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Shanmugaraj, Nisha

Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Nisha Shanmugaraj (PhD, Carnegie Mellon University) is an Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric with a joint appointment in the Program for Writing and Rhetoric and the English Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Working at the intersection of feminist rhetorics, cultural rhetorics, and Asian American rhetorics, her work illuminates and interrogates the “everyday rhetorics” of Asian/American women: how these rhetors employ and interpret communicative acts in their everyday lives. Using rhetorical field methods, Shanmugaraj explores how dominant discourses around race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability shape the lived experience of Asian/American women and how these diasporic subjects envision new rhetorical possibilities through imagined, embodied, affective, and interpersonal sites of meaning. She is currently working on a book project on how Indian American women construct narratives of “overcoming” from internalized racism. Her work has appeared in venues such as Quarterly Journal of Speech, Composition Forum, and Business and Professional Communication Quarterly and has been recognized by the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and more.


  • rhetoric, writing studies, communication, intersectional feminist rhetorics, Asian American rhetorics, cultural rhetorics, antiracist composition pedagogy



courses taught

  • WRTG 3020 - Topics in Writing
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Through sustained inquiry into a selected topic or issue, students will practice advanced forms of academic writing. Emphasizes analysis, criticism and argument. Taught as a writing workshop, places a premium on substantive, thoughtful revision. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours. Department enforced prerequisite: WRTG 1150 or equivalent (completion of lower-division writing requirement).
  • WRTG 3035 - Technical Communication and Design
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2024
    Rhetorically informed introduction to technical writing that hones communication skills in the context of technical design activities. Treats design as a collaborative, user-oriented, problem-based activity, and technical communication as a rhetorically informed and persuasive design art. Taught as a writing workshop emphasizing critical thinking, revision, and oral presentation skills. Focuses on client-driven design projects and effective communication with multiple stakeholders. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours.


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