William DeGenaro, Ph.D.

Professor of Composition and Rhetoric
Bill DeGenaro
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Honors Program
Language, Culture, and the Arts
Wednesday 9-11am & by appointment (zoom only during Fall 2021)

Teaching Areas:

Composition and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, Honors, Writing for Civic Engagement

Research Areas:

Basic Writing Pedagogy, Composition, Service Learning, Working-Class Studies

Biography and Education

Before academe, I studied for the Catholic priesthood, worked at Taco Bell, spent a summer as an Ambassador Bridge toll-collector, and cleaned YMCA locker rooms. Eventually, I got my doctorate in Rhetoric & Composition at the University of Arizona. After three years on faculty at Miami University of Ohio, I started teaching at UM-Dearborn in 2005.

Along the way, I've done stints teaching in Lebanon, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. I mostly write about the intersection of social class and writing instruction and I'm lucky enough to teach composition, creative writing, honors program courses, and writing for civic engagement. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, traveling, writing book and record reviews, writing poems, and hanging out with my wife of 20+ years, Nicole.


Ph.D., The University of Arizona (2002)

Selected Publications

Book Reviews, Record Reviews & Features for Pop Matters. Available: https://www.popmatters.com/author/williamdegenaro

“Kurt Cobain, Writing Program Administrator.” WPA: Writing Program Administration 42.1 (2018): 17-35. Available: http://associationdatabase.co/archives/42n1/42n1degenaro.pdf

With Jerrice Donelson and Anthony DeGenaro. “It’s Essentially Writers Talking about Writing’: The Role of Reflection in a Co-Curricular Studio Course.” Open Words: Access & English Studies 11.1 (2018): 82-101. Available: https://wac.colostate.edu/docs/openwords/v11/donelsonetal.pdf

With Michael T. MacDonald. “Negotiating a Transcultural Ethos from the Ground Up in a Basic Writing Program.” Journal of Basic Writing 36.1 (2017): 25-55. Available: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1182284.pdf

Awards and Recognition

  • Fulbright Scholar to Jordan (2019-2020)
  • The Best of Rhetoric & Composition Journals, Nomination for "Kurt Cobain: Writing Program Administrator" (2020)
  • With Michael T. MacDonald, Vansant-Spoiden Award for Best Journal Article, LCC Department (2018)
  • Fulbright Scholar to Lebanon (2010-2011)
  • University of Michigan "Roads" Scholar (2009)