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.
What current theoretical frameworks inform academic and professional writing? What does research tell us about the effectiveness of academic and professional writing programs? What do we know about existing best practices? What are the current guidelines and procedures in evaluating a program’s effectiveness? What are the possibilities in regard to future research and changes to best practices in these programs in an age of accountability? Editors Shirley Wilson Logan and Wayne H. Slater bring together leading scholars in rhetoric and composition to consider the history, trends, and future of academic and professional writing in higher education through the lens of these five central questions.
The first two essays in the book provide a history of the academic and professional writing program at the University of Maryland. Subsequent essays explore successes and challenges in the establishment and development of writing programs at four other major institutions, identify the features of language that facilitate academic and professional communication, look at the ways digital practices in academic and professional writing have shaped how writers compose and respond to texts, and examine the role of assessment in curriculum and pedagogy. An afterword by distinguished rhetoric and composition scholars Jessica Enoch and Scott Wible offers perspectives on the future of academic and professional writing.
This collection takes stock of the historical, rhetorical, linguistic, digital, and evaluative aspects of the teaching of writing in higher education. Among the critical issues addressed are how university writing programs were first established and what early challenges they faced, where writing programs were housed and who administered them, how the language backgrounds of composition students inform the way writing is taught, the ways in which current writing technologies create new digital environments, and how student learning and programmatic outcomes should be assessed.
Acknowledging Writing Partners treats the genre of written acknowledgements as a lens for viewing writing as a practice of indebted partnerships. Like new media scholars who have argued that studying ubiquitous technologies such as the pencil reveals the mundane and profound ways in which writing is always mediated by tools, Laura R. Micciche argues that writing activities are frequently mediated by human and non-human others, advancing a view of composing that accounts for partners who emerge in acknowledgements: feelings, animals, and random material phenomena. Acknowledgements are micro economies of debt and praise; they reveal writing's connectedness, often repressed by the argument or set of propositions that follow. Micciche suggests new methods for studying and theorizing writing that take into account the whole surround of writing. In doing so, Micciche asks what difference this economy makes to dominant conceptions of writers and writing as well as to pedagogical principles that inform writing instruction—and what difference it make to writers.
Candace Spigelman investigates the dynamics of ownership in small group writing workshops, basing her findings on case studies involving two groups: a five-member creative writing group meeting monthly at a local Philadelphia coffee bar and a four-member college-level writing group meeting in their composition classroom. She explores the relationship between particular notions of intellectual property within each group as well as the effectiveness of writing groups that embrace these notions. Addressing the negotiations between the public and private domains of writing within these groups, she discovers that for both the committed writers and the novices, “values associated with textual ownership play a crucial role in writing group performance.”
Spigelman discusses textual ownership, intellectual property, and writing group processes and then reviews theories relating to authorship and knowledge making. After introducing the participants in each group, discussing their texts, and describing their workshop sessions, she examines the writers’ avowed and implied beliefs about exchanging ideas and protecting individual property rights.
Spigelman stresses the necessary tension between individual and social aspects of writing practices: She argues for the need to foster more collaborative activity among student writers by replicating the processes of writers working in nonacademic settings but also contends that all writers must be allowed to imagine their individual agency and authority as they compose.
One wonders if there is any academic field that doesn’t suffer from the way it is portrayed by the media, by politicians, by pundits and other publics. How well scholars in a discipline articulate their own definition can influence not only issues of image but the very success of the discipline in serving students and its other constituencies. The Activist WPA is an effort to address this range of issues for the field of English composition in the age of the Spellings Commission and the No Child Left Behind Act.
Drawing on recent developments in framing theory and the resurgent traditions of progressive organizers, Linda Adler-Kassner calls upon composition teachers and administrators to develop strategic programs of collective action that do justice to composition’s best principles. Adler-Kassner argues that the “story” of college composition can be changed only when writing scholars bring the wonders down, to articulate a theory framework that is pragmatic and intelligible to those outside the field--and then create messages that reference that framework. In The Activist WPA, she makes a case for developing a more integrated vision of outreach, English education, and writing program administration.
She invites us along on a raucous tour of soul-sucking jobs, marriage, and a teaching career, with accompanying disquisitions on blasphemous reading preferences, ’60s pop culture, writing workshops, and other amusing detours and distractions on the way to publication. She also shares her keen insights into the role of a Southern writer in American literary culture, the experience of writing as a mother, and the process of novel-writing as compared to a lengthy family car trip.
