Michael Sutcliffe

Composition and Technical/Professional Communications Instructor
Phone: (360) 546-9640
Located in Multimedia (VMMC) 202
Support Staff: Annette Bradstreet

I have experience teaching communication strategies for a range of contexts including professional and technical writing and writing for English language learners as well as for an array of modalities including online, print, and in-person presentation. I also am involved with literacy and re-entry programs in prisons and jails. I think of myself as an activist and advocate, a scholar of critical literacy, and a community engagement specialist.

I view education, and especially writing instruction, as a means of self-authorizing participation in important academic and public conversations about social justice and specific community problems like food and housing insecurity, environmental pollution, and unsustainable policies of policing and incarceration. My courses are designed to help students identify, understand, and join unfamiliar discourse communities whether at work, at school, or in public venues.





Course ID Title Meeting Time Location Semester Syllabus
English 402 Professional and Technical Communications
English 101 Introduction to College Writing
English 202 Grammar in Context
University 302 Advanced Writing Tutorial
English 100 Introduction to College Writing


My research and work with community literacy programs are an ongoing attempt to teach the voting public ways to respond to social problems by building rather than breaking. Bringing together rhetoric, criminology, and gender theory, I am interested in (interrupting) situations where languages and literacies (re)produce power and privileges that have traditionally been reserved for heterosexual white men. Specifically, I am researching ways that community literacy and prison/jail educational programs can inform public conversations about alternatives to incarceration.

  • Rhetoric
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Literacy
  • Prison Studies
  • Evidence-based Research & Practice

Recent Publications

 Sutcliffe, Michael. “Visualizing Abolition: Two Graphic Novels and a Critical Approach to Incarceration for the Composition Classroom.Sequential Art Narrative in Education 2:1 (2015).

Local Reactions to Oxaliplatin by Peripheral vs. Central Infusion.” Ed. Michael Sutcliffe. Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice, 2015.

Sutcliffe, Michael. “Writing Out (from) Prisons: Critical Literacy, Prison Abolition, and a Queer(ed), Public Pedagogy.” Diss. Washington State University, 2015.

Sutcliffe, Michael. “Mass Incarceration & a Visual Discourse of Abolition.” Pacific View 14:1 (2015): 1-2.

Sutcliffe, Michael. “Occupy U: A Timely Call in Henry Giroux’s On Critical Pedagogy.Pedagogy 13:1 (2013): 171-178.

Sutcliffe, Michael and Robert Owens. “Report of Findings on the WSU Undergraduate Writing Program.” Washington State University (2012).



  • PhD, Washington State University
  • MA, Sacramento State University
  • Grad Certificate, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • BA, Sacramento State University
  • AA, Las Positas College