Sarah Giragosian

Sarah Giragosian

Lecturer II
Writing & Critical Inquiry Program


University Library Basement 96N (LI B96N)

PhD, University at Albany 

MFA, Boston University 

BA, Mount Holyoke College


Sarah Giragosian is the author of the poetry collections Queer Fish, a winner of the American Poetry Journal Book Prize, and The Death Spiral. In 2023, the University of Akron Press released the craft anthology, Marbles on the Floor: How to Assemble a Book of Poems, which she co-edited with Virginia Konchan. Sarah’s poems and essays have appeared in such journals as Orion, Ecotone, Tin House, Pleiades, and Prairie Schooner, among others. 

Research Interests: Creative writing, 20th century North American Poetry and Poetics, animal studies, feminist theory, queer theory; eco-poetics, post-humanist studies, African American Studies

Course Description: 

Writing and Critical Inquiry (WCI) emphasizes intensive practice in academic writing as well as writing in other rhetorical contexts. Based on established principles of rhetorical theory, WCI engages students in sustained inquiry into the nature of written discourse and the practice of writing. In WCI, writing is both a subject of study and a vehicle for academic inquiry. To that end, we will often defer closure or the mastery of knowledge in the interest of exploring multiple perspectives, analyzing evidence, and challenging pat answers. Our class will value speculation, deep thinking, and collaboration in scholarship.


With these values in mind, we will consider the role of writing in our political, social, and personal lives. Can writing be a source of self-actualization?  How can writing and critical inquiry help to inspire political and social movements and challenge hegemonic norms?   How can the humanities and training in critical reading and writing practices help support issues of social justice? In other words, how is writing a social and political resource, both conditioned by its social context and capable of upsetting social conventions? In a classroom setting and the larger public sphere, how can it be used to build, undermine, and/ or reinforce communities?


We will explore these questions and others while developing writing skills across a range of rhetorical situations, including professional, academic, and literary writing. With an attention to style, rhetoric, and argumentation, we will read texts in terms of their mediums and messages, engage in inquiry about issues of a local and global scale, and to choose appropriate research methods to gain information on a topic of interest.  Moreover, through careful attention to the multiple stages of the writing process, which include prewriting, writing, revising, and editing, we will articulate, defend, and challenge the ideas that we and others produce. The course will integrate a range of learning activities to promote critical thinking and writing and will take a process-based approach that will guide us through the steps of research-based writing, such as gathering and organizing research materials, drafting and revising, and analyzing and evaluating peer writing. This course will help students develop analytical skills that will be carried over in other disciplines and prepare them for the different kinds of writing assignments they will encounter in future courses and in their professional lives.