Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

English Rhetoric and Composition, PhD

Committee Chair

Horner, Bruce

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Olinger, Andrea

Committee Member

Olinger, Andrea

Committee Member

Ryan, Susan

Committee Member

Donahue, Christiane

Author's Keywords

Qatar; EAP; translingualism; mobility; political economy; transfer


This research project stems from my experience teaching academic writing at the state university in Qatar. To investigate the factors overdetermining the deeply standardized curriculum there, I draw on scholarship in mobility studies, political economy, and the history both of Qatar and of composition instruction in the US, from which the curriculum is drawn. These explorations ultimately lead me to comment on the fraught enterprise of subjecting writing and language to commodification, which I identify as part of broader trends characterizing neoliberal economic globalization. To further develop this critique, I conduct a critical multi-sited autoethnographic study that questions preconceived notions of correctness in writing, revealing how education is increasingly tied to the demands of global economy. Chapter one develops an anti-essentialist perspective on ideology, demonstrating both the transnational appeal of an autonomous model of literacy and the frictions that deny its claims to universality. In chapter two I delve into the details and history of the Qatar University Foundation Program, looking at how it has been shaped, again, by points of ideological alignment across local and global exigencies. Chapter three takes the autoethnographic approach to the subject of postsecondary instruction in English academic writing, providing both context for my teaching experience in Qatar while substantiating broader observations about how writing knowledge is mobilized according to both local demands and increasingly global ideologies. In chapter four, I return to Qatar to sketch a tactical approach (de Certeau) to working with(in) these trends, situating the work within a broader perspective that aligns with institutional demands while refusing to deny the multifarious points of friction that drive the creation of knowledge.