Integrating Thought Provoking Conversation into Writing: Blogging in the Classroom


  • David Corwin George Mason University
  • Angela Hattery George Mason University



integrative thought, social justice, women and gender studies


In this session, we will discuss a strategy to encourage students (both undergraduate and graduate) to read the material and engage in thoughtful conversation with their peers outside of class. In a blogging format, students are required to choose 1-2 partners from the class to discuss outside of class, on a regular (at least bi-weekly basis) the class the readings, the class discussion, and any other course materials, such as films, with each other. One advantage to this format is that often students who are not strong participators in the classroom are able to gather their thoughts and engage with their peers through this assignment. Not only does this technique encourage reading of the course texts in their entirety, but it encourages synthesis and applicability to daily life. We call these assignments ââ¬Åintegrative essaysââ¬Â because they encourage students to integrate course readings and life experiences as well as the observations of their peers. These assignments have been used in Women and Gender Studies and sociology courses that focus on gender, race, sexuality, intimate partner violence, and institutional violence.à

Author Biographies

David Corwin, George Mason University

David Corwin is a full-time graduate student at George Mason University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Humanities from Milligan College in Johnson City, Tennessee. During his undergraduate experience, David served in the Rotoract Club and on the Multi-Cultural Awareness Board. David also led a mentor group for incoming freshman and transfer students as well as worked for the Admissions department as a student ambassador for incoming students.

David is currently in his third year at Mason in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies and the Master of Arts in English literature, which is a dual-degree program. At Mason, David is the graduate assistant for Women and Gender Studies as well as LGBTQ Resources from 2014-2015. In this position David is responsible for programming, graduate student engagement, coordinating student staff, and recruiting students for classes. David also serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the program.

With his expertise in Women and Gender Studies, David hopes to pursue a career in higher education through working in a diversity/identity-based resource center and teaching courses in literature and masculinity studies.

Angela Hattery, George Mason University

Director and Full Professor of Women and Gender Studies; Faculty Affiliate in Sociology and Cultural Studies





11:20am-12:00pm Mini-Workshops, Panels, & Roundtables