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Appointment-Based Writing Tutor

John Peterson


John Peterson has taught in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric since 2004. Before coming to Stanford, he was a mentor teacher in the UC Irvine Writing Program and started the writing curriculum in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program at the University of Washington, Tacoma. Born and raised in Los Angeles, John completed his BA in Literature at UC Santa Cruz and his MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Formerly Coordinator for PWR 1, in addition to teaching PWR courses, he works in the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking.

John is interested in how people's backgrounds, experiences, and their relationships to technology shape the ways they learn to write. Past classes have ranged from research in liberal arts education, to study of the tension between art and commerce, to investigations of pop culture. He is currently co-authoring a chapter on writing and Google Docs, "Tinker,Teacher, Sharer, Spy: Negotiating Surveillance in Online Collaborative Writing Spaces," and writing a book-length inquiry into how improvisation is a learned activity that requires both practice and imagination: "Improvisation and Free Speech: The Danger and Beauty of Speaking Off-the-Cuff."

Areas of specialization: cultural criticism, social sciences, literature, interdisciplinary studies

Genre expertise: personal statements, dissertations, articles for publication

Enjoys coaching getting started, analysis, and revision strategies


(650) 723-1361


Sweet 331

My website

Office Hours

Thursday 2:30pm-4:30pm PACIFIC Also by appointment

Research Interests

SPECIALIZATION: Liberal Arts Education; Art Versus Commerce; Literacy Narratives; Public Schools; Social/Racial Justice; Consumer Culture; Music & Film; Technology & Learning; Public Policy