evelyn dsouza

rhetoric  ·  scientific and technical communication  ·  environmental humanities

contact me


My name is Evelyn Dsouza. I'm a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in the Department of Writing Studies.

At the University of Minnesota, I have taught first-year writing, writing arguments, and technical and professional writing as a graduate instructor. My background is interdisciplinary, but I have sustained a central focus on how texts "do work" in the world, especially those that entangle environmental concerns and matters of social and environmental justice. It is this active, relational, and ecology-oriented view of rhetoric and writing that I share with others in my teaching and research.

Portrait of Evelyn DsouzaAs a rhetorician, I study scientific and technical communication with a focus on environmental writing, especially as it occurs in the field of natural resources science and management. To that end, my dissertation examines the rhetorical ecology of the Hackensack-Passaic River watershed, with a focus on the ways that apparently dissimilar texts, discourses, and events rhetorically "adhere" in these networks. On the side, I'm writing a book chapter about the Celtic knot for an upcoming edited collection, Global Rhetorics of Science. I have also written and presented on various topics in composition and technical communication (TC) pedagogy.

From 2015 to 2019, I served on the board of directors at the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center, a non-profit organization and faith-based land trust. I'm also a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.

I am married to Clinton Dsouza, a cybersecurity professional. Together, we love to spend time outdoors, cook at home, be with our families, and watch food, house, and travel shows on repeat.

Thanks for visiting! Please reach out if you'd like to know more, or if you'd like to collaborate. 🙂

Photograph by Monica Mendoza Photography

  • 2018 - present

    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication
  • 2016 - 2018

    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

    Master of Arts (MA) in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication
  • 2010 - 2014

    Drew University

    Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English and Environmental Studies and Sustainability

Academic Appointments
  • 2016 - present

    Graduate Instructor

    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
View Full CV

  My full CV is available upon request.

Statement of Teaching Philosophy
My philosophy of teaching emerges from two core (and interrelated) ideologies. The first is my belief in ecological learning and, by extension, distributed agency. The second is my commitment to accessibility, as expressed in universal design. While these principles are supported extensively in writing studies’ pedagogical research, they have also come to me by way of my own experiences—in the classroom, on the hiking trail, or by the stream, and with students “K–16.” Read more…
Selected Comments from Student Evaluations

“She always was helpful to students, specific to their paper. She responded to emails quickly, offered to set up meetings time, and was useful in class.”

“Evelyn was a fantastic teacher. I came into this writing class not knowing how the teacher would do, but I am happy knowing now that she was an overall great teacher. I really liked how she connected with her students and I also appreciated the time she took with giving us all feedback. Another helpful thing that she incorporated were student-teacher conferences. This allowed the students to really ask her questions one on one, which was very beneficial.”

“I learned a lot in class about different things and Evelyn’s energy really helped.”

Read more…
Selected Classroom Materials
Coming soon: syllabi and example assignments

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe. – John Muir

Broadly, in my research and writing, I explore the interface of text and environment. Theoretical frameworks like rhetorical ecology and actor-network theory have been especially helpful for my work, which pays attention to the material, ecological, and spatial dimensions of written communication. I am interested in the ways that texts act (e.g., Said, 1983; Cooper & Holzman, 1989) and, in particular, how technical communication does work in the public sphere (e.g., Miller & Katz, 1996; Patterson & Lee, 1997; Rude, 2004; Grabill, 2007; Flower, 2008; Moore, 2016). These interests lead me to the related fields of urban and regional planning, environmental conflict management, studies of science and technology, communication in public and nonprofit sectors, and public engagement with science and technology.

Notes, Reflections, and Personal Writing
  • A short musing on place-based writing, a theme that originally drew me to the field of writing studies.

    Read More
  • On arguing

    • edsouza
    • 05 May
    • essays

    A work-in-progress theory of argumentation, as informed by conversations in rhetoric and writing studies.

    Read More
  • In this essay, I theorize a "multimodal" and "infrastructural" framework for composition pedagogy, inspired by universal design for learning (UDL).

    Read More
  • On the network of storytelling

    • edsouza
    • 07 July
    • freewrites

    A meditation on the ripple effects of storytelling: what stories send out, and gather in.

    Read More
  • Statement of Teaching Philosophy, continued

    • edsouza
    • 01 January
    • page-extensions

    I began my career in formal education as a paraprofessional at Ridge and Valley Charter School, an elementary and middle school inspired by Montessori and Waldorf philosophies of self-guided learning, experiential and outdoor education, Earth literacy and sustainability, whole-student qualitative assessment (as opposed to report cards), and integrated lenses and multi-age groupings (as opposed to … Continue reading

    Read More
  • “She engaged in the classroom with her personality and always tried doing something different to start off the class. She gave a lot of her feedback truthfully and it made it seem like she really did go through and thought my writing not just getting it done with.” “Constantly positive and was always well-equipped to … Continue reading

    Read More

Contact me

edsouza at umn.edu
umn directory

Dept. of Writing Studies
315 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

(612) 234-2875