Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jennifer Bay

Committee Chair

Jennifer Bay

Committee Member 1

Richard Johnson-Sheehan

Committee Member 2

Shirley Rose

Committee Member 3

Patricia Sullivan

Committee Member 4

Irwin Weiser


This dissertation decenters the writing program archive through research on instructors’ digital archives. Artifacts of composition instruction are no longer saved to print archives alone; rather, digital technologies expand the locations where artifacts of writing pedagogy can be archived and accessed. The following archival ethnography, focused on a community engagement writing course in the Introductory Composition at Purdue (ICaP) program, finds that many digital archives of composition are hidden to outside researchers or not sustained (which are theorized as either “abandoned” or “pop-up” archives). At the same time, some pedagogical materials are publicly visible by virtue of personal web spaces and social media. Instructors interviewed for this study often lack best practices in digital records management and preservation, leading to wayfinding challenges in the short-term and potential digital ephemerality in the long-term. This study concludes with a set of recommendations for helping instructors to follow more effective personal archival practices, by drawing upon the motivations for and challenges of personal archiving as expressed in their interviews.