Paul A Prior



Paul Prior is a Professor in English and the Center for Writing Studies and Director of the Center for Writing Studies. Working with cultural-historical activity theory, actor-network theory, and dialogic semiotics, he has explored connections among writing, talk, embodied action, learning, and disciplinarity. His current research focuses on understanding how academic writing and disciplinarity develop across the lifespan. He also served as the Director of Graduate WAC Programs, Associate Director, and then Director in the Center for Writing Studies between 1992 and 2014. He twice served as Director of Undergraduate Rhetoric in the English Department (between 1997-1999 and then 2006-2009). Paul was co-editor of Research in the Teaching of English from 2008-2013. Before he began his PhD at the University of Minnesota, Paul taught ESL at Indiana University; the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For further details, see c.v. at his personal webpage.

Research Interests

Writing Studies, Literate Activity, Dialogic Theory, Semiotic Practice, Applied Linguistics, Genre, CHAT and ANT.

Additional Campus Affiliations

Director, Center for Writing Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Recent Publications

Prior, P. A., & Smith, A. (2019). Editorial: Writing across: Tracing transliteracies as becoming across time, space, and settings. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, [100246].

Smith, A., & Prior, P. A. (Accepted/In press). A Flat CHAT perspective on transliteracies development. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction.

Prior, P. A. (2018). How Do Moments Add Up to Lives? Trajectories of Semiotic Becoming vs. Tales of School Learning in Four Modes. In R. Wysocki, & M. P. Sheridan (Eds.), Making Future Matters Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press.

Yoritomo, J. Y., Turnipseed, N., Cooper, S. L., Elliott, C. M., Gallagher, J. R., Popovics, J. S., ... Zilles, J. L. (2018). Examining engineering writing instruction at a large research university through the lens of writing studies. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, 2018-June.

Prior, P. A. (2017). Setting a Research Agenda for Lifespan Writing Development: The Long View from Where? Research in the Teaching of English, 52(2), 211-219.

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