Featuring guest appearances by other writers such as Fred Chappell, Max Steele, and Annie Dillard plus cameos by the likes of Patty Hearst, Richard Nixon, and Bon Jovi, Adventures in Pen Land celebrates writing as a form of play that Gingher has never outgrown. The lighthearted illustrations by novelist Daniel Wallace (author of Big Fish) serve to reinforce this refreshing message as they depict one writer and her imagination growing up together.
Adventures in Pen Land conveys a writer’s sheer doggedness, with a few bones of advice tossed in along the way. Candid and irreverent, but always humane, this memoir is must reading for fans of Southern literature, students of creative writing, and anyone who can’t resist the treat of reading about a writer’s resilience and dedication to her craft.
Folktales from the African American Appalachian tradition. Told by Lyn Ford, one of America’s busiest touring storytellers. The power of Lyn's storytelling comes straight out of her family heritage, which is the content of this, her first book. Here she tells how she learned stories from her father and grandfather—and she includes many of the stories they told her.
This pioneering study of African American students in the composition classroom lays the groundwork for reversing the cycle of underachievement that plagues linguistically diverse students. African American Literacies Unleashed: Vernacular English and the Composition Classroom approaches the issue of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in terms of teacher knowledge and prevailing attitudes, and it attempts to change current pedagogical approaches with a highly readable combination of traditional academic discourse and personal narratives.
Realizing that composition is a particular form of social practice that validates some students and excludes others, Arnetha Ball and Ted Lardner acknowledge that many African American students come to writing and composition classrooms with talents that are not appreciated. To empower and inform practitioners, administrators, teacher educators, and researchers, Ball and Lardner provide knowledge and strategies that will help unleash the potential of African American students and help them imagine new possibilities for their successes as writers.
African American Literacies Unleashed asserts that necessary changes in theory and practice can be addressed by refocusing attention from teachers’ knowledge deficits to the processes through which teachers engage information relevant to culturally informed pedagogy. Providing strategies for unlearning racism in the classroom and changing the status quo, this volume stresses the development and maintenance of a real sense of teaching efficacy— teachers’ beliefs in their abilities to connect with and work effectively with all students— and reflective optimism— teachers’ informed expectations that all students have the potential to succeed.
Political failures and globalization have eroded Ireland’s sovereignty—a decline portended in Irish literature. Surveying the bleak themes in thirty works by modern writers, Declan Kiberd finds audacious experimentation that embodies the defiance and resourcefulness of Ireland’s founding spirit—and a strange kind of hope for a more open nation.
In After the Public Turn, author Frank Farmer argues that counterpublics and the people who make counterpublics—“citizen bricoleurs”—deserve a more prominent role in our scholarship and in our classrooms. Encouraging students to understand and consider resistant or oppositional discourse is a viable route toward mature participation as citizens in a democracy.
Farmer examines two very different kinds of publics, cultural and disciplinary, and discusses two counterpublics within those broad categories: zine discourses and certain academic discourses. By juxtaposing these two significantly different kinds of publics, Farmer suggests that each discursive world can be seen, in its own distinct way, as a counterpublic, an oppositional social formation that has a stake in widening or altering public life as we know it.
Drawing on major figures in rhetoric and cultural theory, Farmer builds his argument about composition teaching and its relation to the public sphere, leading to a more sophisticated understanding of public life and a deeper sense of what democratic citizenship means for our time.
Agency in Ancient Writing
Joshua Englehardt University Press of Colorado, 2012 Library of Congress P211.7.A44 2012 | Dewey Decimal 411.7
Individual agents are frequently evident in early writing and notational systems, yet these systems have rarely been subjected to the concept of agency as it is traceable in archeology. Agency in Ancient Writing addresses this oversight, allowing archeologists to identify and discuss real, observable actors and actions in the archaeological record.
Embracing myriad ways in which agency can be interpreted, ancient writing systems from Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, China, and Greece are examined from a textual perspective as both archaeological objects and nascent historical documents. This allows for distinction among intentions, consequences, meanings, and motivations, increasing understanding and aiding interpretation of the subjectivity of social actors. Chapters focusing on acts of writing and public recitation overlap with those addressing the materiality of texts, interweaving archaeology, epigraphy, and the study of visual symbol systems.
Agency in Ancient Writing leads to a more thorough and meaningful discussion of agency as an archaeological concept and will be of interest to anyone interested in ancient texts, including archaeologists, historians, linguists, epigraphers, and art historians, as well as scholars studying agency and structuration theory.
