In his 2004 book Game Work, Ken S. McAllister proposed a rigorous critical methodology for the discussion of the “video game complex”—the games themselves, their players, the industry that produces them, and those who review and market them. Games, McAllister demonstrated, are viewed and discussed very differently by different factions: as an economic force, as narrative texts, as a facet of popular culture, as a psychological playground, as an ethical and moral force, even as a tool for military training.
In Gaming Matters, McAllister and coauthor Judd Ruggill turn from the broader discussion of video game rhetoric to study the video game itself as a medium and the specific features that give rise to games as similar and yet diverse as Pong, Tomb Raider, and Halo. In short, what defines the computer game itself as a medium distinct from all others? Each chapter takes up a different fundamental characteristic of the medium. Games are:
• Idiosyncratic, and thus difficult to apprehend using the traditional tools of media study
• Irreconcilable, or complex to such a degree that developers, players, and scholars have contradictory ways of describing them
• Boring, and therefore obligated to constantly make demands
on players’ attention
• Anachronistic, or built on age-old tropes and forms of play
while ironically bound to the most advanced technologies
• Duplicitous, or dependent on truth-telling rhetoric even when they are about fictions, fantasies, or lies
• Work, or are often better understood as labor rather than play
• Alchemical, despite seeming all-too mechanical or predictable
Video games are now inarguably a major site of worldwide cultural production.
Gaming Matters will neither flatter game enthusiasts nor embolden game detractors in their assessments. But it will provide a vocabulary through which games can be discussed in academic settings and will create an important foundation for future academic discourse.
Donnalee Rubin examines the responses of thirty-one freshman composition teachers to student writing and shows the negative effects of gender bias on assessment to prove that gender perceptions and expectations can influence assessment decisions that seem neutral on the surface. Arguing that certain pedagogies are more likely to minimize gender bias than others, Rubin believes that teachers are more likely to overcome the influence of gender bias on their teaching if they adopt a process-based method and work intimately with their students through nondirective, supportive conferences.
Rubin characterizes the conference/process-centered class as the type of environment in which maternal teaching can be cultivated. She stresses that maternal can describe any teacher, male or female, who exhibits the nurturing and supportive qualities that the conference/process approach embodies. With a primary focus on the student’s well-being and development as a person and a writer, the maternal teacher is in a better position to overcome gender bias that could distort the interpretation of student texts. In order for writing instructors to increase their sensitivity to gender issues in assessment, Rubin recommends that they self-consciously engage in what she calls "responsive reading." Responsive reading occurs when the teacher reads with an eye toward providing the sorts of supportive feedback and dialectic exchange that will encourage student writers to think for themselves and to revise effectively. Rubin argues that when teachers commit to a responsive-reading pedagogy, they are more likely to question their reactions to student writing along the lines of gender influence and to strive for self-conscious awareness of how their own inner male-female voices may distort their reading of student texts. She challenges all writing teachers to become more aware of the inevitable challenge gender influence presents.
Combining anecdotal evidence (the personal stories of rhetoric and composition teachers) with hard data, Theresa Enos offers documentation for what many have long suspected to be true: lower-division writing courses in colleges and universities are staffed primarily by women who receive minimal pay, little prestige, and lessened job security in comparison to their male counterparts. Male writing faculty, however, also are affected by factors such as low salaries because of the undervaluation of a field considered feminized. As Enos notes in her preface: "The rhetoric of our institutional lives is connected especially to the negotiations of gender roles in rhetoric and composition."
Enos describes and classifies narratives gathered from surveys, interviews, and campus visits and interweaves these narratives with statistical data gathered from national surveys that show gendered experiences in the profession. Enos discusses the ways in which these experiences affect the working conditions of writing teachers and administrators in various programs at different types of institutions.
Enos points out that fields in which women excel—and are acknowledged—receive less prestige than other fields. On the university level, those genres in which women have demonstrated competence are not taken as seriously as those dominated by men. In practical terms, academia affords more glory for teaching literature than for teaching rhetoric and composition.
