Abducting Writing Studies
Edited by Sidney I. Dobrin and Kyle Jensen Southern Illinois University Press, 2017 Library of Congress P53.27A23 2017 | Dewey Decimal 808.042071
This collection is organized around the concept of abduction, a logical operation introduced by Charles Sanders Peirce that explains how new ideas are formed in response to an uncertain future. Responding to this uncertain future with rigor and insight, each essay imagines new methods, concepts, and perspectives that extend writing studies research into startling new terrain. To appeal to a wide range of audiences, the essays work within foundational areas in rhetoric and composition research such as space, time, archive, networks, inscription, and life. Some of the essays take familiar concepts such as historiography, the writing subject, and tone and use abduction to chart new paths forward. Others use abduction to identify areas within writing studies such as futural writing, the calling of place, and risk that require more sustained attention. Taken together, these essays expose the manifold pathways that writing studies research may pursue.
Each of the twelve essays that comprise this collection sparks new insights about the phenomenon of writing. A must-read for rhetoric and composition scholars and students, Abducting Writing Studies is sure to foster vibrant discussions about what is possible in writing research and instruction.
Sidney I. Dobrin, J.A. Rice, and Michael Vastola Utah State University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PE1404.B48 2011 | Dewey Decimal 808
Beyond Postprocess offers a vigorous, provocative discussion of postprocess theory in its contemporary profile. Fueled by something like a fundamental refusal to see writing as self-evident, reducible, and easily explicable, the contributors rethink postprocess, suggesting that there is no easily defined moment or method that could be called postprocess. Instead, each contribution to this collection provides a unique and important example of what work beyond postprocess could be.
Since postprocess theory in writing studies first challenged traditional conceptions of writing and the subject who writes, developments there have continued to push theorists of writing in a number of promising theoretical directions. Spaces for writing have arisen that radically alter ideological notions of space, rational thinking, intellectual property and politics, and epistemologies; and new media, digital, and visual rhetorics have increasingly complicated the scene, as well.
Contributors to Beyond Postprocess reconsider writing and writing studies through posthumanism, ecology, new media, materiality, multimodal and digital writing, institutional critique, and postpedagogy. Through the lively and provocative character of these essays, Beyond Postprocess aims to provide a critical site for nothing less than the broad reevaluation of what it means to study writing today. Its polyvocal considerations and conclusions invest the volume with a unique potential to describe not what that field of study should be, but what it has the capacity to create. The central purpose of Beyond Postprocess is to unleash this creative potential.
Sidney I. Dobrin Southern Illinois University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PE1404.D637 2011 | Dewey Decimal 808.042071
Leading a burgeoning self-critical moment in composition studies and writing program administration, Postcomposition is a fundamental reconsideration of the field that attempts to shift the focus away from pedagogy and writing subjects and toward writing itself. In this forceful and reasoned critique of many of the primary tenets and widely accepted institutional structures of composition studies, Sidney I. Dobrin delivers a series of shocks to the system meant to disrupt the pedagogical imperative and move beyond the existing limits of the discipline.
Dobrin evaluates the current state of composition studies, underscoring the difference between composition and writing and arguing that the field's focus on the administration of writing students and its historically imposed prohibition on theory greatly limit what can be understood about writing. Instead he envisions a more significant approach to writing, one that questions the field's conservative allegiance to subject and administration and reconsiders writing as spatial and ecological. Using concepts from ecocomposition, spatial theory, network theory, complexity theory, and systems theory, Postcomposition lays the groundwork for a networked theory of writing, and advocates the abandonment of administration as a useful part of the field. He also challenges the usefulness of rhetoric in writing studies, showing how writing exceeds rhetoric.
Postcomposition is a detailed consideration of how posthumanism affects the field's understanding of subjectivity. It also tears at the seams of the "contingent labor problem." As he articulates his own frustrations with the conservatism of composition studies and builds on previous critiques of the discipline, Dobrin stages a courageous-and inevitably polemical-intellectual challenge to the entrenched ideas and assumptions that have defined composition studies.