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Dangerous Writing
Understanding the Political Economy of Composition
Tony Scott
Utah State University Press, 2009
Building on recent work in rhetoric and composition that takes an historical materialist approach, Dangerous Writing outlines a political economic theory of composition. The book connects pedagogical practices in writing classes to their broader political economic contexts, and argues that the analytical power of students’ writing is prevented from reaching its potential by pressures within the academy and without, that tend to wed higher education with the aims and logics of “fast-capitalism.”

Since the 1980s and the “social turn” in composition studies and other disciplines, scholars in this field have conceived writing in college as explicitly embedded in socio-rhetorical situations beyond the classroom. From this conviction develops a commitment to teach writing with an emphasis on analyzing the social and political dimensions of rhetoric.

Ironically, though a leftist himself, Tony Scott’s analysis finds the academic left complicit with the forces in American culture that tend, in his view, to compromise education. By focusing on the structures of labor and of institutions that enforce those structures, Scott finds teachers and administrators are too easily swept along with the inertia of a hyper-commodified society in which students---especially working class students---are often positioned as commodities, themselves. Dangerous Writing, then, is a critique of the field as much as it is a critique of capitalism. Ultimately, Scott’s eye is on the institution and its structures, and it is these that he finds most in need of transformation.

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Decolonial Conversations in Posthuman and New Material Rhetorics
Edited by Jennifer Clary-Lemon and David M. Grant
The Ohio State University Press, 2022
Decolonial Conversations in Posthuman and New Material Rhetorics brings together emerging and established voices at the nexus of new materialist and decolonial rhetorics to advance a new direction for rhetorical scholarship on materiality. In part a response to those seeking answers about the relevance of new material and posthuman thought to cultural rhetorics, this collection initiates bold conversations at the pressure points between nature and culture, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, knowing and being, and across culturally different ontologies. It thus relies on a tapestry of both accepted and marginalized discourses in order to respond to frustrations of erasure and otherness prevalent in the fields of rhetoric, writing, and communication—and offers solutions to move these fields forward. With diverse contributions, including compelling pieces from leading Indigenous scholars, these essays draw from political, cultural, and natural life to present innovative projects that consider material rhetorics, our planet, and human beings as necessarily interwoven and multiple.

Contributors: Joyce Rain Anderson, Jennifer Clary-Lemon, David M. Grant, Robert Lestón, Kelly Medina-López, Kellie Sharp-Hoskins, Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder, Shannon Kelly, Christina V. Cedillo, A.I. Ramírez, Matthew Whitaker, Judy Holiday, Elizabeth Lowry, Andrea Riley Mukavetz, Malea Powell

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Desegregation State
College Writing Programs after the Civil Rights Movement
Annie S. Mendenhall
Utah State University Press, 2021
The only book-length study of the ways that postsecondary desegregation litigation and policy affected writing instruction and assessment in US colleges, Desegregation State provides a history of federal enforcement of higher education desegregation and its impact on writing programs from 1970 to 1988. Focusing on the University System of Georgia and two of its public colleges in Savannah, one a historically segregated white college and the other a historically Black college, Annie S. Mendenhall shows how desegregation enforcement promoted and shaped writing programs by presenting literacy remediation and testing as critical to desegregation efforts in southern and border states.
Formerly segregated state university systems crafted desegregation plans that gave them more control over policies for admissions, remediation, and retention. These plans created literacy requirements—admissions and graduation tests, remedial classes, and even writing centers and writing across the curriculum programs—that reshaped the landscape of college writing instruction and denied the demands of Black students, civil rights activists, and historically Black colleges and universities for major changes to university systems. This history details the profound influence of desegregation—and resistance to desegregation—on the ways that writing is taught and assessed in colleges today.
Desegregation State provides WPAs and writing teachers with a disciplinary history for understanding racism in writing assessment and writing programs. Mendenhall brings emerging scholarship on the racialization of institutions into the field, showing why writing studies must pay more attention to how writing programs have institutionalized racist literacy ideologies through arguments about student placement, individualized writing instruction, and writing assessment.

