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Wendy Olson's Research Department of English

Wendy Olson

Associate Professor of English and Director of Composition and Writing Assessment

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Arts and Sciences
Professional Writing
Writing Assessment
Phone: (360) 546-9513
Located in Multimedia (VMMC) 102K
Office Hours: TBD
Support Staff: Annette Bradstreet



  • PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, Washington State University (2006)
  • MA in English Studies, Western Washington University (1999)
  • BA in Creative Writing, Northern Kentucky University (1997)

About Wendy Olson

I teach courses in academic writing, rhetoric, and American Studies. I also serve as the Director of Composition and oversee Writing Assessment on the Vancouver campus.


Broadly conceived, my research interests center on how discourse operates in society and culture. I am most interested in the role rhetoric plays in both creating and mediating discourse as a meaning making process—that is as both epistemic and persuasive in character. Important in such cultural analyses is an understanding of not only rhetoric, but also the interrelations between the rhetorical and the material, an acknowledgment of the means by which rhetoric as meaning making is formed at the intersections of political, socio-cultural, historical, and economic conditions. Therefore, my theoretical approach often relies on political economy as well as rhetorical theory as a framework for developing analysis. More narrowly defined, my scholarship addresses two complementary and interdisciplinary areas of study: political economies of literacy and feminist rhetoric in contemporary popular culture.

Recent Publications

“Economies of Composition: Mapping Transnational Writing Programs in U.S. Community Colleges.” Transnational Writing Program Administration. Ed. David Martins. Provo: Utah State University Press, 2015. 289-306.

Linked Courses for General Education and Integrative Learning: A Guide for Faculty and Administrators. Eds. Margot Soven, Dolores Lehr, Siskanna Naynaha, and Wendy Olson. Sterling, VA: Stylus Press, 2012.

“Learning Communities in the New University.” With Siskanna Naynaha. Linked Courses for General Education and Integrative Learning: A Guide for Faculty and Administrators. Eds. Margot Soven, Dolores Lehr, Siskanna Naynaha, and Wendy Olson. Sterling, VA: Stylus Press, 2012. 151-166.

“The Politics of Pedagogy: The Outcomes Statement and Basic Writing.” The WPA Outcomes Statement: A Decade Later. Eds, Nicholas Behm, Gregory Glau, Deborah Holdstein, Duane Roen, and Edward M. White. Anderson SC: Parlor Press, 2012. 18-44.

“On the Institutionalization of Basic Writing.” Open Words: Access and English Studies (Fall 2009): 55-74.

 “The Shape of a Mother’: Pregnancy, Motherhood, and Feminist Rhetoric in Cyberspace.” Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge 19 (Summer 2009).

“Enlightenment Rhetoric in BtVS: The Ideological Implications of Buffy’s Worldview.” Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies 7.2 (Spring 2008).



Course IDTitleMeeting TimeLocationSemesterSyllabus
English 100Basic Writing
English 101Introductory Writing
English 301Writing and Rhetorical Conventions
English 402Technical and Professional Writing
English 502Seminar in the Teaching of Writing: Contemporary Theories
English 532Teaching Writing to Nontraditional Students
English 597Literacy Theories and Practices in Composition Studies