The question of how students transfer knowledge is an important one, as it addresses the larger issue of the educational experience. In Agents of Integration: Understanding Transfer as a Rhetorical Act, Rebecca S. Nowacek explores, through a series of case studies, the issue of transfer by asking what in an educational setting engages students to become “agents of integration”— individuals actively working to perceive, as well as to convey effectively to others, the connections they make.
While many studies of transfer are longitudinal, with data collected over several years, Nowacek’s is synchronous, a rich cross-section of the writing and classroom discussions produced by a team-taught learning community—three professors and eighteen students enrolled in a one-semester general education interdisciplinary humanities seminar that consisted of three linked courses in history, literature, and religious studies. With extensive field notes, carefully selected student and teacher self-reports in the form of interviews and focus groups, and thorough examinations of recorded classroom discussions, student papers with professor comments, and student notebooks, Nowacek presents a nuanced and engaging analysis that outlines how transfer is not simply a cognitive act but a rhetorical one that involves both seeing connections and presenting them to the instructors who are institutionally positioned to recognize and value them.
Considering the challenges facing instructors teaching for transfer and the transfer of writing-related knowledge, Nowacek develops and outlines a new theoretical framework and methodological model of transfer and illustrates the practical implications through case studies and other classroom examples. She proposes transfer is best understood as an act of recontextualization, and she builds on this premise throughout the book by drawing from previous work in cognitive psychology, activity theory, and rhetorical genre theory, as well as her own analyses of student work.
This focused examination complements existing longitudinal studies and will help readers better understand not only the opportunities and challenges confronting students as they work to become agents of integration but also the challenges facing instructors as they seek to support that student work.
From the author of Stylish Academic Writing comes an essential new guide for writers aspiring to become more productive and take greater pleasure in their craft. Helen Sword interviewed 100 academics worldwide about their writing background and practices and shows how they find or create the conditions to get their writing done.
The best-selling Alif Baa is the first volume of the Al-Kitaab Arabic language program and is now available in a new third edition. In this new version of the introduction to Arabic letters and sounds, English-speaking students will find an innovative integration of colloquial and formal (spoken and written) Arabic. Together, the book and new companion website provide learners with all the material necessary to learn the sounds of Arabic, write its letters, and begin speaking Arabic, including interactive, self-correcting exercises to enhance learning. The companion website also gives instructors additional online grading options.
FEATURES• Four-color design throughout the book features over 100 illustrations and photographs
• Gives learners and instructors color-coded options for the variety of language they wish to learn in speaking: Egyptian, Levantine, or formal Arabic (MSA)
• Introduces over 200 basic vocabulary words in all three forms of spoken and written Arabic side by side, including expressions for polite social interaction, and activates them in interactive homework exercises and classroom groupwork
• Includes video dialogues in Egyptian and Levantine, filmed in Cairo and Damascus
• Includes video footage of an Arabic calligrapher, capsules on Arabic culture, and images of street signs from Morocco, Egypt, and Lebanon
• Includes new English-Arabic and Arabic-English glossaries, searchable in the companion website
• Textbook includes a convenient DVD with the basic audio and video materials (no interactive exercises) for offline study that will play in iTunes and compatible MP3 players
• New companion website (sold separately)—alkitaabtextbook.com—features a fully integrated set of interactive exercises with all the video and audio materials and additional online course management and grading options for teachers
Alif Baa provides the essential first 20-25 contact (classroom) hours of the Al-Kitaab program, accompanied by 40-50 homework hours. Students who complete Alif Baa should reach a novice-intermediate to novice-high level of proficiency.
Companion Website Minimum System Requirements:WindowsOS: Microsoft Windows 98, NT, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, 7CPU: 233MHz Pentium BasedRAM: 128MBDISPLAY:1024x768, color displayBROWSER: Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, or Firefox version 3.0 or higherCONNECTION SPEED: A high-speed connection with throughput of 256 Kbps or more is recommended to use audio and video components.EQUIPMENT: You will need speakers or a headset to listen to audio and video components.PLUG-INS: You must have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.
MacintoshOS: Mac OSXCPU: 233MHz Power MacintoshRAM: 128MBDISPLAY:1024x768, color displayBROWSER: Firefox version 3.0 or higher, or Sarari 3.0 or higherCONNECTION SPEED: A high-speed connection with throughput of 256 Kbps or more is recommended to use audio and video components. EQUIPMENT: You will need speakers or a headset to listen to audio and video components.PLUG-INS: You must have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.
Since the release of the second edition of Alif Baa with DVDs in the fall of 2004, thousands of Arabic language learners have benefited from the integrated textbook and DVDs. This new version—Alif Baa with Multimedia—functions even better and features a new and improved digital format.
