Sarah Klotz



English Department
Advisor, Rhetoric and Composition Minor
Assistant Professor, English

Ph.D., The University of California, Davis

Fields: Rhetoric and Composition, Native American/Indigenous Studies, Writing Assessment, Early American Literature

Office Phone: 508-793-3965
Office: Fenwick 210
Office Hours:  M & W 1-3pm, and by appointment
Box: 47A



My research interests are rooted in understanding the role of literacy in American nation-building and using rhetorical theory as a lens to understand race and racialization in the United States. In 2021, I published a book on Native American students’ writing from the first off-reservation boarding school located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Alongside my historical and archival research, I have an abiding interest in our writing classrooms and the ways that settler-colonial ideas about language assimilation continue to impact teaching practices today. 


  • Introduction to Academic Writing 

  •  Intermediate Academic Writing

  •  Rhetoric

  • Eloquentia Perfecta: Writing and Speaking for the Common Good

  • Native American Expressive Traditions

  • Indigenous Speculative Fiction

Recent Work

Writing Their Bodies: Restoring Rhetorical Relations at the Carlisle Indian School  (Utah State University Press, 2021)

Between 1879 and 1918, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School housed over 10,000 students and served as a prototype for boarding schools on and off reservations across the continent. Writing Their Bodies analyzes pedagogical philosophies and curricular materials through the perspective of written and visual student texts created during the school’s first three-year term. Using archival and decolonizing methodologies, this book historicizes remedial literacy education and proposes new ways of reading Indigenous rhetorics to expand what we know about the Native American textual tradition. 

“Crafting a Writing Response Community Through Contract Grading.” Co-author Kristina Reardon.  Journal of Response to Writing, 8(2), 1–21. 2022.

 “Contract Grading as Anti-Racist Praxis in the Community College Context.” Co-author Carl Whithaus. First Year Composition at the Community College: Empowering the TeacherBetsy Gilliland and Meryl Siegal eds. University of Michigan Press.  2021.

“Pictograph as Epitaph: Reading Algonquian Pictography in the Removal Period.” Early American Literature. 55.1 (Spring 2020): 177-207.

“The Historical Work of Cultural Rhetorics: Constellating Indigenous, Deaf, and English-Only Literacies.” constellations: a cultural rhetorics publishing space. 2 (Fall 2019).

 “Impossible Rhetorics of Survivance at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, 1879-1883.” College Composition and Communication. 69.2 (December 2017): 208-229.

“Gloria Anzaldúa’s Rhetoric of Ambiguity and Anti-Racist Teaching.” Co-author Carl Whithaus. Composition Studies 43.2 (Fall 2015): 72-91.