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In the Archives of Composition: Writing and Rhetoric in High Schools and Normal Schools
edited by Lori Ostergaard and Henrietta Rix Wood
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015
Paper: 978-0-8229-6377-6 | eISBN: 978-0-8229-8101-5
Library of Congress Classification LB1631.I55 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 808.0420712

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
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.
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