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Dismembering the Whole
Composition and Purpose of Judges 19-21
Cynthia Edenburg
SBL Press, 2016

A fresh literary analysis of political polemic in the Bible

The Book of Judges ends with a bizarre narrative of sex and violence that starts with a domestic tiff and ends with the decimation of a tribe that is restored by means of abduction and rape. Cynthia Edenburg applies a fresh literary analysis, recent understandings of historical linguistics, and historical geography in her exploration of the origin of the anti-Benjamin polemic found in Judges 19–21, the growth and provenance of the book of Judges, and the shape of the Deuteronomistic History. Her study exposes how Judges 19–21 function as political polemic reflecting not the pre-monarchic period but instead the historical realities of the settlement of Benjamin during the Babylonian and Persian period.


  • Methodological discussions that open each chapter
  • Charts and tables
  • Engagement with current research produced by scholars from around the world

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Disrupting the Center
A Partnership Approach to Writing Across the University
Rebecca Hallman Martini
Utah State University Press, 2021
Strategic partnership offers writing centers a framework for responding to disruptive innovations in higher education. Through partnership, writing centers can simultaneously secure resources and support the practice of tutoring writing in ways that enable moments of resistance, where writing consultants and students can tactically challenge the corporate university through their methods of practice. Disrupting the Center explicates, analyzes, and critiques one particular writing center’s partnership approach to collaboration with disciplinary faculty and upper administrators across the curriculum.
Using on-site research and critical ethnographic study from one university writing center, Rebecca Hallman Martini establishes an innovative, cross-disciplinary partnership approach to writing instruction in which peer tutoring plays an integral curricular role. Case studies detail three partnerships that respond directly to existing or potential disruptive innovations in higher education and showcase important concepts: mapping mutual benefit and stakeholder engagement in an online studio/hybrid first-year writing program partnership in response to online education, creating negotiated space to work through ethical issues involved when working with a public-private partnership to develop a required extracurricular portfolio project in a business school, and building transformational partnerships through establishing a writing-in-the-professions curriculum in the College of Engineering in response to career readiness initiatives.
Disrupting the Center uses interviews, observations, focus groups, analysis of consultations, meetings, and shared documents such as annual reports, budgets, assessment data, assignments, and syllabi to generate a wide view of how systems work. Writing centers are flexible university-wide service spaces where students go for one-on-one and group writing support that can become dynamic spaces for writing pedagogy by disrupting, revitalizing, and reinventing the epistemic foundations of current rhetoric and composition landscapes and traditional approaches to writing.

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Disruptive Stories
Amplifying Voices from the Writing Center Margins
Elizabeth Kleinfeld
Utah State University Press, 2024
Disruptive Stories uses an activist editing method to select and publish authors that have been marginalized in scholarly conversations and enrich the understanding of lived writing center experiences that have been underrepresented in writing center scholarship. These chapters explore how marginality affects writing centers, the people who work in them, and the scholarship generated from them by examining the consequences—both positive and negative—of marginalization through a mix of narratives and research. Contributors provide unique perspectives ranging across status, role, nationality, race, and ability.
While US tenure-track writing center administrators (WCAs) do not make up the majority of those who hold WCA positions in writing centers, they are more likely to be the storytellers of the writing center grand narrative. They publish more, present more conference papers, edit more journals, and participate more in organizational leadership. This collection complicates that narrative by adding marginalized voices and experiences in three thematic categories: structural marginalization, globalization and marginalization, and embodied marginalization.
Disruptive Stories spurs further conversations about ways to improve the review process in writing center scholarship so that it more accurately reflects the growing diversity of its administrators and practitioners.

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The Dissertation-to-Book Workbook
Exercises for Developing and Revising Your Book Manuscript
Katelyn E. Knox and Allison Van Deventer
University of Chicago Press, 2023
Writing an academic book is a daunting task. Where to start? This workbook.

