Bio


Wendy Goldberg grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, in a house where baseball great Ted Williams once lived when he was at the top of his game at Fenway Park. A provincial New-Englander for many years, Wendy earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and received her doctorate in English from Yale. Her dissertation on the works of novelist William Faulkner signaled an enduring appreciation of great story-telling and the mastery of words. So engrained in her mind were the rhythms of Faulkner’s language that she entered the Faux Faulkner contest—that annual parody of Faulkner’s writing—on more than one occasion, prevailing at last with 500 words of chiseled prose; she recognized that writing (and rewriting), developing a distinctive voice, persuading a specific audience, securing an idea with words were all skills that she wanted to learn, refine, pass on.

Surrendering to the lure of the West, Wendy arrived at Stanford in 1984, where she has been teaching in the writing program ever since. In 2001, Wendy helped launch the Stanford Writing Center (now the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking), serving as Coordinator (2002-2004), and then Assistant Director (2004-2007).

Courses Wendy has taught encompass a wide variety of thematic and rhetorical emphases, ranging from a study of the rhetoric of cognitive science with special attention to altered states of mind to an exploration of strategies for persuasive social advocacy to an examination and celebration of performance, with specific reference to American Musical Theater.

Academic Appointments


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

Administrative Appointments


  • Director, Semester at Sea Writing Center (Fall Voyage), Semester at Sea (University of Virgina, Institute for Shipboard Education) (2011 - Present)
  • Assistant Director, Hume Center for Writing and Speaking (formerly the Stanford Writing Center) (2004 - 2007)
  • Co-Coordinator, Stanford Writing Center (2001 - 2004)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


SPECIALIZATION: Rhetoric of Performance (with special reference to musical theater); Writing Center Studies; American Literature

All Publications


  • "Center Stage: Performing the Culture of Writing at Stanford" Creative Approaches to Writing Center Work Bruce, S. edited by Dvorak, K. Hampton Press. 2008