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Heather Bruce, Professor

Location: LA 118
Hours: Wednesday 11-2, by appointment

Phone: (406) 243- 4680


I have been teaching since 1975. My first assignment was as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher. I have taught at every level other than kindergarten and 3rd grade. I am certified K-12, endorsed in English, Biology, and Women's Studies. I have been involved in Writing Project-affiliated activities since 1981. I began at the University of Montana in 2000.


I received a B.A. from Principia College in environmental studies and education/humanities track; an Ed. M. from Harvard University in reading and curriculum development; and the Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Composition, Rhetoric and Literacy Studies: Cultural Foundations of Education. I am a 1981 fellow of the Utah Writing Project.

Research Interests

I am working on formulating peacebuilding rhetorics following the work of Terry Tempest Williams. I am also working on a project that relates place-based, place-conscious education and implementation of Indian Education for All. I additionally am working toward building rhetorical exigencies that establish grounds for civil discourse in a participatory democracy.  

Professional Experience

I taught reading, writing, language arts and English for 13 years at every grade level except kindergarten and 3rd grade in public schools in Salt Lake City, UT. I worked for a time as a technical writer in medical, industrial, and science fields during graduate school. I was a "freeway flyer" teaching first-year composition at 5 colleges and universities along the I-15 corridor near Salt Lake City. I have done some freelance professional writing and consulting. I also worked for Delta Air Lines in reservations and as a security guard at the Christian Science Monitor while I was in graduate school(s).

Selected Publications

Sherman Alexie in the Classroom: "This is not a silent movie. Our voices will save our lives." with Anna Baldwin (Arlee High School) and Christabel Umphrey (the Montana Writing Project). The NCTE Literature in the High School Series. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 2008.

"Peacebuilding in Indian Country: Indian Education for All." Reflections: Writing, Service-Learning and Community Literacy. Vol 8.1 (Fall 2008): 214-250. 

"Feminist Pedagogy Is for Everybody: Troubling Gender in Reading and Writing." with Nancy McCracken, Shirley Brown, and Mary Bell-Nolan. English Journal. 97.3 (January 2008): 82-89. Awarded Edward M. Hollis Honorable Mention for best biennial article in English Journal by a non-classroom teacher.

Field of Study

Composition, rhetoric and literacy studies: cultural foundations of education; peace studies; gender/feminist studies; critical race theory and anti-racist education; Indian Education for All


I teach courses in theories and pedagogies of rhetoric/composition, literacies, and literary criticism as well as undergraduate methods classes in English education. I direct the Montana Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, the premier organization in the United States for professional development in writing education. I have been a writing project teacher consultant and administrator since 1981. I oversee and am the instructional leader for numerous statewide professional development programs in the teaching of writing and implementation of "Indian Education for All" through writing.