Photo of Graham Smart

Graham Smart

Associate Professor (Applied Linguistics & Discourse Studies)

Degrees:Ph.D. (McGill), B.Ed (Queen's), M.A. (Carleton), Honours B.A. (Carleton)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2000
Office:243 Paterson Hall


After completing a Ph.D. in Education at McGill University’s Centre for the Study and Teaching of Writing, I taught in the U.S. for seven years, five at Purdue University and two at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, before coming to Carleton in 2004. My research and teaching focus on the study of writing in academic and workplace settings as well as on environmental discourse. In my most recent research, I am looking at how arguments are socially constructed within the various discourses comprising the current debate over the reality and implications of global climate change.

Prior to starting a professional academic career, I worked for a number of years as an in-house writing consultant and trainer at the Bank of Canada, the country’s central bank. As an insider, I was able to use the Bank of Canada as a research site for an ethnographic study of the role of technology-mediated discourse in the organization’s knowledge-building, policy-making, and public communication. This work was eventually published in the book, Writing the economy: Activity, genre, and technology in the world of banking .

During the 2007-2008 academic year, I was the School’s acting Graduate Supervisor.

Research Interests

  • writing in academic and workplace settings
  • genre theory and genre analysis
  • interpretive ethnography
  • environmental discourse


Current course information for this faculty member can be found by searching the Carleton Central/Public Schedule by Term and Name.

Courses taught

  • ALDS 5607: Research and Theory in Academic Writing
  • ALDS 5605: Research and Theory in Workplace Writing
  • ALDS 5904: Environmental Discourse (special topic)
  • ALDS 5005: Theoretical Foundations for Applied Language Studies
  • ALDS 5001: Directions in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies
  • ALDS 4405/ENGL 4515: Teaching Writing in School and the Workplace
  • ALDS 4403/ENGL 4909: Writing and Knowledge-Making in the Disciplines
  • ALDS 3401/ENGL 3908: Research and Theory in Academic Writing
  • ALDS 3402/ENGL 3909: Research and Theory in Workplace Writing
  • ALDS 3706: Discourse Analysis

Recent Publications

“Discourse Coalitions, Science Blogs, and the Public Debate on Global Climate Change.” In Anis Bawarshi & Mary Jo Reiff (Eds.), Genre and the Performance of Publics. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press. 2016.

“Research on Knowledge-Making in Professional Discourses: The Use of Theoretical Resources.” In Vijay Bhatia & Stephen Bremner (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Language and Professional Communication. London and New York: Routledge (co-authored with Stephani Currie and Matt Falconer). In press.

“The Discursive Production and Impairment of Public Trust through Rhetorical Representations of Science: The Case of Global Climate Change.” In Chris Candlin & Jonathan Crichton (Eds.). Discourses of Trust: The Discursive Construction of ‘Trust’ within Applied Linguistic Research (pp. 252-268). Basingstoke, U.K., and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2012.

“The Ethnography of Communication as a Research Perspective.” In Carol Chapelle (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (pp. 2045-2050). John Wiley and Sons, 2012

“Discourse-Oriented Ethnography.” In James Gee & Michael Handford (Eds.), Handbook of Discourse Analysis (pp. 147-159). London and New York: Routledge, 2011.

“Argumentation across Web-Based Organizational Discourses: The Case of Climate Change.” In Srikant Sarangi & Chris Candlin (Eds.), Handbook of Communication in Organisations and Professions (pp. 363-386). Berlin and Boston: Mouton De Gruyter, 2011.

“Ethnographic-Based Discourse Analysis: Uses, Issues and Prospects.” In Vijay Bhatia, John Flowerdew, & Rodney Jones (Eds.), Advances in Discourse Studies (pp. 56-66). London and New York: Routledge, 2008.

“Writing and the Social Formation of Economy.” In Charles Bazerman (Ed.), Handbook of Writing Research (pp. 103-112). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007.

Writing the Economy: Activity, Genre and Technology in the World of Banking. London: Equinox Publishing. 2006.

