Nancy Nester

Nancy Nester
Nancy Nester, Ph.D.Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition

Contact Information

x3358nnester@rwu.eduGHH 238

Areas of Expertise

Public Rhetoric; Civic Engagement and Service Learning; Composition Studies; Utopian Studies


B.A., M.A., Ph.D. University of Rhode Island

Dr. Nester teaches first year writing courses such as Expository Writing: How Writing Works as well as advanced Writing courses including Writing for Social Change.  Her work in the classroom is linked to her scholarship and professional activities.  In 2010, she was selected as a Rhode Island Campus Compact Presidential Faculty Fellow for a Writing for Social Change course project entitled From the Podium to the Pavement: the Praxis of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility.  Visit  for an overview of the civic engagement project she highlighted in her proposal and in a subsequent presentation.   

In addition, Dr. Nester teaches in the University’s General Education Program, both Core 104:  Literature Philosophy and the Examined Life and an Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar entitled, Visions of Utopia:  Dreams and Delusions.   Her work with her Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar continues to inspire her scholarship on empathy and social justice, topics on which she writes and presents. 

Her current projects include a study called “The Differently-Abled in Utopian Spaces:  Human Rights, Capabilities, and Dignity,” which she will present at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Utopian Studies.  Another paper titled “Rhetorical Encounters With Empathy: Pedagogy, Citizenship and the Greater Good” she will present at 17th Biennial Rhetoric Society of America Conference.

Dr. Nester is a member of Faculty Learning Community focused on Social Justice and Diversity and chairs the Celebration of Writing Committee.  She chairs the Core 104 Curriculum Unit Committee, as well.

She is a member of several professional organizations including the National Council of Teachers of English; Conference on College Composition and Communication; Society for Utopian Studies; Human Development and Capability Association; a supporter of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture; and a member of the Social Justice Committee at Sacred Heart Church in West Warwick, RI.