Greetings! Thank you for visiting this site.

I am excited to share my work with you.

Current Projects

Stetson Kennedy Biography

My Work

Research Program

Akin to a method Elizabeth Yakel calls “pearl growing” (Working in the Archives, 2009), I have developed my research in layers around a central concern: the grain of sand. For me, that grain represents identification (Burke, A Rhetoric of Motives): how we as social actors form a sense of ourselves by aligning with aspects of our material conditions.

Primarily I am concerned with how class consciousness is formed, reformed, and performed. I recover the voices of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and in so doing, I have sought to contribute to the “public turn” in rhetoric and composition by focusing on working-class subjects in social movements and community literacy programs. As labor historian James R. Barrett (2017) writes, my rhetorical historiography approaches subjects “from the bottom up and the inside out.”

For more, please read my research statement.

Teaching Philosophy

As a teacher of writing and rhetoric, I employ praxis, what critical educator Paulo Freire calls in Pedagogy of the Oppressed “ a movement back and forth between action and reflection.” This melding of theory and practice manifests in my classroom through four ideas and principles:

  • classroom culture;
  • shared authority;
  • primary research;
  • reflection.

For more, please read my teaching philosophy.


I am working on three main projects:

  1. Lee County Literacy Coalition: tutoring an adult learner;
  2. Alabama Prison Arts & Education Project: longitudinal study of program outcomes;
  3. Writing a Federal grant to fund project working with underserved rural youth on developing hard & soft job skills.

For more, please read my outreach statement.

About Me

Helen Diana Eidson received her doctorate in English from Georgia State University with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition. As an Assistant Professor of English at Auburn, she teaches courses in primary research, public writing, composition pedagogy, rhetorical theory, and cultural rhetorics. Diana’s research interests include working-class rhetorics, social movement studies, and community literacy. Currently, she is writing a rhetorical biography of Stetson Kennedy (1916–2011), a journalist, investigative historian, spy, and activist who fought for civil rights and workers’ rights over a career spanning nearly eight decades.


Get in Touch


Auburn University
Department of English
9030 Haley Center
Auburn, Alabama 36849-9027

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