Megan Heise

  • Visiting Lecturer

Megan Heise teaches in the Composition program, including Seminar in Composition, Writing Arguments, and ESL Workshop. She holds a PhD in Composition and Applied Linguistics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University, and a BA in Political Science and History from Colgate University. Her current research focuses on transmodal (multilingual and multimodal) zine-making with refugee youth in Pittsburgh. She recently served as a co-editor for Writing Spaces, and her work has appeared in TESOL Journal and various edited collections. She has presenter her scholarship at conferences around the world, including the Conference on Community Writing, Conference on College Composition and Communication, TESOL Convention, and American Association for Applied Linguistics Conference.

Her work in and beyond Pitt focuses on amplifying the voices of refugee and immigrant creators, stemming from her experiences working in a refugee camp in Greece for 5 months in 2017, facilitating creative projects in a youth engagement space. Locally, she partners with the Pittsburgh-based Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education (ARYSE), supporting their summer PRYSE Academy, a day camp that merges English language learning with creative expression and leadership development. As an inaugural Coalition for Community Writing/Herstory Fellow in 2020-2021, she created and led an online writing workshop with the Youth Advisory Board of the international NGO Youth UnMuted, all young women with refugee experiences resettled in Germany. She loves to talk about language diversity, creativity (ask her about zines!), community engaged learning, and writing in both academic and non-academic contexts – email her or stop by her office if you’d like to connect!

Courses taught:

Seminar in Composition

Writing Arguments

ESL Workshop

Representative Publications

Heise, Megan, and Asifa Hassan. “Podcasting for Peace: Resettled Refugee Youths’ Counterstorying Practices,” TESOL Journal, 2023.

Heise, Megan. “’A Hope That Moves Us’: Embodied Critical Hope in One Graduate Program’s Fight Against Faculty Retrenchments,” Critical Pedagogy in the Language and Writing Classroom: Activities, Strategies, Examples from Teacher Scholars, Routledge, 2023.

Heise, Megan, and Matthew Vetter. “Centering Translingualism in a Multimodal Classroom,” Professionalizing Multimodality, Utah State University Press, 2023.

Heise, Megan. “Teaching Students How to Give and Receive Peer Review Feedback,” Journal of Response to Writing, 2023.

Heise, Megan. “Write-a-thons and Community Panels: Encouraging Students to 'Go Public' with Their Writing,” Writing Spaces’ Assignments and Activities Archive, 2023.

Heise, Megan. “Recognizing and Managing Precarity as Graduate Student Worker,” AAAL Graduate Student Council Blog, 2023.

Heise, Megan. “Children’s Book Citation Exercises,” Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collective’s Teaching and Learning Materials Collection, 2022.

Heise, Megan. “Academic (Or Not): An Academic Memoir Troubling the Ivory Tower,” Inspiring Pedagogical Connections, Vol. 6, 2021.

Driscoll, Dana, Megan Heise, Mary Stewart, and Matthew Vetter (Eds). Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Vol. 4, Parlor Press/WAC Clearinghouse, 2021.

Research Interests

Refugee Literacies; Arts-based literacies, Transmodal literacies, Anticolonial literacy practices, Youth-centered pedagogies and practices

Community Literacy; Community-Engaged Scholarship, Community-Based Creative Writing, Multi/Transmodal Storytelling with Refugees, Podcasting with and by Refugees

Transmodality; Multimodality with Linguistically Diverse Students, Translingualism and Translanguaging in Composition Classrooms, Transmodality as Linguistic Justice, Digital Literacies and Rhetoric

Pedagogy; Writing Pedagogy, Critical Pedagogy, Transnational Feminist Pedagogies, Community Writing Pedagogies and Best Practices