Kristi Girdharry

Assistant Professor,  College of Arts & Sciences

Contact Information
In my courses, I want students to write about the things that matter to them.”


When I really think about it, I’ve been interested in ideas of identity and discourse for much longer than my years in higher education: from listening to the way my immigrant parents would slip into their accented English on the phone with old friends to the months of fantasy football banter that holds my own friend groups together, the ways we communicate and the communities we build (particularly with digital writing) put me in a position where my “real” life and my “academic” life are always in conversation. I learned about my field (Rhetoric & Composition) through working in the writing center as an undergraduate student.

From there, knowing that I had an interest in teaching, I spent a year as a volunteer teacher in Costa Rica, where I taught Kindergarten through 3rd grade English classes.

Fast forward some years later, and my plans were to write my dissertation on something to do with multilingual students and writing, and then the Boston Marathon bombing occurred a mile down the road from my university.

After helping to build a digital archive to capture all of the ephemera from that event, which included intense oral history interviews with various members of the community who were impacted by those acts of terror, it made sense to turn a critical eye to that project and to work to understand identity and discourse and writing in a digital community project. In my courses, I want students to write about the things that matter to them, too.

Sample Courses

  • ENG 1020: English Composition
  • ENG 1021: Advanced Composition and Comm
  • ENG 1030: Communication Skills
  • RSCH 3020: Honors Research Seminar

Professional Memberships

  • National Council of Teachers of English, 2012-present

Awards and Honors

  • 2014: Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Northeastern University, Office of the Provost


  • “Negotiating Literacy: Tutor Reflection and Approaches in Multilingual Cross-Cultural Writing Center Sessions” Conference on College Composition and Communication, 2017
    Authors: Kristi Girdharry, Areti Sakellaris, Eric Sepenoski, Michael Turner, Belinda Walzer
  • “Building Meaningful Connections in Online Learning Spaces
    Biennial Conference on Critical Thinking and Writing, 2016
    Author: Kristi Girdharry
  • “Methodological Orientations to the ‘Decolonized’ Archive
    Conference on College Composition and Communication, 2016
    Author: Kristi Girdharry
  • “We are ALL Boston Strong!’: Public Writing in Digital Community Spaces
    Modern Language Association (MLA), 2016
    Author: Kristi Girdharry