, pedagogy

Research Interests & Areas

I am an essayist and a rhetorician interested in investigating instances of failed persuasion, persuasion that steps over the line into abuse, and persuasion used as a precursor to violence. Language that claims to be something it isn’t, language that feigns innocence. I write to understand how language is used to shut others down, to shame them into silence, to control them and, on the flip side, how language is used to break silences and to break the stories that have ensured those silences. My preoccupations with belief, with failed persuasion, with deception, and with empathy, compassion, and vulnerability are neither simply personal nor merely academic. They are what drive me to continue thinking through cultural expectations of honesty and sincerity and public refusals to demonstrate the vulnerability that unites us all as human beings. My work is my life, and by this I don’t mean to suggest that I’m a workaholic. Instead, my work is my life in the sense that my scholarship is my autobiography, and I would wager a guess that I’m not alone in this.

Ph D Composition and Cultural Rhetoric

Syracuse University


University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, MA


Clark University
Worcester, MA

Exceptional Teacher of the Year--Professor

Department of English

College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award


John A. Dossey Award for Outstanding Teaching

College of Arts and Sciences

Publication in The Best of the Independent Rhetoric and Composition Journals 2010


Book, Authored

Robillard, Amy E. We Find Ourselves in Other People's Stories: On Narrative Collapse and a Lifetime Search for Story. New York: Routledge, 2019.

Book, Chapter

Robillard, Amy E. “Essaying to Understand Violence.” Getting Personal: Bringing Personal Writing into the Classroom in the Digital Age. Ed. Laura Gray-Rosendale. Albany: SUNY P, 2018: 43-60.

Book, Edited

Robillard, Amy E. and D. Shane Combs, eds. How Stories Teach Us: Composition, Life Writing, and Blended Scholarship. New York: Peter Lang, 2019.
Robillard, Amy E., and Ron Fortune, eds. Authorship Contested: Cultural Challenges to the Authentic, Autonomous Author. New York: Routledge, 2015.

Journal Article

Robillard, Amy E. "Misogyny and the Norm of Recognition in Graduate English Programs." College Composition and Communication 74.1 (2022): 4-30.
Robillard, Amy E. "From Isolated Stories to a Collective: Speaking Out about Misogyny in English Departments." Peitho 23.2 (2021). Available at
Robillard, Amy E. "Good Girl." Writers: Craft & Context 2.1 (2021): 4-9.
Robillard, Amy E. "Telling the Truth about Sibling Abuse: Domestic Violence in Julie Barton's Dog Medicine and Tara Westover's Educated." Survive and Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine 4.1 (2019).
Robillard, Amy E. "'You've Been Disciplined': Graduate Academic Writing as Social Practice." Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assigments 2.1 (2018).


We Gave Our Courses a Makeover; You Can Too!. CTLT Teaching and Learning Symposium. (2020)