So, you’ve written a dissertation. Congratulations! But how do you turn it into a book? Even if you know what to do when revising your dissertation, do you know how to do those things? This workbook by Katelyn E. Knox and Allison Van Deventer, creators of the successful online Dissertation-to-Book Boot Camp, offers a series of manageable, concrete steps with exercises to help you revise your academic manuscript into publishable book form.
The Dissertation-to-Book Workbook uses targeted exercises and prompts to take the guesswork out of writing a book. You’ll clarify your book’s core priorities, pinpoint your organizing principle, polish your narrative arc, evaluate your evidence, and much more. Using what this workbook calls “book questions and chapter answers,” you’ll figure out how to thread your book’s main ideas through its chapters. Then, you’ll assemble an argument, and finally, you’ll draft any remaining material and revise the manuscript. And most important, by the time you complete the workbook, you’ll have confidence that your book works as a book—that it’s a cohesive, focused manuscript that tells the story you want to tell.
Indispensible to anyone with an academic manuscript in progress, the prompts, examples, checklists, and activities will give you confidence about all aspects of your project—that it is structurally sound, coherent, free of the hallmarks of “dissertationese," and ready for submission to an academic publisher.

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Distant Readings of Disciplinarity
Knowing and Doing in Composition/Rhetoric Dissertations
by Benjamin Miller
Utah State University Press, 2022
In Distant Readings of Disciplinarity, Benjamin Miller brings a big data approach to the study of disciplinarity in rhetoric, composition, and writing studies (RCWS) by developing scalable maps of the methods and topics of several thousand RCWS dissertations from 2001 to 2015. Combining charts and figures with engaging and even playful prose, Miller offers an accessible model of how large-scale data-driven research can advance disciplinary understanding—both answering and amplifying the call to add replicable data analysis and visualization to the mix of methods regularly employed in the field.

Writing studies has long been marked by a multitude of methods and interlocking purposes, partaking of not just humanities approaches but also social scientific ones, with data drawn from interviews and surveys alongside historical and philosophical arguments and with corpus analytics in large-scale collections jostling against small-scale case studies of individuals. These areas of study aren’t always cleanly separable; shifting modes mark the discipline as open and welcoming to many different angles of research. The field needs to embrace that vantage point and generate new degrees of familiarity with methods beyond those of any individual scholar.
Not only a training genre and not only a knowledge-making genre, the dissertation is also a discipline-producing genre. Illustrating what the field has been studying, and how, Distant Readings of Disciplinarity supports more fruitful collaborations within and across research areas and methods.

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Diverse Approaches to Teaching, Learning, and Writing Across the Curriculum
IWAC at 25
Lesley Erin Bartlett
University Press of Colorado, 2020
Developed from presentations at the 2018 International Writing Across the Curriculum conference, this collection documents a key moment in the history of WAC, foregrounding connection and diversity as keys to the sustainability of the WAC movement in the face of new and long-standing challenges. Contributors reflect on the history and ongoing evolution of WAC, honoring grassroots efforts while establishing a more unified structure of collaborative leadership and mentorship. The chapters in this collection offer a rich variety of practices, pedagogies, mindsets, and methodologies for readers who are invested in using writing in a wide range of institutional and disciplinary contexts. Boldly engaging such pressing topics as translingualism, anti-racism, emotional labor, and learning analytics, the eighteen chapters collected here testify to WAC's durability, persistence, and resilience in an ever-changing educational landscape.

