Susan Miller

1942 ~ 2013
Susan Miller, Professor of English Emerita at the University of Utah, passed away peacefully on Friday February 22, 2013 in the company of loving friends after a 10 month battle with cancer. Susan was born on December 10, 1942 in Washington D.C. A nationally known scholar and revered teacher, Susan earned her B.A. from Valparaiso University and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She directed composition programs at Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before coming to the University of Utah in 1983, where she was the founding director of the University Writing Program. Her fierce and restless intellect made her a writer of award-winning books on rhetoric and the teaching of writing. Most prominent among those are Rescuing the Subject, Textual Carnivals, and Assuming the Positions: Cultural Pedagogy and the Politics of Ordinary Writing. More recently she published Trust in Texts: A Different History of Rhetoric, and an important anthology, The Norton Book of Composition Studies, which she edited. These books and her teaching on a wide variety of topics in rhetoric and writing have had a profound effect on the fields of rhetorical theory and composition studies. A number of her former students are now prominent scholars themselves, and through them her legacy will continue for many years to come.
Never one to rest on her laurels, Susan put her knowledge of rhetoric and composition to a new use in 2009 when she started a writing group for physicians, medical students, and staff at the University of Utah Heath Sciences Center who wanted to write about their experiences but had no formal training in writing. Susan conceived of the group as providing an opportunity to write more personally about the complexities of the clinical doctor/patient relationship. She found this new direction immensely interesting, and if she had not become gravely ill, there is no question another book would have emerged from her ongoing work in this area.
Susan was preceded in death by her father, Allen Ward Miller, mother, Margretta Boose Bowers, and stepfather, Clarence Harmon Bowers. She is survived by her brother, Jack Allen Miller (Barbara) of Fredericksburg, Virginia, nephew, Nathanial Christian Miller (Nell) and great niece, Mary Nell Caroline Miller of Charleston, South Carolina, as well as devoted friends and colleagues and her beloved dog, AJ.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Hospice Foundation.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in the Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary Chapel, 2350 East 1300 South, where a visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.
Online condolences: www.larkincares.com


Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Feb. 26 to Feb. 27, 2013