Within the field of rhetoric and composition, however, Enos finds it difficult to determine why the accomplishments of women receive less credit than those of men. She speculates as to whether it is part of the larger pattern in society—and in academia—to value men more than women or something in the field itself that keeps women from real power, even though women make up the majority of composition and rhetoric teachers.
Enos provides fascinating personal histories of composition and rhetoric teachers whose work has been largely disregarded. She also provides information about writing programs, teaching, administrative responsibilities, ranks among teachers, ages, salary, tenure status, distribution of research, service responsibilities, records of publication, and promotion and tenure guidelines.
Genre Across The Curriculum
edited by Anne Herrington and Charles Moran Utah State University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PE1404.G398 2005 | Dewey Decimal 808.042071
Genre across the Curriculum will function as a "good" textbook, one not for the student, but for the teacher, and one with an eye on the context of writing. Here you will find models of practice, descriptions written by teachers who have integrated the teaching of genre into their pedagogy in ways that both support and empower the student writer.
While authors here look at courses across disciplines and across a range of genres, they are similar in presenting genre as situated within specific classrooms, disciplines, and institutions. Their assignments embody the pedagogy of a particular teacher, and student responses here embody students' prior experiences with writing. In each chapter, the authors define a particular genre, define the learning goals implicit in assigning that genre, explain how they help their students work through the assignment, and, finally, discuss how they evaluate the writing their students do in response to their teaching.
Second language students not only need strategies for drafting and revising to write effectively, but also a clear understanding of genre so that they can appropriately structure their writing for various contexts. Over that last decade, increasing attention has been paid to the notion of genre and its central place in language teaching and learning. Genre and Second Language Writing enters into this important debate, providing an accessible introduction to current theory and research in the area of written genres-and applying these understandings to the practical concerns of today's EFL/ESL classroom. Each chapter includes discussion and review questions and small-scale practical research activities. Like the other texts in the popular Michigan Series on Teaching Multilingual Writers, this book will interest ESL teachers in training, teacher educators, current ESL instructors, and researchers and scholars in the area of ESL writing.
In a focused and compelling discussion, Anis Bawarshi looks to genre theory for what it can contribute to a refined understanding of invention. In describing what he calls "the genre function," he explores what is at stake for the study and teaching of writing to imagine invention as a way that writers locate themselves, via genres, within various positions and activities. He argues, in fact, that invention is a process in which writers are acted upon by genres as much as they act themselves. Such an approach naturally requires the composition scholar to re-place invention from the writer to the sites of action, the genres, in which the writer participates. This move calls for a thoroughly rhetorical view of invention, roughly in the tradition of Richard Young, Janice Lauer, and those who have followed them.
Instead of mastering notions of "good" writing, Bawarshi feels that students gain more from learning how to adapt socially and rhetorically as they move from one "genred" site of action to the next.
Geographies of Philological Knowledge examines the relationship between medievalism and colonialism in the nineteenth-century Hispanic American context through the striking case of the Creole Andrés Bello (1781–1865), a Venezuelan grammarian, editor, legal scholar, and politician, and his lifelong philological work on the medieval heroic narrative that would later become Spain’s national epic, the Poem of the Cid. Nadia R. Altschul combs Bello’s study of the poem and finds throughout it evidence of a “coloniality of knowledge.”
Altschul reveals how, during the nineteenth century, the framework for philological scholarship established in and for core European nations—France, England, and especially Germany—was exported to Spain and Hispanic America as the proper way of doing medieval studies. She argues that the global designs of European philological scholarship are conspicuous in the domain of disciplinary historiography, especially when examining the local history of a Creole Hispanic American like Bello, who is neither fully European nor fully alien to European culture. Altschul likewise highlights Hispanic America’s intellectual internalization of coloniality and its understanding of itself as an extension of Europe.
A timely example of interdisciplinary history, interconnected history, and transnational study, Geographies of Philological Knowledge breaks with previous nationalist and colonialist histories and thus forges a new path for the future of medieval studies.
Twenty-first-century technological innovations have revolutionized the way we experience space, causing an increased sense of fragmentation, danger, and placelessness. In Geographies of Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference, Nedra Reynolds addresses these problems in the context of higher education, arguing that theories of writing and rhetoric must engage the metaphorical implications of place without ignoring materiality.
