[lg policy] New assistant English professor at MSU receives professional accolade

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Sat Feb 3 11:02:07 EST 2018

 New assistant English professor at MSU receives professional accolade

February 2, 2018

Contact: Sarah Nicholas <snicholas at deanas.msstate.edu>

[image: Katherine Flowers (Submitted photo)]
Flowers (Submitted photo)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Mississippi State faculty member is beginning her
academic career with a significant research award in writing studies.

Katherine Flowers of the university’s English department is receiving the
James Berlin Memorial Outstanding Dissertation Award, an international
recognition of the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Founded in 1949, the 7,000-member body is the world’s largest professional
association for composition researchers and teachers. Based in Illinois—and
sometimes called the Four Cs—it works to support academic investigations on
communication and rhetoric and advocate for language and literacy
education, among other missions.

Flowers joined MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2017. She teaches
English department courses in academic, digital, public and professional
writing, with language policy, literacy studies, social movements and
related areas among her research specializations.

“Local Language Policy: Shifting Scales in the English-Only Movement” is
the title of her award-winning 2017 doctoral dissertation at the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the same institution at which she earned a
master’s degree. A Port Angeles, Washington, native, she also holds two
bachelor’s from the University of Washington.

Dan Punday, MSU English department head, said CCCC is “the” academic
organization for the career Flowers is pursuing. “This award is a
recognition of the importance of her work in professional writing theory
and a sign of the bright scholarly future ahead of her,” he emphasized.

Flowers said her research developed from a desire to “find out how and why
people write language policies in the first place.” To find answers, she
interviewed “politicians, activists and lobbyists who have first-hand
experience in this area.”

The dissertation explains how “English-only language policies have long
been a way to promote the English language while marginalizing other ways
of communicating, often at the expense of indigenous people, immigrants and
people of color.”

She said English-only policies currently are thriving because policy
writers have become adept at sharing successful templates and talking
points with each other. As a result, these local framings can make a policy
“seem more authentic than one perceived as coming from the outside.”

Concurrently with classroom responsibilities, Flowers is completing a book
about the English-only movement in the United States over the past four

To formally accept the Berlin Award, she travels in early March to Kansas
City, Missouri, for the 2018 CCCC convention. The occasion will mark her
second significant scholarly recognition in three years.

As a doctoral student in 2015, she was selected for the Bordin Gillette
Research Fellowship with the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical
Library. Other biographical information is found at

To learn more about the Four Cs’ work and missions, visit www.ncte.org/cccc.
It is part of the larger National Council of Teachers of English, with a
website at http://www2.ncte.org/about.

Links to MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences and its English department are,
respectively, www.cas.msstate.edu and www.english.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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