Faculty/Staff Detail

Laura Dunbar

I joined the writing program at SUNY Cortland in the fall of 2018 as a scholar-teacher of writing. Of all the things I find rewarding about Writing Studies, one of my favorites is being privileged, as I am now, to work with developing writers from every discipline who are at the beginning of their writing journeys. Previously, I taught in and coordinated Canadian Composition and Professional Writing programs, experience that currently guides my mixed methods research into Professional Writing programs in North American higher-education. I also work on local historiographies of writing programs. My approach to teaching and research in writing is informed by Community of Practice theory, aspects of Rhetorical Genre Theory, and Cultural-Historical Activity Theory. I am a member of the Canadian Society for Discourse and Writing and the (North American) Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication.


Doctoral student, Applied Linguistics & Discourse Studies, Carleton University (present)

Ph.D., English Literature, University of Toronto (2016)

M.A., English Literature, Carleton University (2010)

B.A., (Honors), Trent University (2009)


CPN-100, “Writing Studies I”

ENG-306, “Advanced Writing Workshop”


““No one who can’t write can get a degree here”: The story of a Canadian university writing test” (in progress)

“Instructional Note: Using Real Manuscripts to Teach Professional Editing,” Teaching English in the Two-Year College, March 2017

“Best Practices in Peer Review: A Guide for New Teachers,” Reflections on Academic Lives: Identities, Struggles, and Triumphs in Graduate School and Beyond. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

“I Can Soljer With Any Man: The post-911 Renaissance of James Jones," War, Literature, and the Arts, 2016.

Creative non-fiction:

 “Shelter in Place," Care Home Stories. Eds. Sally Chivers and Ulla Kriebernegg. 


"It’s official: 2016 is the year of ‘post-truth’," Concordia University, 2016

"Shiver me timbers: what does it mean to talk like a pirate?" Concordia University, 2016

"Can't tell a DNE from a DISC?" (interview), Concordia University, 2016

"Seriously. Is it Feb-rew-ary or Feb-oo-rary?" Concordia University, 2016

"The 2015 Oxford Dictionaries 'word of the year' is an emoji. Does that make it fair game for essays?" Concordia University, 2015

"5 grammar tips that could improve your grades." Concordia University, 2015

Conference papers:

Congress 2018, University of Saskatchewan, Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing, “Characteristics of Professional Writing programs in Canadian post-secondary education: A mixed methods study”

Congress 2017, Ryerson University, Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing, “No one who can’t write can get a degree here: The story of a university writing test”