Catherine Prendergast

Section 1


Affiliated Faculty, Internal Advisory Board of EUI
Faculty of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Professor of English

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Catherine Prendergast is Professor of English at the University of Illinois,Urbana-Champaign. She is a Guggenheim Fellow for the year 2014-2015, working on her book, Writer, Painter, Banker, Thief. 


Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • American, later
  • Writing Studies
  • American, later
  • Teacher Training
  • Film/Visual Culture
  • Writing Studies


  • BA: Columbia University
  • PhD: University of Wisconsin - Madison

Distinctions / Awards

  • David H. Russell Award from NCTE (for Literacy and Racial Justice)
  • Guggenheim Fellow
  • Mina P. Shaughnessy Award
  • Braddock Award for outstanding article in College Composition and Communication
  • CCCC Outstanding Book Award
  • University Scholar
  • Fulbright Scholar


  • Disability in Film
  • Economies of Literacy



  • Buying into English: Language and Investment in the New Capitalist World. . University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008.
  • Literacy and Racial Justice: The Politics of Learning after Brown v. Board of Education. . Southern Illinois University Press, 2003.

Book Contributions

  • "The Unexceptional Schizophrenic: A Post-postmodern Introduction." Disability Studies Reader. . Routledge, 2013.

  • "In Praise of Incomprehension." Cross Language Relations in Composition Studies. . Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2010.

Journal Articles

  • Prendergast, Catherine, and Samuel P. Nelson. "Murderabilia Inc: How the First Amendment Fails Academic Freedom." SAQ 108.4 (2009): 667-688.
  • "The Fighting Style: Reading the Unabomber's Strunk and White." College English 72.1 (2009): 10-28.
  • "And Now, A Necessarily Pathetic Response." American Literary History 20.1-2 (2008): 238-244.
  • "We Live and Learn: English and Ambivalence in a New Capitalist State." Globalisation, Societies, and Education 6.1 (2008): 89-100.
  • Prendergast, Catherine, and Nancy Abelmann. "Alma Mater: College, Kinship, and the Pursuit of Diversity." Social Text 24.1 (2006): 37-53.
  • "The Economy of Literacy: How the Supreme Court Stalled the Civil Rights Movement." Harvard Educational Review 72.2 (2002): 206-229.

Special Issues of a Journal

  • Representing Disability and Emotion. Spec. iss. of Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability 5.2 (2011):

Website Articles

  • "Or You Don't: Talents, Tendencies, and the Pooka of Literacy." 11 Jan. 2013.
  • "Writing and Learning in View of the Lab: Why "They" Might Be Right." 11 Jan. 2013.