Daniel R. Sanford

Lecturer in the Humanities and Director of Writing at Bates and of ARC


Writing at Bates

Coram Library, Room 228



I’m honored to serve the college as the Director of Writing at Bates, leading the staff of the program in supporting students in their growth as writers, and faculty in the use of writing in their courses. I’m fascinated by the role that writing plays in the transformative experience of a liberal arts education, and I believe strongly in the power of writing to help individuals to access communities both within the academy and in the world beyond it.

After an undergraduate course of study in Classics and Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin, I completed my PhD in Linguistics at the University of New Mexico. As a Linguist, I’m interested in the way that the structures of language emerge from simple, recurring processes, in the same manner as other naturally occurring complex systems. I love the way that language exemplifies the order that surrounds us in the world, and which can be made accessible through the scientific method.

I became involved in writing center and academic support work while completing my doctoral study, and before coming to Bates served first as head of the Writing Center and then as Director of the Center for Academic Program Support at the University of New Mexico. My background in Linguistics and the cognitive sciences provides the lens through which I approach composition studies, writing center work, and learning support. I’m interested in how higher education writing programs can engage with issues of language rights, and in how our emerging understanding of how information is stored and processed in the mind can be brought to bear on helping students to get the most from their studies.

Every writer has room for continued growth in the effectiveness of their communication; every educator can do more to use writing as a tool for learning. Along with the Writing Specialists, I’m here to serve as a resource for everyone on campus in engaging writing across the curriculum.