Geographies of Writing makes three closely related contributions: one theoretical, to reimagine composing as spatial, material, and visual; one political, to understand the sociospatial construction of difference; and one pedagogical, to teach writing as a set of spatial practices. Aided by seven maps and illustrations that reinforce the book’ s visual rhetoric, Geographies of Writing shows how composition tasks and electronic space function as conduits for navigating reality.
The emergence of biology as a distinct science in the eighteenth century has long been a subject of scholarly controversy. Michel Foucault, on the one hand, argued that its appearance only after 1800 represented a fundamental rupture with the natural history that preceded it, marking the beginnings of modernity. Ernst Mayr, on the other hand, insisted that even the word "biology" was unclear in its meaning as late as 1800, and that the field itself was essentially prospective well into the 1800s.
In The Gestation of German Biology, historian of ideas John Zammito presents a different version of the emergence of the field, one that takes on both Foucault and Mayr and emphasizes the scientific progress throughout the eighteenth century that led to the recognition of the need for a special science. The embrace of the term biology around 1800, Zammito shows, was the culmination of a convergence between natural history and human physiology that led to the development of comparative physiology and morphology—the foundations of biology. Magisterial in scope, Zammito’s book offers nothing less than a revisionist history of the field, with which anyone interested in the origins of biology will have to contend.
Gesture in Multiparty Interaction confronts the competing views that exist regarding gesture’s relationship to language. In this work, Emily Shaw examines embodied discourses in American Sign Language and spoken English and seeks to establish connections between sign language and co-speech gesture. By bringing the two modalities together, Shaw illuminates the similarities between certain phenomena and presents a unified analysis of embodied discourse that more clearly captures gesture’s connection to language as a whole.
Shaw filmed Deaf and hearing participants playing a gesture-based game as part of a social game night. Their interactions were then studied using discourse analysis to see whether and how Deaf and hearing people craft discourses through the use of their bodies. This volume examines gesture, not just for its iconic, imagistic qualities, but also as an interactive resource in signed and spoken discourse. In addition, Shaw addresses the key theoretical barriers that prevent a full accounting of gesture’s interface with signed and spoken language. Her study pushes further the notion that language is fundamentally embodied.
Globalizing American Studies
Edited by Brian T. Edwards and Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress E169.1.G545 2010 | Dewey Decimal 973.071
The discipline of American studies was established in the early days of World War II and drew on the myth of American exceptionalism. Now that the so-called American Century has come to an end, what would a truly globalized version of American studies look like? Brian T. Edwards and Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar offer a new standard for the field’s transnational aspiration with Globalizing American Studies.
The essays here offer a comparative, multilingual, or multisited approach to ideas and representations of America. The contributors explore unexpected perspectives on the international circulation of American culture: the traffic of American movies within the British Empire, the reception of the film Gone with the Wind in the Arab world, the parallels between Japanese and American styles of nativism, and new incarnations of American studies itself in the Middle East and South Asia. The essays elicit a forgotten multilateralism long inherent in American history and provide vivid accounts of post–Revolutionary science communities, late-nineteenth century Mexican border crossings, African American internationalism, Cold War womanhood in the United States and Soviet Russia, and the neo-Orientalism of the new obsession with Iran, among others.
Bringing together established scholars already associated with the global turn in American studies with contributors who specialize in African studies, East Asian studies, Latin American studies, media studies, anthropology, and other areas, Globalizing American Studies is an original response to an important disciplinary shift in academia.
Bruce Lincoln is one of the most prominent advocates within religious studies for an uncompromisingly critical approach to the phenomenon of religion—historians of religions, he believes, should resist the preferred narratives and self-understanding of religions themselves, especially when their stories are endowed with sacred origins and authority. In Gods and Demons, Priests and Scholars, Lincoln assembles a collection of essays that both illustrates and reveals the benefits of his methodology, making a case for a critical religious studies that starts with skepticism but is neither cynical nor crude.
