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Faculty - Sondra Perl

Sondra PerlE-mail Address:
Phone Number: 718-960-8556
Office: Carman Hall, Room 386
Office Hours: Not teaching this semester
Rank: Professor
Degrees and Sources of Degrees: B.A., Simmons College; M.A., Ph.D., New York University

Academic Interests

  • writing, teaching, creative nonfiction, ethnography, women's studies, holocaust studies, cross-cultural dialogue, urban education, collaborative projects, writing across the curriculum


  • the scholarship of teaching; cross-cultural dialogue; embodied knowing


  • Guggenheim Fellow; the Carnegie Foundation's Professor of the Year for New York State


  • Perl, S. & Schuster, C. (Eds.), (2010). Stepping On My Brother's Head and Other Secrets Your English Professor Never Told You: A College Reader. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann/Boynton-Cook.
  • Perl, S. (Director). (2008). Reading, writing and teaching the holocaust. Summer seminar II. [DVD]. New York: The Memorial Library & Art Collection of the Second World War.
  • Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction. Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin, July, 2005 (with Mimi Schwartz).
  • On Austrian Soil: Teaching Those I Was Taught to Hate. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. March, 2005.
  • Felt Sense: Writing with the Body. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2004.
  • Felt Sense: The Guidelines for Composing: The CD. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2004.
  • Landmark Essays on Writing Process. Edited volume. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1994, 250pp.
  • Through Teachers' Eyes: Portraits of Writing Teachers at Work. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1986, 272pp (with Nancy Wilson). Reissued with a new preface, 1998.

Chapters in Books

  • Writing the Holocaust: The Transformative Power of Response Journals in Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust. Eds. Irene Kacandes and Marianne Hirsch. NY: MLA, 2004.
  • Dear Peter: A Collage in Several Voices in Writing with Elbow. Eds. Pat Belanoff, Marcia Dickson, Sheryl Fontaine, and Charles Moran. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2002, 253-267.
  • What We Learned in Looking Both Ways: High School and College Teachers Talk about Language and Learning. Ed. George Otte. NY: CUNY Office of Academic Affairs, 1999, 96-101.
  • Early Work on Composing: Lessons and Illuminations in Perspectives on Writing: Theory, Research, Practice. Eds. Beth Boehm, Debra Journet and Mary Rosner. Stamford, CT: Ablex, 83-98.
  • Composing a Pleasurable Life in Women/Writing/Teaching. Ed. Jan Schmidt. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1998, 239-253.
  • Facing the Other: The Emergence of Ethics and Selfhood in a Cross-Cultural Writing Classroom in Narration as Knowledge: Tales of the Teaching Life. Ed. Joseph Trimmer. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1997, 173-190.
  • A Writer's Way of Knowing: Guidelines for Composing in Presence of Mind: Writing and the Domain Beyond the Cognitive. Eds. Alice Brand and Richard Graves. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1994, 77-87.
  • Through Teachers' Eyes: Reflections on Ethnography and Writing in Research in Literacy: Merging Perspectives. Eds. John E. Readance and R. Scott Baldwin. Rochester, NY: National Reading Conference, 1987, 287-295.
  • The Process of Creative Discovery: Theory, Research and Implications for Teaching in The Territory of Language: Linguistics, Stylistics, and the Teaching of Composition. Ed. Donald McQuade. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois U P, 1986, 251-268 (with Arthur Egendorf).
  • A Look at Basic Writers in the Process of Composing, in Basic Writing: Essays for Teachers, Researchers and Administrators. Eds. Dan Hoeber and Lawrence Kasden. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1980, 13-32.


  • "There's Humor and There's Tears": An Interview with Sondra Perl. Conducted by John Boe. Writing on the Edge. vol. 20, no. 2. Spring, 2010. 43-56.
  • Running Roughshod: An Ethical Dilemma in Creative Nonfiction. Writing on the Edge, 12, no.1, Fall/Winter 2001, 35-40.
  • Composing Texts, Composing Lives. Harvard Educational Review, 64, Winter 1994, 427-449. Reprinted in Race and Higher Education: Rethinking Pedagogy in Diverse College Settings. Eds. Annie Howell and Frank Tuitt. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2003, 165-186.
  • Reflections on Ethnography and Writing. The English Record, Fourth Quarter 1983, 10-11.
  • How Teachers Teach the Writing Process: Overview of an Ethnographic Research Project. The Elementary School Journal, September 1983, 19-24.
  • Creativity and the Composing Classroom: Making Thought Visible. Arizona Sondra Perl
  • English Bulletin, November 1982, 28-32.
  • The State of the Art in Composition. ADE Bulletin, February 1980, 44-46.
  • Understanding Composing. College Composition and Communication, December 1980, 363-369. (Reprinted in the following books: The Writing Teacher's Sourcebook. Eds. Gary Tate and Edward P.J. Corbett. NY: Oxford U P, 1993. Teaching with the Bedford Guide for College Writers, Second
  • Edition: Background Readings. Ed. Shirley Morahan. Boston, MA: St. Martin's, 1993. To Compose: Teaching Writing in High School and College. Ed. Tom Newkirk. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1989. Purposes and Themes: Readings for University Writing. Ed. David A. Jolliffe. Kendall/Hunt, 1988. Rhetoric and Composition: A Sourcebook for Teachers and Writers. Ed. Richard Graves. Boynton/Cook, 1984. The Writer's Mind: Writing as a Mode of Thinking. Eds. Janice Hays, Phyllis Roth, Jon Ramsey, and Robert Foulke. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1983.)
  • The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers. Research in the Teaching of English, December 1979, 317-336. (Reprinted in A Sourcebook for Basic Writing Teachers. Ed. Theresa Enos. NY: Random House, 1987, 417-439.)
  • Unskilled Writers as Composers. New York University Education Quarterly, Spring 1979, 17-22. (Reprinted in Teachers and Writers Magazine, Fall 1979, 12-17.)
  • The New Students: A Dialectic between Language and Learning. ADE Bulletin, September 1975, 48-51.