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Heather Fester

Teaching Associate Professor & Nature and Human Values Coordinator, Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Dr. Heather Fester is honored to be joining the HASS Mines faculty in Fall 2022. She teaches rhetoric, ethics, composition, and creative writing, and she has administered various types of writing programs on the university level.

Before she returned to school to earn her MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics as the Allen Ginsberg Fellow at Naropa University (2015-2017), Heather directed the Center for Writing and Scholarship at the California Institute of Integral Studies and coordinated the Writing Across the Curriculum and First-Year Writing programs at Lincoln University of Missouri. Most recently, she coordinated the Creative Writing minor in the English Department at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs where she enjoyed supporting faculty and students to build community around creative writing.

Her research interests include the rhetoric of ideologies, technology and rhetoric, creative and contemplative writing pedagogies, writing program administration, creative nonfiction, documentary poetics, and alternative discourses and composing methods. She has a textbook unit on thinking critically about fake news out from The Independent Thinking and Writing Company (2021), and her hybrid chapbook Ghosts of Things Unsaid is forthcoming from Untimely Books (2023). She is also currently conducting research on creative writing pedagogy approaches used in her Advanced Rhetoric and Writing course, and she continues to write about holding a critically complex view when it comes to ideologies on college campuses and in the classroom.

Heather enjoys running, hiking, yoga, coaching, supporting cultural events along the front range, exploring consciousness studies, meeting with her writing groups, and pampering her ginger cat named Perry.

Curriculum Vitae

Recent Conference Presentations

  • “Cultivating Wild Hope: Rhetorical Risk and Flexibility as Outcomes in an Advanced Rhetoric and Writing Course” College Conference on Composition and Communication Conference, Feb 15-18, 2023.
  • “Perceiving and Observing as Tools for the Wilderness Online” as part of “Using Berthoff’s Forming Approach to Writing for Its Radically Liberatory Ends,” an interactive workshop co-facilitated with Keith Rhodes and Paige Davis Arrington. Conference on College Composition and Communication, remote format, April 9, 2021.
  • “Stories from and Strategies for Building a Race & Writing Studies Practice Group” planned workshop with co-facilitators. Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning, June 25-28, 2020, Estes Park, CO. Accepted to present; cancelled due to COVID-19.
  • “Using Behavior Pathways for Skill-Building and Transfer in Composition Classes.” Regional Conference on College Composition and Communication, University of Denver, Denver, CO, July 20-21,
  • “‘Incommunicable Kingdoms of Spirit’: Implications of a Multiply-Dimensioned Writing Process in Jean Gebser, Suzanne Cook-Greuter, and Erin Manning.” Gebser Society Conference, Naropa University, Boulder, CO. October 13-15,
  • “Digestible Lines: Mind-Body Integration Moments in the Axial Poetics of George Quasha and Akilah Oliver’s Flesh Memory.” PhiloSOPHIA, Denver, CO, March 11-12, 2016.
  • “The Poet as Witness at the End of the World: The Role of the Witness in the American Experimental Writing Tradition from WCWilliams to Anne Waldman.” Naropa University, Boulder, CO, December 8,
  • “As(saying) the World Statement in, as, and through Language: Revealing the Poetics of Praxis in Jean Gebser’s Eteology.” 45th International Gebser Society Conference, San Francisco, CA, Oct. 16-18, 2015. Conference Theme: Architects of the Integral
  • “Service Course Silence and the Erotics of Change: Daring to Look at Reform at One Open-Enrollment HBCU Writing ” Council for Writing Program Admin, Savannah, GA. July 17- 21, 2013.
  • “Finding ‘Little Democracies’ Online: Improving Student Writing Through Engagement with New Publics.” Computers and Writing, University of California at Davis, June 18-21, 2009.

Recent Publications

  • “18 Notes on Space.” Metapsychosis: Journal of Consciousness, Literature, and Art, Online, November 2021.
  • “Transparency as a Defense-Less Act: Shining Light on Emerging Ideologies in an Activist Writing and Research Course.” On Teacher Neutrality: Politics, Praxis, Performativity, edited by Daniel P. Richards, Utah State University Press, 2020.
  • “Fake News Unit.” Digital textbook unit, co-authored with Jarret Krone, The Independent Critical Thinking and Writing Company, 2020.
  • “Chapter 6: Asking Smart Research Questions.” Stasis Theory and Research Practices: A Coursebook for Research Writing, 1st Hayden-McNeil, Fall 2019.

Courses Taught

HASS 100 Nature and Human Values
HASS 408 Creative Nonfiction Writing – Life Stories

CCCC Handout


Stratton Hall 306