The book begins with Lincoln’s “Theses on Method” and ends with “The (Un)discipline of Religious Studies,” in which he unsparingly considers the failings of uncritical and nonhistorical approaches to the study of religions. In between, Lincoln presents new examinations of problems in ancient religions and relates these cases to larger comparative themes. While bringing to light important features of the formation of pantheons and the constructions of demons, chaos, and the dead, Lincoln demonstrates that historians of religions should take religious things—inspired scriptures, sacred centers, salvific rites, communities graced by divine favor—as the theories of interested humans that shape perception, community, and experiences. As he shows, it is for their terrestrial influence, and not their sacred origins, that religious phenomena merit consideration by the historian.
Tackling many questions central to religious study, Gods and Demons, Priests and Scholars will be a touchstone for the history of religions in the twenty-first century.
In a masterful study Carl Richard explores how the Greek and Roman classics became enshrined in American antebellum culture. For the first time, knowledge of the classics extended beyond aristocratic males to the middle class, women, African Americans, and frontier settlers. The Civil War led to a radical alteration of the educational system in a way that steadily eroded the preeminence of the classics.
The Grammar Answer Key is a collection of 100 questions submitted by ESL teachers--both novice and experienced and both native and non-native speakers--from many different countries around the world. The questions are real questions that ESL/EFL students have asked teachers about English and are similar to the Hot Seat Questions presented in Keys to Teaching Grammar to English Language Learners, 2nd ed. (Folse, 2016).
The 100 questions are organized into 12 chapters on topics that teachers and students can relate to well: adjectives, articles, clauses, connectors, gerunds and infinitives, prepositions, pronouns, pronunciation, subject-verb agreement, suffixes, verbs, and vocabulary-grammar connections. The number of questions in each chapter ranges from 3 to 13 and is based on the questions submitted. Each chapter begins with a short overview of the topic that features key terminology and a chart explaining three common ESL errors.
Each question is presented in a box and is followed by an "answer" that can inform instruction, often in chart format. Examples of questions are:
How do you know if a word is an adjective?
Can I say the Monday or the January?
Do you say on July orin July?
I received an email from someone that said “Greetings from my wife and I.” Is this right? Why?
How do I know which way to pronounce the -ed at the end of a word?
Which verb tenses are the most common in English? Which ones should I study?
Why do you say turn on the light instead of turn the light?
In my language, we have one word for make and do. In English, when should I use make and when should I use do?
The book is the ideal teacher resource and professional development tool.
Fiona MacCarthy challenges the image of Walter Gropius as a doctrinaire architectural rationalist, bringing out the vision and courage that carried him through a politically hostile age. Approaching the Bauhaus founder from all angles, she offers a poignant personal story, one that reexamines the urges that drove Euro-American modernism as a whole.
Guide to College Writing Assessment
Peggy O'Neill, Cindy Moore, and Brian Huot Utah State University Press, 2009 Library of Congress PE1404.O43 2009 | Dewey Decimal 808.042076
While most English professionals feel comfortable with language and literacy theories, assessment theories seem more alien. English professionals often don’t have a clear understanding of the key concepts in educational measurement, such as validity and reliability, nor do they understand the statistical formulas associated with psychometrics. But understanding assessment theory—and applying it—by those who are not psychometricians is critical in developing useful, ethical assessments in college writing programs, and in interpreting and using assessment results.
A Guide to College Writing Assessment is designed as an introduction and source book for WPAs, department chairs, teachers, and administrators. Always cognizant of the critical components of particular teaching contexts, O’Neill, Moore, and Huot have written sophisticated but accessible chapters on the history, theory, application and background of writing assessment, and they offer a dozen appendices of practical samples and models for a range of common assessment needs.
Because there are numerous resources available to assist faculty in assessing the writing of individual students in particular classrooms, A Guide to College Writing Assessment focuses on approaches to the kinds of assessment that typically happen outside of individual classrooms: placement evaluation, exit examination, programmatic assessment, and faculty evaluation. Most of all, the argument of this book is that creating the conditions for meaningful college writing assessment hinges not only on understanding the history and theories informing assessment practice, but also on composition programs availing themselves of the full range of available assessment practices.