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Chelsea Burk

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Curriculum Vitae:

Chelsea D. Burk is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English and a recipient of a Graduate Certificate in Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation, entitled "Poetics of the Document and Documentary Poetics: Documentary Poetry by Women, 1938-2015" will be defended in the fall of 2018.  Through the work of Muriel Rukeyser, Irena Klepfisz, Harryette Mullen, M. NourbeSe Philip, Claudia Rankine, and Joy Harjo, Chelsea traces an alternate lineage of documentary poetics than those currently offered, one grounded in epistemologies of the document. These poets critically engage specific document cultures, a term Chelsea defines as a given document’s visual and stylistic norms, and the norms of its subject matter and material. The project illustrates the ways in which these poets foreground and critique textual markers of race, gender, sexuality, and nation within powerful document cultures, from legislative resolutions to the dictionary. 


Before receiving a Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Fellowship, Chelsea taught The Interpretation of Literature, a general education literature survey in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, for four years. She has worked in the Department of Rhetoric's Writing Center, the main campus writing center that serves undergraduate, graduate, and faculty  populations, since 2013. For three consecutive years (2015-2018), Chelsea was selected to share her commitment to pedagogy by the Department of English as a Program Associate for the Professional Development Colloquium. She served in a similar position in the Department of Rhetoric in 2013-14. Her broader teaching experience includes general education Rhetoric, in which she promoted community engagement and advocacy through collaborating with the Iowa Digital Engagement and Learning (IDEAL) Initiative. Her tutor profile for the writing center can be found here: and her professional website here: