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The essays in this book, stemming from a national conference of the same name, focus on the single subject required of nearly all college students—composition.
Despite its pervasiveness and its significance, composition has an unstable status within the curriculum. Writing programs and writing faculty are besieged by academic, political, and financial concerns that have not been well understood or addressed.
At many institutions, composition functions paradoxically as both the gateway to academic success and as the gatekeeper, reducing access to academic work and opportunity for those with limited facility in English. Although writing programs are expected to provide services that range from instruction in correct grammar to assisting—or resisting—political correctness, expanding programs and shrinking faculty get caught in the crossfire. The bottom line becomes the firing line as forces outside the classroom determine funding and seek to define what composition should do.
In search of that definition, the contributors ask and answer a series of specific and salient questions: What implications—intellectual, political, and institutional—will forces outside the classroom have on the quality and delivery of composition in the twenty-first century? How will faculty and administrators identify and address these issues? What policies and practices ought we propose for the century to come?
This book features sixteen position papers by distinguished scholars and researchers in composition and rhetoric; most of the papers are followed by invited responses by other notable compositionists. In all, twenty-five contributors approach composition from a wide variety of contemporary perspectives: rhetorical, historical, social, cultural, political, intellectual, economic, structural, administrative, and developmental. They propose solutions applicable to pedagogy, research, graduate training of composition teachers, academic administration, and public and social policy. In a very real sense, then, this is the only book to offer a map to the future of composition.
|Introduction: The New Geography of Composition||1|
|1||What Is Composition and (if you know what that is) Why Do We Teach It?||11|
|2||Order out of Chaos: Voices from the Community College||29|
|3||Inventing the University Student|
|Response by Kurt Spellmeyer||39|
|4||The Abolition Debate in Composition: A Short History||47|
|5||Around 1971: Current-Traditional Rhetoric and Process Models of Composing||64|
|6||Prim Irony: Suzuki Method Composition in the 21st Century|
|Response by C. Jan Swearingen||75|
|7||Writing Assessment in the 21st Century: A Utopian View||83|
|8||Writing Assessment Beyond the Classroom: Will Writing Teachers Play a Role?||101|
|9||The Need for a Theory of Writing Assessment|
|Response by Brian Huot||112|
|10||The Long Revolution in Composition||119|
|11||Writing Instruction and the Politics of Professionalization||133|
|19||Seeking a Disciplinary Reformation|
|Response by Charles I. Schuster||146|
|13||Disciplining Students: Whom Should Composition Teach and What Should They Know?||153|
|14||National Standards and College Composition: Are They Kissing Cousins or Natural Siblings?||166|
|15||Enlarging the Community|
|Response by Erika Lindemann||177|
|16||Moving Writing Research into the 21st Century||183|
|17||The Death of Paradigm Hope, the End of Paradigm Guilt, and the Future of (Research in) Composition||194|
|18||Research, Teaching, and Public Policy|
|Response by Sandra Stotsky||208|
|19||English Studies, Work, and Politics in the New Economy||215|
|20||Work, Class, and Categories: Dilemmas of Identity||226|
|21||Imagining the Future: Composition in a New Economic and Social Context|
|Response by Carol Petersen Hartzog||243|
|23||Intellectual Property in an Age of Information: What Is at Stake for Composition Studies?||261|
|Conclusion: Mapping Composition's New Geography||273|