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About John Webster
John Webster has taught at the University of Washington since 1972, arriving with a BA. from UCLA and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. He has specialized in Renaissance literature, literary theory, expository writing, and pedagogy, and has published articles on Sidney, Spenser, Renaissance rhetoric and poetics, and the teaching of Renaissance poetry. He was Secretary-Treasurer of the International Spenser Society from 1990-2000. His edition and translation of William Temple’s neo-Latin Analysis of Sidney’s Apology for Poetry appeared in 1984.
In November of 2003 he was appointed the inaugural College of Arts and Sciences Director of Writing. In this position he is working with the College's newly created Writing Council to make writing a central part of every student's experience at the University of Washington, in all disciplines and throughout all four years of each student's college career.
From 1986 to 1994 he was Director of Expository Writing for the University, overseeing the training and performance of teaching assistants for the English Department’s first-year writing programs (annual enrollments of approximately 6000). He has since worked in a variety of English Department and University mentoring programs for teachers of writing and teachers of literature. In 2000-2001 he taught the English Methods course for the University of Washington School of Education’s Teacher Education Program. In 2000 he also became Co-Director of the Puget Sound Writing Project, a professional development program for K-12 teachers in Western Washington State.
In 1998 he was selected by the Carnegie Academy for the Advancement of Teaching to participate in the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. He also has served on the Modern Language Association’s Executive Committee for the Division of Teaching as a Profession (1999-2004). In the Spring of 2000 he was selected for the Karen Shabetai Distinguished Teaching Award by the Department of English. From 1979 he has led the University of Washington’s biennial London Theatre and Concert Tour, the next version scheduled for March, 2004.
Recent publications include a biographical article on John Seton, the Cambridge University logician (c.1509-1567) in The Dictionary of Literary Biography (2003), “Whose Poem Is This Anyway? Teaching Spenser Through the Stanza Workshop,” in Pedagogy (Spring, 2003), and “My Troubles with Perry: Developmental Scheme or Humanities Curriculum?” in International Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Proceedings: 2001 and 2002 (2003).