In the diversity of their clients as well as their professional and student staff, writing centers present a complicated set of relationships that inevitably affect the instruction they offer. In Facing the Center, Harry Denny unpacks the identity matrices that enrich teachable moments, and he explores the pedagogical dynamics and implications of identity within the writing center.
The face of the writing center, be it mainstream or marginal, majority or miority, orthodox or subversive, always has implications for teaching and learning. Facing the Center will extend current research in writing center theory to bring it in touch with theories now common in cultural studies curricula. Denny takes up issues of power, agency, language, and meaning, and pushes his readers to ask how they themselves, or the centers in which they work, might be perpetuating cultures that undermine inclusive, progressive education.
From Herman Melville’s claim that “failure is the true test of greatness” to Henry Adams’s self-identification with the “mortifying failure in [his] long education” and William Faulkner’s eagerness to be judged by his “splendid failure to do the impossible,” the rhetoric of failure has served as a master trope of modernist American literary expression. David Ball’s magisterial study addresses the fundamental questions of language, meaning, and authority that run counter to well-rehearsed claims of American innocence and positivity, beginning with the American Renaissance and extending into modernist and contemporary literature. The rhetoric of failure was used at various times to engage artistic ambition, the arrival of advanced capitalism, and a rapidly changing culture, not to mention sheer exhaustion. False Starts locates a lively narrative running through American literature that consequently queries assumptions about the development of modernism in the United States.
What was the relationship between rhetoric and slavery, and how did rhetoric fail as an alternative to violence, becoming instead its precursor?
Fanatical Schemes is a study of proslavery rhetoric in the 1830s. A common understanding of the antebellum slavery debate is that the increased stridency of abolitionists in the 1830s, particularly the abolitionist pamphlet campaign of 1835, provoked proslavery politicians into greater intransigence and inflammatory rhetoric. Patricia Roberts-Miller argues that, on the contrary, inflammatory rhetoric was inherent to proslavery ideology and predated any shift in abolitionist practices.
She examines novels, speeches, and defenses of slavery written after the pamphlet controversy to underscore the tenets of proslavery ideology and the qualities that made proslavery rhetoric effective. She also examines anti-abolitionist rhetoric in newspapers from the spring of 1835 and the history of slave codes (especially anti-literacy laws) to show that anti-abolitionism and extremist rhetoric long preceded more strident abolitionist activity in the 1830s.
The consensus that was achieved by proslavery advocates, argues Roberts-Miller, was not just about slavery, nor even simply about race. It was also about manhood, honor, authority, education, and political action. In the end, proslavery activists worked to keep the realm of public discourse from being a place in which dominant points of view could be criticized--an achievement that was, paradoxically, both a rhetorical success and a tragedy.
In this unique collection, the editors and authors examine, against a rich historical background, the complex contributions that women have made to composition and rhetoric in American education. Using varied and at times experimental modes of presentation to portray teachers and learners at work, including the very young and the elderly, the text provides a generous and fresh feminine perspective on the field.
Are feminists really angry, unreasoning, man-haters who argue only from an emotional perspective as some claim? Does the incessant repetition of this trope make anti-feminism and misogyny a routine element in everyday speech? And does this repetition work towards delegitimizing feminist arguments and/or undermining feminist politics? How do skilled feminist writers deploy affect to advance feminist ideas? In Feminismand Affect at the Scene of Argument, Barbara Tomlinson addresses these questions, providing a lucid examination of the role of affect in feminist and antifeminist academic arguments.
Using case studies from controversies in socio-legal studies, musicology, and science studies, among other disciplines, Tomlinson examines the rhetorics of anger, contempt, betrayal, intensification, and ridicule. She employs a set of critical tools—feminist “socio-forensic” discursive analysis—that will prove indispensible for understanding and countering tropes like that of the angry feminist. Moreover, these tools will advance feminism, which, she argues, is generated in and by arguments with allies and antagonists.
In an era of debates that generate more heat than light, Feminismand Affectat the Scene of Argument offers a timely provocation for transforming the terms of reading and writing in scholarship and civic life.
Feminism Beyond Modernism
Elizabeth Flynn Southern Illinois University Press, 2002 Library of Congress HQ1190.F593 2002 | Dewey Decimal 305.42
Misunderstanding and denigration of postmodern feminism are widespread. Elizabeth Flynn’s Feminism Beyond Modernism comes to its defense in a cogent and astute manner by first distinguishing between postmodern and antimodern feminisms and then reclaiming postmodern feminism by reconfiguring its relationship to modernism.
