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Associate Teaching Professor of English

Julia Garrett earned a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College and completed a doctorate in English with an emphasis in Women’s and Gender Studies from UC Santa Barbara. More recently she received graduate training in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she specialized in literacy studies and community engaged research and teaching. This work was supported by grants from the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment and the Morgridge Center for Public Service at UW-Madison, where she was also a Morgridge Fellow during her final year of doctoral training.

Her teaching interests gravitate towards what social scientists identify as “wicked problems”: social and economic challenges that cause deep social harm, persisting for decades despite the efforts of generations of researchers, activists, and policymakers. Her courses invite students to research and write about topics such as climate crisis, the lasting segregation of public schools in the U.S., how we treat immigrant and refugee communities, and how our industrial food systems exacerbate existing problems of social inequity and environmental degradation. Investigating wicked problems requires students to confront big questions, and writing about these questions challenges them to understand more deeply the beliefs that describe their place in the world.

Community-based partnerships with local agencies and organizations dedicated to tackling such problems are a vital dimension of her teaching practice. Her current research on the ethics of community engaged teaching foregrounds the importance of designing courses that emerge from prominent community needs and honor the knowledge that community members may offer to the university. Her previous scholarship in gender and literary studies has been published in _Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts_ and _JEMCS_.

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