Composing Compassion


  • Yasmin Rioux Divine Word College


composition, empathy, compassion


In this column, the author reflects on her approaches to teaching writing and the role of Composition in her own reality beyond the classroom. She attempts to connect academic and non-academic spheres by illuminating how what we do in Composition relates to a mindset of compassion, inclusion of others around us, and a strong human focus that reaches beyond the classroom. Further, Rioux argues that Composition asks us to be compassionate as we must, in order to be effective compositionists, explore rhetorical spaces and differing contexts and place ourselves within these. This approach resonates with the importance of examining situations, persons, things, etc. from a perspective that is different from our own. As writing oftentimes requires us to envision an audience (a person, situation, entity, etc.) the practice of writing itself allows and forces us to envision things beyond what we know, therefore resembling a mindset similar to the one we need when seeking to be compassionate.

Author Biography

Yasmin Rioux, Divine Word College

Yasmin Rioux, Ph.D. has taught college English, Communication, and ESL for over a decade. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in English Composition and Applied Linguistics in 2017 and has contributed to her fields through several publications and presentations. Her primary research interests are multilingual writers, narrative writing, interdisciplinary work, environmental writing, and Ecocomposition. Yasmin recently relocated to Germany from the USA, and now works fulltime at IU International University of Applied Sciences.


Aside of engaging in writing for various purposes and contexts, Dr. Rioux is passionate about exploring the outdoors with her family and supporting efforts for a more equal and just society for all.