Too often postmodern feminism is unfairly identified as opposed to modernism and associated with subjectivism and relativism. Flynnaddresses these problems by provisionally defining postmodern feminism as problematizing and critiquing modernism without directly opposing it. Flynn also suggests that feminist traditions that reject modernism, such as radical and cultural feminisms, are antimodern rather than postmodern.
In this interdisciplinary study, Flynn defines feminist traditions broadly, situating her discussions within the contexts of literary studies and rhetoric and composition while simultaneously exploring the troubled relationship between these fields. Departing from accepted definitions of modernism, Flynn distinguishes between aesthetic modernism and Enlightenment modernism and uses the work of John Locke, Sigmund Freud, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, and others as benchmarks for historical placement. In addition, rereadings of works by Virginia Woolf, Adrienne Rich, Alice Walker, Louise Rosenblatt, and others demonstrate the complex ways in which they respond to modernist pressures and tendencies. From this context, Flynn’s Feminism Beyond Modernism reconfigures feminist traditions by defining postmodern feminism as a critique of modernism rather than as an antimodern opponent.
Highlights feminist rhetorical practices that disrupt and surpass boundaries of time and space
In 1917, Alice Paul and other suffragists famously picketed in front of the White House while holding banners with short, pithy sayings such as “Mr. President: How long must women wait for Liberty?” Their juxtaposition of this short phrase with the image of the White House (a symbol of liberty and justice) relies on the same rhetorical tactics as memes, a genre contemporary feminists use frequently to make arguments about reproductive rights, Black Lives Matter, sex-positivity, and more. Many such connections between feminists of different spaces, places, and eras have yet to be considered, let alone understood. Feminist Connections: Rhetoric and Activism across Time, Space, and Place reconsiders feminist rhetorical strategies as linked, intergenerational, and surprisingly consistent despite the emergence of new forms of media and intersectional considerations.
Contributors to this volume highlight continuities in feminist rhetorical practices that are often invisible to scholars, obscured by time, new media, and wildly different cultural, political, and social contexts. Thus, this collection takes a nonchronological approach to the study of feminist rhetoric, grouping chapters by rhetorical practice rather than time, content, or choice of media.
By connecting historical, contemporary, and future trajectories, this collection develops three feminist rhetorical frameworks: revisionary rhetorics, circulatory rhetorics, and response rhetorics. A theorization of these frameworks explains how feminist rhetorical practices (past and present) rely on similar but diverse methods to create change and fight oppression. Identifying these strategies not only helps us rethink feminist rhetoric from an academic perspective but also allows us to enact feminist activist rhetorics beyond the academy during a time in which feminist scholarship cannot afford to remain behind its hallowed yet insular walls.
The first book-length investigation of a pioneering English professor and theorist at Vassar College, A Feminist Legacy: The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Gertrude Buck explores Buck’s contribution to the fields of education and rhetoric during the Progressive Era. By contextualizing Buck’s academic and theoretical work within the rise of women’s educational institutions like Vassar College, the social and political movement toward suffrage, and Buck’s own egalitarian political and social ideals, Suzanne Bordelon offers a scholarly and well-informed treatment of Buck’s achievements that elucidates the historical and contemporary impact of her work and life.
Bordelon argues that while Buck did not call herself a feminist, she embodied feminist ideals by demanding the full participation of her female students and by challenging power imbalances at every academic, social, and political level.
A Feminist Legacy reveals that Vassar College is an undervalued but significant site in the history of women’s argumentation and pedagogy. Drawing on a rich variety of archival sources, including previously unexamined primary material, A Feminist Legacy traces the beginnings of feminist theories of argumentation and pedagogy and their lasting legacy within the fields of education and rhetoric.
From two leading scholars in the field comes this landmark assessment of the shifting terrain of feminist rhetorical practices in recent decades. Jacqueline Jones Royster and Gesa E. Kirsch contend the field of rhetorical studies is being transformed through the work of feminist rhetoricians who have brought about notable changes in who the subjects of rhetorical study can be, how their practices can be critiqued, and how the effectiveness and value of the inquiry frameworks can be articulated.
