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The Brookdale Foundation Group

300

Frank W. Burr Blvd

Suite 13

Teaneck, NJ

07666

 

Phone:

201-836-4602

 

Fax:

201-836-4342

 

Ruth E. Ray, MA, DA

Ruth E. Ray

Dr. Ray is a Professor of English at Wayne State University in Detroit. She received her doctoral degree in language and literature from The University of Michigan in 1987.

Dr. Ray’s research has focused on the socio-cultural factors which influence the writing of marginalized groups, particularly non-native speakers of English and women in institutions of higher education. She has been particularly interested in how culture, world view, and gender roles affect the ways people write and the effect their writing has on others. She has also examined the relationships between theory and practice in current English Departments, using feminist studies as a springboard for her argument that teaching and autobiographical practices are important knowledge-building enterprises.

As a Brookdale National Fellow, she conducted an ethnographic study of writing groups in nursing homes and senior citizen centers, looking for ways in which elderly women in particular represent themselves in autobiographical writing and whether these self-representations change over time as a result of continued writing and group interaction. Her hypothesis is that self-representation - the ways people use language when talking and writing about themselves - has a significant effect on quality of life. The results of this research formed the basis of her book, Beyond Nostalgia: Aging and Life Story Writing (University Press of Virginia, 2000). She is currently developing a new book series with Thomas R. Cole called, “Aging and the Human Spirit.”

Brookdale Fellow Class of 1994