What's in your Briefcase?

“My laptop,” said Amy Devitt, professor of English. “It helps me study all the ways language is used and to write my blog, Genre-Colored Glasses.” The blog focuses on the different genres of writing — from literature to greeting cards to Twitter profiles to jury instructions — and their effects on how people read and write. “I’ll take current events, something that’s going on right now, and see it through Genre-Colored Glasses.”

Devitt has taught writing, rhetoric and English language studies at the University of Kansas for over 30 years and is a Chancellors Club Teaching Professor. She says it is an honor that her teaching and research are appreciated by supporters of the university. “The Chancellors Club Teaching Professorship has contributed to my staying at KU as long as I have, both through its financial benefit and its proof that teaching has long mattered here.”

Devitt’s passion for teaching stems from her enjoyment of working with students and sharing her perspective in order to help them see new things. “I love working with students who are discovering new perspectives about the world — first-year college students, first-time graduate teaching assistants, graduate students discovering their own research areas.”

Devitt sees her blog as an opportunity to share knowledge outside of the academic community. It started as a way for her to practice writing for a wider audience. “The Department of English and KU have been supportive of my desire to reach outside the university, through permitting me time for giving seminars at workplaces and universities around the world and through recognizing my blog as important scholarly work.”

EMILY COX