To contextualize a new and changed landscape for narratives in the history of rhetoric, Royster and Kirsch present four critical terms of engagement—critical imagination, strategic contemplation, social circulation, and globalization—as the foundation for a new analytical model for understanding, interpreting, and evaluating feminist rhetorical inquiry and the study and teaching of rhetoric in general. This model draws directly on the wealth of knowledge and understanding gained from feminist rhetorical practices, especially sensitivity toward meaningfully and respectfully rendering the work, lives, cultures, and traditions of historical and contemporary women in rhetorical scholarship.
Proposing ambitious new standards for viewing and valuing excellence in feminist rhetorical practice, Royster and Kirsch advocate an ethos of respect and humility in the analysis of communities and specific rhetorical performances neglected in rhetorical history, recasting rhetorical studies as a global phenomenon rather than a western one. They also reflect on their own personal and professional development as researchers as they highlight innovative feminist research over the past thirty years to articulate how feminist work is changing the field and pointing to the active participation of women in various discourse arenas and to the practices and genres they use.
Valuable to new and established scholars of rhetoric, Feminist Rhetorical Practice: New Horizons for Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies is essential for understanding the theoretical, methodological, and ethical impacts of feminist rhetorical studies on the wider field.
Winner, 2014 Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award
Feminist Rhetorical Resilience
Elizabeth A. Flynn, Patricia Sotirin, and Ann Brady Utah State University Press, 2012 Library of Congress HQ1190.F463125 2012 | Dewey Decimal 305.4201
Although it is well known in other fields, the concept of “resilience” has not been addressed explicitly by feminist rhetoricians. This collection develops it in readings of rhetorical situations across a range of social contexts and national cultures. Contributors demonstrate that resilience offers an important new conceptual frame for feminist rhetoric, with emphasis on agency, change, and hope in the daily lives of individuals or groups of individuals disempowered by social or material forces. Collectively, these chapters create a robust conception of resilience as a complex rhetorical process, redeeming it from its popular association with individual heroism through an important focus on relationality, community, and an ethics of connection. Resilience, in this volume, is a specifically rhetorical response to complicated forces in individual lives. Through it, Feminist Rhetorical Resilience widens the interpretive space within which rhetoricians can work.
This edited collection disrupts tendencies in feminist science studies to dismiss rhetoric as having concern only for language, and it counters posthumanist theories that ignore human materialities and asymmetries of power as co-constituted with and through distinctions such as gender, sex, race, and ability. The eight essays of Feminist Rhetorical Science Studies: Human Bodies, Posthumanist Worlds model methodologies for doing feminist research in the rhetoric of science. Collectively they build innovative interdisciplinary bridges across the related but divergent fields of feminism, posthumanism, new materialism, and the rhetoric of science.
Each essay addresses a question: How can feminist rhetoricians of science engage responsibly with emerging theories of the posthuman? Some contributors respond with case studies in medical practice (fetal ultrasound; patient noncompliance), medical science (the neuroscience of sex differences), and health policy (drug trials of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration); others respond with a critical review of object-oriented ontology and a framework for researching women technical writers in the workplace. The contributed essays are in turn framed by a comprehensive introduction and a final chapter from the editors, who argue that a key contribution of feminist posthumanist rhetoric is that it rethinks the agencies of people, things, and practices in ways that can bring about more ethical human relations.
Individually the contributions offer as much variety as consensus on matters of methodology. Together they demonstrate how feminist posthumanist and materialist approaches to science expand our notions of what rhetoric is and does, yet they manage to do so without sacrificing what makes their inquiries distinctively rhetorical.
Field Of Dreams
edited by Peggy O'Neill, Angela Crow, and Larry Burton Utah State University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PE1404.F45 2002 | Dewey Decimal 808.042071
One of the first collections to focus on independent writing programs, A Field of Dreams offers a complex picture of the experience of the stand-alone. Included here are narratives of individual programs from a wide range of institutions, exploring such issues as what institutional issues led to their independence, how independence solved or created administrative problems, how it changed the culture of the writing program and faculty sense of purpose, success, or failure.
Further chapters build larger ideas about the advantages and disadvantages of stand-alone status, covering labor issues, promotion/tenure issues, institutional politics, and others. A retrospective on the famous controversy at Minnesota is included, along with a look at the long-established independent programs at Harvard and Syracuse.