“Developing a Discursive Gaze: Participatory Action Research with Student Interns Encountering New Genres in the Activity of the Workplace.” In Aviva Freedman & Natasha Artemeva (Eds.), Rhetorical Genre Studies and Beyond (pp. 241-282). Winnipeg: Inkshed Publications, 2006. (co-authored with Nicole Brown).

“A Central Bank’s ‘Communications Strategy’: The Interplay of Activity, Discourse Genres,and Technology in a Time of Organizational Change.” In Charles Bazerman & David Russell (Eds.), Writing Selves/Writing Societies: Research from Activity Perspectives (pp. 9-61). Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse and Mind, Culture, and Activity (ISBN 0-9727023-1-8), 2003.

“Reinventing Expertise: Experienced Writers in the Workplace Encounter a New Genre.” In Patrick Dias & Anthony Paré (Eds.), Transitions: Writing in Academic and Workplace Settings (pp. 223-252). New York: Hampton Press, 2000.

Awards and Honours

2013  Nominated as an ‘Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor’ at Carleton University.

2013  Closing plenary speaker. Invited to give the closing plenary talk at the conference, “Critical Transitions: Writing and the Question of Transfer.” Elon University, North Carolina. June 2013.

2010  Opening keynote speaker. Invited to give the opening keynote talk at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of for the Study of Discourse and Writing. “Opening up the ‘Opaque Box’ of Climate-Change Argumentation: Overcoming Discursive Barriers to Understanding and Constructive Dialogue.”  Concordia University, May 2010.

2009-2012  Honorary Visiting Professor. Hubei University for Nationalities, School of Foreign Languages (Enshi, China).

2009  Visiting Scholar. City University of Hong Kong. Department of English. January-May 2009.

2009  Chapter in a collection awarded the 2009 CCCC Outstanding Book Award. Charles Bazerman (Ed.) Handbook of Writing Research. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007. (The collection included the chapter, “Writing and the Social Formation of Economy,”)

2007  Nomination for a Capital Educator’s Award.

2000  Article nominated for the 2000 NCTE Award for Best Article Reporting Qualitative or Quantitative Research in Technical or Scientific Communication: “Storytelling in a Central Bank: The Role of Narrative in the Creation and Use of Specialized Economic Knowledge.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication 13 (1999). 249-273. The article was Included in the Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Writing (fifth edition).

2000  Article nominated for the 2000 Association for Business Communication Award for Distinguished Publication in Business Communication: “Storytelling in a Central Bank: The Role of Narrative in the Creation and Use of Specialized Economic Knowledge.”

1999  Second place, 1999 NCTE Award for Best Dissertation in Technical Communication (inaugural competition, covered 1996-1998). An Ethnographic Study of Knowledge-Making in a Central Bank: The Interplay of Writing and Economic Modeling.

1998  First place, 1998 ADEREQ (Association of Deans of Education for Research in Education in Quebec) Outstanding Dissertation Award. For the best dissertation from a school of education in Quebec. An Ethnographic Study of Knowledge-Making in a Central Bank: The Interplay of Writing and Economic Modeling.

 1993  Chapter in the collection awarded the 1993 NCTE Award for Best Collection of Essays on Technical and Scientific Communication. Rachel Spilka (Ed.) Writing in the Workplace: New Research Perspectives. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1993. (The collection included the chapter, “Genre as Community Invention: A Central Bank’s Response to its Executives’ Expectations as Readers.”).

Recent Graduate Supervisions

Renée Fontenelle. “A Multimodal Analysis of Two EAP Textbooks and an Engineering Textbook.” Defended April 2013. SLaLS, Carleton. (co-supervised with Lynne Young).

Matt Falconer. “Tutor Training in Carleton University’s Writing Tutorial Service: An Ethnographic Study of the Pre-Service Training and Socialization of Junior Tutors.” Defended April 2013. SLaLS, Carleton. (co-supervised with Guillaume Gentil).

Stephani Currie. “How to Save the World: The Ideologies of Four ENGOs and their Discursive Constructions of Climate Change. Defended (with distinction) January 2013. SLaLS, Carleton.

Phillip Sloan. “Contextualizing Writing Centres: Theory vs. Practice.” Defended (with distinction) May 2007. SLaLS, Carleton.