Robin Wharton

About Robin Wharton

Robin Wharton is Assistant Director of Writing and Communication. She holds a law degree (1999) and a PhD (2009), both from the University of Georgia. Her current project involves exploring the influence of common law poetics in Middle English writing. Since 2005, she has been a collaborator on the project, and she is interested in how multimodal writing and communication instruction can be improved through the strategic application of digital technology. A former ballet dancer, she has also begun to consider how pedagogical methods drawn from the performing arts might be adapted for productive use in the higher-education classroom. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Wharton clerked for the Hon. Curtis L. Collier in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and then spent a number of years as an associate in the intellectual property group of a prominent Atlanta law firm. She continues to write about law and ethics, especially as they relate to digital humanities work, and to consult in legal matters involving new and traditional media. Profile photo by R.E. Burnett, 2011.

What Should A Hybrid “Classroom” Look Like?

Well, last night our hybrid classroom looked very much like the Jones Room and the new Research Commons at Emory’s Woodruff Library. Every spring, a number of Brittain Fellows choose to participate in an optional postdoctoral seminar on research methodologies. This semester, because the Writing and Communication Program is piloting hybrid pedagogy in our first-year composition and technical communication classes, we are using the design and assessment of hybrid pedagogies as a lens through which our examination of method is focused.

For those of you who may be wondering, hybrid pedagogy (also known as blended learning) combines face-to-face and distance or virtual learning strategies. Some thought-provoking recent studies have suggested hybrid instruction may–at least in some situations, for some students–create a more optimal learning environment than either traditional or wholly-online classes. Continue reading

DiMeo Invited to Speak at History of Chemistry Seminar, Dublin

First-Year Brittain Fellow Michelle DiMeo was one of five guests invited to give a 1-hour lecture at a Robert Boyle seminar at the Edward Worth Library, Dublin. This one-day seminar commemorated the 300th anniversary of the foundation of the School of Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin and celebrated that 2011 has been designated the International Year of Chemistry. The international panel of historians of science was chaired by endowed physicians and professors of Chemistry from … Continue reading

Brittain Fellows–Bremm, Curtright, Schiff–to Present at SAMLA

Brittain Fellows Doris Bremm (second-year), Lauren Curtright (second-year), and Sarah Eden Schiff (first-year) will present at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference in Atlanta this weekend, November 4-6. The theme for this year’s conference is “The Power of Poetry in the Modern World.” Former Brittain Fellow and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, Shannon Dobranski will also be presenting. For more information go to: Panel and Paper Titles Doris Bremm 32. Verse, Voice, and … Continue reading

Writing and Communication Program Wins NCTE’s Media Literacy Award

Rebecca Burnett, the Director of Writing and Communication at Georgia Tech, and Brittain Fellows Jesse Stommel, Lauren Curtright, Melanie Kohnen, and Roger Whitson applied for the award, which will be presented at the NCTE Annual Convention in Chicago (November 2011). The team will also receive a check for $2000 given on behalf of the Beck Foundation. The team received the award because the Writing and Communication program has “shown persistent, innovative and imaginative application of media analysis and … Continue reading

Brittain Fellow and Poet Andy Frazee Reads at University of Illinois

Second-year Brittain Fellow Andy Frazee read from his poetry as part of the Carr Reading Series at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Wednesday, October 19. In addition, Frazee was asked to present his work in the Introduction to Creative Writing class co-taught by poetry professor Michael Madonick and fiction professor and National Book Award-winner Richard Powers. An alumnus of the University of Illinois’ advertising (BS) and creative writing (MFA) programs, Frazee is the … Continue reading

Building Citizen Journalist Communities

On Saturday, October 22, I attended the 2011 Media Law in the Digital Age conference, co-sponsored by Kennesaw State University’s Center for Sustainable Journalism and Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. After the morning’s plenary session, I attended a panel on “Online Community Building and Managing: What are the Legal and Editorial Concerns You Need to Know?” Continue reading

Interview With Andy Frazee Published Online

An interview with poet and second-year Brittain Fellow Andy Frazee has been published online at the literary site HTMLGIANT ( In the interview conducted by poet Stephen Lewis, Frazee discusses his recent book of poetry, The Body, The Rooms (Subito Press, 2011), poetry and poetics, and small-press publishing. Tweet This Post

Encouraging Better Class Discussions

Grammar tag cloud on Visible Tweets

This semester, I am teaching an honors section of ENGL1101, aka first-year composition. The students are awesome, and I am really enjoying the experience. Recently, though, I discovered that in addition to providing an opportunity to work with great, motivated students drawn from a close-knit learning community, Georgia Tech’s honors program also creates opportunities for faculty development by periodically bringing together those of us teaching in the program. Over lunch, we took turns talking about … Continue reading

The Parachut<e>: Post-assessment Peer Review?

The Parachut<e> addresses broader issues of digital pedagogy in the context of an advice column for piloters of the <emma> LMS at Georgia Tech.  For those of you who are new to The Parachut<e> and <emma>, you can find a more detailed discussion of both here. This week’s post evolved from a number of different sources.  First, some comments I received from students suggested they might not be familiar with one of the key features of … Continue reading

The Parachut<e>: A Grading/Marking Workflow

What is the Parachut<e>? This semester, the Director and Assistant Director of the Writing and Communication Program here at Georgia Tech approved a pilot program for a learning technology that I have been helping to design and build for the last several years. <emma> is a learning management system that was developed, designed, and built by writing instructors for the writing-intensive classroom. It is used program-wide in the First-Year Composition Program at the University of … Continue reading