Finally, the book considers disciplinary questions raised by the growth of stand-alone programs. Authors here respond with critique and reflection to ideas raised by other chapters—do current independent models inadvertently diminish the influence of rhetoric and composition scholarship? Do they tend to ignore the outward movement of literacy toward technology? Can they be structured to enhance interdisciplinary or writing-across-the-curriculum efforts? Can independent programs play a more influential role in the university than they do from the English department?
A survey of the innovative scholarship emerging at the intersections of rhetoric, and fieldwork
A variety of research areas within rhetorical studies—including everyday and public rhetorics, space and place-based work, material and ecological approaches, environmental communication, technical communication, and critical and participatory action research, among others—have increasingly called for ethnographic fieldwork that grounds the study of rhetoric within the contexts of its use and circulation. Employing field methods more commonly used by ethnographers allows researchers to capture rhetoric in action and to observe the dynamic circumstances that shape persuasion in ordinary life.
Field Rhetoric: Ethnography, Ecology, and Engagement in the Places of Persuasion gathers new essays that describe and theorize this burgeoning transdisciplinary mode of field-based scholarship. Contributors document and support this ethnographic turn in rhetorical studies through sustained examination of the diverse trends, methods, tools, theories, practices, and possibilities for engaging in rhetorical field research.
This fascinating volume offers an introduction to these inquiries and serves as both a practical resource and theoretical foundation for scholars, teachers, and students interested in the intersection of rhetoric and field studies. Editors Candice Rai and Caroline Gottschalk Druschke have assembled scholars working in diverse field sites to map and initiate key debates on the practices, limitations, and value of rhetorical field methods and research. Working synthetically at the junction of rhetorical theory and field practices, the contributors to this collection build from myriad field-based cases to examine diverse theoretical and methodological considerations. The volume also serves as a useful reference for interdisciplinary qualitative researchers interested in doing research from a rhetorical or discursive perspective in various disciplines and fields, such as English, composition, communication, natural resources, geography, sociology, urban planning, anthropology, and more.
Jessica Restaino offers a snapshot of the first semester experiences of graduate student writing teachers as they navigate predetermined course syllabi and materials, the pressures of grading, the influences of foundational scholarship, and their own classroom authority. With rich qualitative data gathered from course observations, interviews, and correspondence, Restaino traces four graduate students’ first experiences as teachers at a large, public university. Yet the circumstances and situations she relates will ring familiar at widely varying institutions.
First Semester: Graduate Students, Teaching Writing, and the Challenge of Middle Ground presents a fresh and challenging theoretical approach to understanding and improving the preparation of graduate students for the writing classroom. Restaino uses a three-part theoretical construct—labor, action, and work, as defined in Hannah Arendt’s work of political philosophy, The Human Condition—as a lens for reading graduate students’ struggles to balance their new responsibilities as teachers with their concurrent roles as students. Arendt’s concepts serve as access points for analysis, raising important questions about graduate student writing teachers’ first classrooms and uncovering opportunities for improved support and preparation by university writing programs.
"First time up?"—an insider’s friendly question from 1960s counter-culture—perfectly captures the spirit of this book. A short, supportive, practical guide for the first-time college composition instructor, the book is upbeat, wise but friendly, casual but knowledgeable (like the voice that may have introduced you to certain other firsts). With an experiential focus rather than a theoretical one, First Time Up will be a strong addition to the newcomer’s professional library, and a great candidate for the TA practicum reading list.
Dethier, author of The Composition Instructor’s Survival Guide and From Dylan to Donne, directly addresses the common headaches, nightmares, and epiphanies of composition teaching—especially the ones that face the new teacher. And since legions of new college composition teachers are either graduate instructors (TAs) or adjuncts without a formal background in composition studies, he assumes these folks as his primary audience.
Dethier’s voice is casual, but it conveys concern, humor, experience, and reassurance to the first-timer. He addresses all major areas that graduate instructors or new adjuncts in a writing program are sure to face, from career anxiety to thoughts on grading and keeping good classroom records. Dethier’s own eclecticism is well-represented here, but he reviews with considerable deftness the value of contemporary scholarship to first-time writing instructors—many of whom will be impatient with high theory. Throughout the work, he affirms a humane, confident approach to teaching, along with a true affection for college students and for teachers just learning to deal with them.
The ways science and technology are portrayed in advertising, in the news, in our politics, and in the culture at large inform the way we respond to these particular facts of life. The better we are at recognizing the rhetorical intentions of the purveyors of information and promoters of mass culture, the more adept we become at responding intelligently to them.