The content of Alif Baa with Multimedia, Second Edition, including the text and all of the audio and video on the disk, is exactly the same as that of Alif Baa with DVDs, Second Edition. Only the format of the disk has changed so that all files will be easy to play using the free Adobe Flash Player. All units are now included on only one disk. Teachers and students may use both versions of the textbook side-by-side in the classroom and notice no difference in content or appearance. It should not affect the learning experience or require teachers to do any additional preparation.
FEATURES• Introduces about 150 basic vocabulary words, including conventional forms of politeness and social greetings• Introduces a range of Arabic from colloquial to standard in authentic contexts• Includes video footage of an Arabic calligrapher, capsules on Arabic culture, and images of street signs from Morocco, Egypt, and Lebanon• Provides the essential first 20-25 contact hours of the Al-Kitaab program
The DVD that accompanies Alif Baa with Multimedia plays in any computer’s DVD drive. In order to view the files, you will need to download and install the free Flash Player from Adobe’s website.
Windows• 450 MHz Intel Pentium II (or compatible) processor• MS Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista• 128MB of RAM and 128MB of VRAM• Computer with DVD drive• Headphones or speakers• Flash Player (free download from http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/)
Mac• 500 MHz PowerPC G3 or 1.33 GHz Intel Core Duo processor• Mac OS X v10.4 or 10.5• 128MB of RAM and 128MB of VRAM• Computer with DVD drive• Headphones or speakers• Flash Player (free download from http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/)
Georgetown University Press is not able to provide technical support for the CDs and DVDs that accompany the Al-Kitaab series.
Anton Chekhov is revered as a boldly innovative playwright and short story writer—but he wrote more than just plays and stories. In Alive in the Writing—an intriguing hybrid of writing guide, biography, and literary analysis—anthropologist and novelist Kirin Narayan introduces readers to some other sides of Chekhov: his pithy, witty observations on the writing process, his life as a writer through accounts by his friends, family, and lovers, and his venture into nonfiction through his book Sakhalin Island. By closely attending to the people who lived under the appalling conditions of the Russian penal colony on Sakhalin, Chekhov showed how empirical details combined with a literary flair can bring readers face to face with distant, different lives, enlarging a sense of human responsibility.
Highlighting this balance of the empirical and the literary, Narayan calls on Chekhov to bring new energy to the writing of ethnography and creative nonfiction alike. Weaving together selections from writing by and about him with examples from other talented ethnographers and memoirists, she offers practical exercises and advice on topics such as story, theory, place, person, voice, and self. A new and lively exploration of ethnography, Alive in the Writing shows how the genre’s attentive, sustained connection with the lives of others can become a powerful tool for any writer.
Whom, or what, does composition—defined here as an intentional process of study, either oral or written—serve? Bradford T. Stull contends that composition would do well to articulate, in theory and practice, what could be called "emancipatory composition." He argues that emancipatory composition is radically theopolitical: it roots itself in the foundational theological and political language of the American experience while it subverts this language in order to emancipate the oppressed and, thereby, the oppressors.
To articulate this vision, Stull looks to those who compose from an oppressed place, finding in the works of W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X radical theopolitical practices that can serve as a model for emancipatory composition. While Stull acknowledges that there are many sites of oppression, he focuses on what Du Bois has called the problem of the twentieth century: the color line, positing that the unique and foundational nature of the color line provides a fecund place in which, from which, a theory and practice of emancipatory composition might be elucidated.
By focusing on four key theopolitical tropes—The Fall, The Orient, Africa, and Eden—that inform the work of Du Bois, King, and Malcolm X, Stull discovers the ways in which these civil rights leaders root themselves in the vocabulary of the American experience in order to subvert it so that they might promote emancipation for African Americans, and thus all Americans.
In drawing on the work of Paulo Freire, Kenneth Burke, Edward Said, Christopher Miller, Ernst Bloch, and others, Stull also locates this study within the larger cultural context. By reading Du Bois, King, and Malcolm X together in a way that they have never before been read, Stull presents a new vision of composition practice to the African American studies community and a reading of African American emancipatory composition to the rhetoric and composition community, thus extending the question of emancipatory composition into new territory.
With Ancestor of the West, three distinguished French historians reveal the story of the birth of writing and reason, demonstrating how the logical religious structures of Near Eastern and Mesopotamian cultures served as precursors to those of the West.