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Doing Difference Differently
Chinese International Students’ Literacy Practices and Affordances
Zhaozhe Wang
Utah State University Press, 2024
Doing Difference Differently ethnographically recounts the stories of four Chinese international students navigating the complex socio-academic environment of a North American institution for higher education. Zhaozhe Wang traces the ecologically situated and distributed literacy practices of these individuals across rhetorical contexts, both on and off campus, and reconstructs the digitally networked, spatiotemporally emerging, rhetorically potent, and ecologically afforded literacy worlds of Chinese international students.
Doing Difference Differently provides an in-depth, nuanced understanding of the multifaceted literate lives of this often-marginalized cultural group, highlighting their diverse aspirations, personas, communities, challenges, and strategies. The book reconceptualizes the linguistic and cultural differences of Chinese international students as active processes of embracing, performing, resisting, negotiating, and redefining the identities that institutions impose on them through everyday literacy practices. Wang offers an analytical heuristic for researchers and educators to better understand these students’ backgrounds and to more effectively and ethically support and advocate for them. This case study critically engages broad and interconnected concepts that are essential to educators’ collective understanding of Generation Z students brought up in cultural and educational contexts outside of the European-American sphere.
This book appeals to scholars, researchers, teachers, and administrators working in North American higher education and English-speaking countries, particularly those in the fields of writing studies, second language studies, applied linguistics, multilingual education, literacy studies, and international education. Educators across disciplines seeking to better understand the growing population of Chinese international students in North America will likewise benefit.

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Drilled to Write
Becoming a Cadet Writer at a Senior Military College
by J. Michael Rifenburg
Utah State University Press, 2022

Drilled to Write offers a rich account of US Army cadets navigating the unique demands of Army writing at a senior military college. In this longitudinal case study, J. Michael Rifenburg follows one cadet, Logan Blackwell, for four years and traces how he conceptualizes Army writing and Army genres through immersion in military science classes, tactical exercises in the Appalachian Mountains, and specialized programs like Airborne School.

Drawing from research on rhetorical genre studies, writing transfer, and materiality, Drilled to Write speaks to scholars in writing studies committed to capturing how students understand their own writing development. Collectively, these chapters articulate four ways Blackwell leveraged resources through ROTC to become a cadet writer at this military college. Each chapter is dedicated to one year of his undergraduate experience with focus on curricular writing for his business management major and military science classes as well as his extracurricular writing, like his Ballroom Dance Club bylaws and a three-thousand-word short story.

In Drilled to Write, Rifenburg invites readers to see how cadets are positioned between civilian and military life—a curiously liminal space where they develop as writers. Using Army ROTC as an entry into genre theory and larger conversations about the role higher education plays in developing Army officers, he shows how writing students develop genre awareness and flexibility while forging a personal identity.


front cover of The Dual Enrollment Kaleidoscope
The Dual Enrollment Kaleidoscope
Reconfiguring Perceptions of First-Year Writing and Composition Studies
Christine Denecker
Utah State University Press, 2022
The Dual Enrollment Kaleidoscope serves as a starting point for elevating the voices of those who do dual enrollment (DE) work—those who historicize, legitimize, scrutinize, critically analyze, align, and assess it—pushing readers beyond unique, singular views of DE first-year composition and positioning DE’s impact on composition instruction as one that shifts dependent upon perspective. Just as kaleidoscopes reconfigure images, DE provides writing studies with reflecting images of what FYC was, is, and could be.
DE disrupts long-held beliefs of who should take and who should teach college writing. Giving higher education pause about the place of writing instruction within the academy, DE force those in the field to reflect upon the purposes and value of FYC and its pedagogical approaches. Featuring seventeen chapters written by a wide and diverse range of authors, this collection includes the voices of prominent scholars in rhetoric and composition at two- and four-year public and private institutions, as well as emerging scholars in the field. It also features a variety of methodologies, including archival research, quantitative and qualitative data collection, and autoethnography.

Few texts have been published on dual enrollment writing in rhetoric and composition studies. The Dual Enrollment Kaleidoscope should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in or tasked with doing the work of DE writing instruction, administration, mentoring, or assessment.
Contributors: Dominic Ashby, Anna Bogen, Tyler Branson, Melanie Burdick, Scott Campbell, Christine R. Farris, David Gehler, Leigh Graziano, Jane Greer, Jennifer Hadley, Jacquelyn Hoermann-Elliott, Joseph Jones, Nancy Knowles, Amy Lueck, Miles McCrimmon, Katie McWain, Annie S. Mendenhall, Keith Miller, Brice Nordquist, Cornelia Paraskevas, Jill Parrot, Shirley K Rose, Barbara Schneider, Erin Scott-Stewart

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