Flash Effect, a startling book by David J. Tietge, documents the manner in which those at the highest levels of our political and cultural institutions conflated the rhetoric of science and technology with the rhetorics of religion and patriotism to express their policies for governance at the onset of the Cold War and to explain them to the American public.
Professor Tietge details our cultural attitudes about science in the early years of the Cold War, when on the heels of a great technological victory Americans were faced with the possibility of destruction by the very weapons that had saved them.
In Flash Effect we learn how, by symbolizing the scientist as both a father figure and a savior -- and by celebrating the technological objects of his labor -- the campaign to promote science took hold in the American consciousness. The products of that attitude are with us today more than ever.
Food, Feminisms, Rhetorics
Edited by Melissa A. Goldthwaite Southern Illinois University Press, 2017 Library of Congress TX644.F66 2017 | Dewey Decimal 808.066641
Inspired by the need for interpretations and critiques of the varied messages surrounding what and how we eat, Food, Feminisms, Rhetorics collects eighteen essays that demonstrate the importance of food and food-related practices as sites of scholarly study, particularly from feminist rhetorical perspectives.
Contributors analyze messages about food and bodies—from what a person watches and reads to where that person shops—taken from sources mundane and literary, personal and cultural. This collection begins with analyses of the historical, cultural, and political implications of cookbooks and recipes; explores definitions of feminist food writing; and ends with a focus on bodies and cultures—both self-representations and representations of others for particular rhetorical purposes. The genres, objects, and practices contributors study are varied—from cookbooks to genre fiction, from blogs to food systems, from product packaging to paintings—but the overall message is the same: food and its associated practices are worthy of scholarly attention.
What role does reason play in our lives? What role should it play? And are claims to rationality liberating or oppressive? For the Sake of Argument addresses questions such as these to consider the relationship between thought and character. Eugene Garver brings Aristotle's Rhetoric to bear on practical reasoning to show how the value of such thinking emerges when members of communities deliberate together, persuade each other, and are persuaded by each other. That is to say, when they argue.
Garver roots deliberation and persuasion in political friendship instead of a neutral, impersonal framework of justice. Through incisive readings of examples in modern legal and political history, from Brown v. Board of Education to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he demonstrates how acts of deliberation and persuasion foster friendship among individuals, leading to common action amid diversity. In an Aristotelian sense, there is a place for pathos and ethos in rational thought. Passion and character have as pivotal a role in practical reasoning as logic and language.
In this book, first published in 1985, Ernest G. Bormann explores mass persuasion in America from 1620 to 1860, examining closely four rhetorical communities: the revivals of 1739– 1740, the hot gospel of the postrevolutionary period, the evangelical revival and reform of the 1830s, and the Free Soil and Republican parties. Each community varies greatly, but Bormann asserts that each succeeding community shares a rhetorical vision of restoring the “ American Dream” that is essentially a modification of the previous visions. Thus, they form a family of rhetorical visions that constitutes a rhetorical tradition of importance in nineteenth-century American popular culture.
In the middle of the eighteenth century, English literature, composition, and rhetoric were introduced almost simultaneously into colleges throughout the British cultural provinces. Professorships of rhetoric and belles lettres were established just as print was reaching a growing reading public and efforts were being made to standardize educated taste and usage. The provinces saw English studies as a means to upward social mobility through cultural assimilation. In the educational centers of England, however, the introduction of English represented a literacy crisis brought on by provincial institutions that had failed to maintain classical texts and learned languages.
Today, as rhetoric and composition have become reestablished in the humanities in American colleges, English studies are being broadly transformed by cultural studies, community literacies, and political controversies. Once again, English departments that are primarily departments of literature see these basic writing courses as a sign of a literacy crisis that is undermining the classics of literature. The Formation of College English reexamines the civic concerns of rhetoric and the politics that have shaped and continue to shape college English.
Engaging resources for understanding the importance of bodies and spaces in producing and interpreting persuasive language
This volume collects essays that represent intellectual milestones that are informing sociorhetorical interpretation during the twenty-first century. The essays are arranged into five parts: (1) Topos; (2) Cultural Geography and Critical Spatiality; (3) Rhetorolects and Conceptual Blending; (4) Rhetography; and (5) Rhetorical Force.
