In the Archives of Composition: Writing and Rhetoric in High Schools and Normal Schools

In the Archives of Composition: Writing and Rhetoric in High Schools and Normal Schools


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In the Archives of Composition offers new and revisionary narratives of composition and rhetoric’s history. It examines composition instruction and practice at secondary schools and normal colleges, the two institutions that trained the majority of U.S. composition teachers and students during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Drawing from a broad array of archival and documentary sources, the contributors provide accounts of writing instruction within contexts often overlooked by current historical scholarship. Topics range from the efforts of young women to attain rhetorical skills in an antebellum academy, to the self-reflections of Harvard University students on their writing skills in the 1890s, to a close reading of a high school girl’s diary in the 1960s that offers a new perspective on curriculum debates of this period. Taken together, the chapters begin to recover how high school students, composition teachers, and English education programs responded to institutional and local influences, political movements, and pedagogical innovations over a one-hundred-and-thirty-year span.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822963776
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 10/12/2015
Series: Pitt Comp Literacy Culture Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Lori Ostergaard is associate professor and chair of the department of writing and rhetoric at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.
Henrietta Rix Wood is assistant teaching professor in the Honors College at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword Kelly Ritter xi

Introduction: Adding New Stories to the History of Composition and Rhetoric Lori Ostergaard Henrietta Rix Wood 1

Part I High Schools

1 The Rhetorical Praxis of Central High School Students, 1894-1924 Henrietta Rix Wood 27

2 "Raise Your Right Arm / And Pull on Your Tongue!": Reading Silence(s) at the Albuquerque Indian School Whitney Myers 42

3 Radical, Conservative, Extreme: The Rhetorical Education of the Prince Edward County Free School Association, 1963-1964 Candace Epps-Robertson 61

4 "These Parts of People Escaping on Paper": Reading Our Educational Past Through the High School Diary of Pat Huyett, 1966-1969 Jane Greer 77

Part II Normal Schools

5 "Stand 'Mum'": Women's Silence at the Lexington Academy, 1839-1841 Melissa Ianetta 97

6 "Shall the Courses in Composition and Literature Be Divided? Yes": Curricular Separation at the Illinois State Normal University, 1892 1916 Lori Ostergaard 115

7 "A Home for Thought Where Learning Rules": Progressive Era Students and Teacher Identity at a Historic Normal School Beth Ann Rothermel 131

8 "Be Patient, But Don't Wail!": The Activist Ethos of Student Journalism at the Colored State Normal School. Elizabeth City, North Carolina. 1892-1937 Elaine Hays 149

Part III Building Secondary-Postsecondary Connections

9 Adapting Male Education for a Nation of Females: Sara Lockwood's 1888 Lessons in English Nancy Myers 167

10 Toward a Genealogy of Composition: Student Discipline and Development at Harvard in the Late Nineteenth Century Edward J. Comstock 185

11 Project English: Cold War Paradigms and the leaching of Composition Curits Mason 206

Afterword Jessica Enoch 223

Contributors 229

Index 233

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