Bio


John Peterson has taught in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric since 2004. Before coming to Stanford, he was a mentor teacher in the UC Irvine Writing Program and started the writing curriculum in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program at the University of Washington, Tacoma. Born and raised in Los Angeles, John completed his BA in Literature at UC Santa Cruz and his MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Formerly Coordinator for PWR 1, in addition to teaching PWR courses, he works in the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking.

John is interested in how people's backgrounds, experiences, and their relationships to technology shape the ways they learn to write. Past classes have ranged from research in liberal arts education, to study of the tension between art and commerce, to investigations of pop culture. He is currently co-authoring a chapter on writing and Google Docs, "Tinker,Teacher, Sharer, Spy: Negotiating Surveillance in Online Collaborative Writing Spaces," and writing a book-length inquiry into how improvisation is a learned activity that requires both practice and imagination: "Improvisation and Free Speech: The Danger and Beauty of Speaking Off-the-Cuff."

Academic Appointments


  • PWR Advanced Lecturer, Stanford Introductory Studies - Program in Writing and Rhetoric

Administrative Appointments


  • Course Coordinator, Writing & Rhetoric 1 (2013 - 2016)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Classes: Liberal arts education; art versus commerce; literacy narratives; public schools; social/racial justice; standardized testing; consumer culture; popular culture: sports, music, film; technology and learning.

Current Research: Improvisation in education, how face-to-face compares with online learning. Google Docs and issues of surveillance. Improvisation as a learned activity that requires both practice and imagination. Work-in-Progress: "Improvisation and Free Speech"

All Publications


  • Cultivating Sustainability Through Undergraduate Research and Writing IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (IPCC) Feldman, M. B., Moekle, K., Peterson, J. IEEE. 2011