Tools for integrating multiple approaches to biblical interpretation
Resources that emphasize the importance of language that prompts mental pictures in effective rhetoric
Essays from classicists, rhetoricians, and biblical scholars
In an insightful assessment of the study and teaching of writing against the larger theoretical, political, and technological upheavals of the past thirty years, Fragments of Rationality questions why composition studies has been less affected by postmodern theory than other humanities and social science disciplines.
This work in the MSU Press Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series chronicles Frederick Douglass's preparation for a career in oratory, his emergence as an abolitionist lecturer in 1841, and his development and activities as a public speaker and reformer from 1841 to 1845. Lampe's meticulous scholarship overturns much of the conventional wisdom about this phase of Douglass's life and career uncovering new information about his experiences as a slave and as a fugitive; it provokes a deeper and richer understanding of this renowned orator's emergence as an important voice in the crusade to end slavery.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Douglass was well prepared to become a full-time lecturer for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1841. His emergence as an eloquent voice from slavery was not as miraculous as scholars have led us to believe. Lampe begins by tracing Douglass's life as slave in Maryland and as fugitive in New Bedford, showing that experiences gained at this time in his life contributed powerfully to his understanding of rhetoric and to his development as an orator. An examination of his daily oratorical activities from the time of his emergence in Nantucket in 1841 until his departure for England in 1845 dispels many conventional beliefs surrounding this period, especially the belief that Douglass was under the wing of William Lloyd Garrison. Lampe's research shows that Douglass was much more outspoken and independent than previously thought and that at times he was in conflict with white abolitionists.
Included in this work is a complete itinerary of Douglass's oratorical activities, correcting errors and omissions in previously published works, as well as two newly discovered complete speech texts, never before published.
Friendship serves as a metaphor for citizenship and mirrors the individual’s participation in civic life. Friendship Fictions unravels key implications of this metaphor and demonstrates how it can transform liberal culture into a more just and democratic way of life.
A criticism often leveled at liberal democratic culture is its emphasis on the individual over community and private life over civic participation. However, liberal democratic culture has a more complicated relationship to notions of citizenship. As Michael Kaplan shows, citizenship comprises a major theme of popular entertainment, especially Hollywood film, and often takes the form of friendship narratives; and this is no accident. Examining the representations of citizenship-as-friendship in four Hollywood films (The Big Chill, Thelma & Louise, Lost in Translation, and Smoke), Kaplan argues that critics have misunderstood some of liberal democracy’s most significant features: its resilience, its capacity for self-revision, and the cultural resonance of its model of citizenship.
For Kaplan, friendship—with its dynamic pacts, fluid alliances, and contingent communities—is one arena in which preconceptions about individual participation in civic life are contested and complicated. Friendship serves as a metaphor for citizenship and mirrors the individual’s participation in civic life. Friendship Fictions unravels key implications of this metaphor and demonstrates how it can transform liberal culture into a more just and democratic way of life.
In the spring of 1968, the English faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) voted to remedialize the first semester of its required freshman composition course, English 101. The following year, it eliminated outright the second semester course, English 102. For the next quarter-century, UW had no real campus-wide writing requirement, putting it out of step with its peer institutions and preventing it from fully joining the “composition revolution” of the 1970s. In From Form to Meaning, David Fleming chronicles these events, situating them against the backdrop of late 1960s student radicalism and within the wider changes taking place in U.S. higher education at the time.
Fleming begins with the founding of UW in 1848. He examines the rhetorical education provided in the university’s first half-century, the birth of a required, two semester composition course in 1898, faculty experimentation with that course in the 1920s and 1930s, and the rise of a massive “current-traditional” writing program, staffed primarily by graduate teaching assistants (TAs), after World War II. He then reveals how, starting around 1965, tensions between faculty and TAs concerning English 101-102 began to mount. By 1969, as the TAs were trying to take over the committee that supervised the course, the English faculty simply abandoned its long-standing commitment to freshman writing.
In telling the story of composition’s demise at UW, Fleming shows how contributing factors—the growing reliance on TAs; the questioning of traditional curricula by young instructors and their students; the disinterest of faculty in teaching and administering general education courses—were part of a larger shift affecting universities nationally. He also connects the events of this period to the long, embattled history of freshman composition in the United States. And he offers his own thoughts on the qualities of the course that have allowed it to survive and regenerate for over 125 years.