Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Donnie Johnson Sackey

Second Advisor

Jeff Pruchnic


Toward an Ecofeminist Embodied Pedagogy: A Study of Difference in Online and Offline Community Writing Courses argues that service-learning and community-engaged learning (SCEL) often fail to present community partners as real, embodied beings. Rather, students often believe that there is an “us” (the university) and a “them” (the community). Entering community partnerships with this perspective can be damaging, for both students and community partners, and result in unsuccessful collaborations. My dissertation responds to this problem by offering an ecofeminist, embodied pedagogy (EEP) as a solution. I argue that students are eager to learn about difference and that instructors need to provide students with tools and strategies for effectively navigating difference in both the classroom and the community. EEP helps students to understand how their physical and social environments influence the way they perceive the community, ultimately producing more critical engagement with the community. When students understand how difference is constructed within institutions, they have a platform to engage in partnerships that are more open, positive, and beneficial to all involved parties. I present the results of this mix-methods, two-part study to ultimately advocate for a shift in the ways instructors approach difference and the body in courses with a SCEL component. We must teach students to navigate how difference comes to exist if they are to build stronger relationships. The impetus to care about the personal, which is central to feminist and ecofeminist research, informs this suggestion. EEP is one such method for improving student-university collaborations and building more meaningful connections across difference.

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Rhetoric Commons