"Full of matter for anyone interested in language, religion, and politics in the ancient world."—R. T. Ridley, Journal of Religious History
"In this accessible introduction to the ancient world, three leading French scholars explore the emergence of rationality and writing in the West, tracing its development and its survival in our own traditions. . . . Jean Bottero focuses on writing and religion in ancient Mesopotamia, Clarisse Herrenschmidt considers a broader history of ancient writing, and Jean-Pierre Vernant examines classical Greek civilization in the context of Near Eastern history."—Translation Review
Writing begins with unconscious feelings of something that insistently demands to be responded to, acted upon, or elaborated into a new entity. Writers make things that matter—treaties, new species, software, and letters to the editor—as they interact with other humans of all kinds. As they write, they also continually remake themselves. In The Animal Who Writes, Cooper considers writing as a social practice and as an embodied behavior that is particularly important to human animals. The author argues that writing is an act of composing enmeshed in nature-cultures and is homologous with technology as a mode of making.
Teaching any subject in a digital venue must be more than simply an upload of the face-to-face classroom and requires more flexibility than the typical learning management system affords. Applied Pedagogies examines the pedagogical practices employed by successful writing instructors in digital classrooms at a variety of institutions and provides research-grounded approaches to online writing instruction.
This is a practical text, providing ways to employ the best instructional strategies possible for today’s diverse and dynamic digital writing courses. Organized into three sections—Course Conceptualization and Support, Fostering Student Engagement, and MOOCs—chapters explore principles of rhetorically savvy writing crossed with examples of effective digital teaching contexts and genres of digital text. Contributors consider not only pedagogy but also the demographics of online students and the special constraints of the online environments for common writing assignments.
The scope of online learning and its place within higher education is continually evolving. Applied Pedagogies offers tools for the online writing classrooms of today and anticipates the needs of students in digital contexts yet to come. This book is a valuable resource for established and emerging writing instructors as they continue to transition to the digital learning environment.
Contributors: Kristine L. Blair, Jessie C. Borgman, Mary-Lynn Chambers, Katherine Ericsson, Chris Friend, Tamara Girardi, Heidi Skurat Harris, Kimberley M. Holloway, Angela Laflen, Leni Marshall, Sean Michael Morris, Danielle Nielsen, Dani Nier-Weber, Daniel Ruefman, Abigail G. Scheg, Jesse Stommel
Taking the reader on an inward journey from façades to closets, from physical to psychic space, Architectural Involutions offers an alternative genealogy of theater by revealing how innovations in architectural writing and practice transformed an early modern sense of interiority. The book launches from a matrix of related “platforms”—a term that in early modern usage denoted scaffolds, stages, and draftsmen’s sketches—to situate Alberti, Shakespeare, Jonson, and others within a landscape of spatial and visual change.
As the English house underwent a process of inward folding, replacing a logic of central assembly with one of dissemination, the subject who negotiated this new scenography became a flashpoint of conflict in both domestic and theatrical arenas. Combining theory with archival findings, Mimi Yiu reveals an emergent desire to perform subjectivity, to unfold an interior face to an admiring public. Highly praised for its lucid writing, comprehensive supplementary material, and engaging tone, Architectural Involutions was the winner of the 2016 MLA Prize for Independent Scholars.
Despite the importance of archives to the profession of history, there is very little written about actual encounters with them—about the effect that the researcher’s race, gender, or class may have on her experience within them or about the impact that archival surveillance, architecture, or bureaucracy might have on the histories that are ultimately written. This provocative collection initiates a vital conversation about how archives around the world are constructed, policed, manipulated, and experienced. It challenges the claims to objectivity associated with the traditional archive by telling stories that illuminate its power to shape the narratives that are “found” there.
Archive Stories brings together ethnographies of the archival world, most of which are written by historians. Some contributors recount their own experiences. One offers a moving reflection on how the relative wealth and prestige of Western researchers can gain them entry to collections such as Uzbekistan’s newly formed Central State Archive, which severely limits the access of Uzbek researchers. Others explore the genealogies of specific archives, from one of the most influential archival institutions in the modern West, the Archives nationales in Paris, to the significant archives of the Bakunin family in Russia, which were saved largely through the efforts of one family member. Still others explore the impact of current events on the analysis of particular archives. A contributor tells of researching the 1976 Soweto riots in the politically charged atmosphere of the early 1990s, just as apartheid in South Africa was coming to an end. A number of the essays question what counts as an archive—and what counts as history—as they consider oral histories, cyberspace, fiction, and plans for streets and buildings that were never built, for histories that never materialized.
Contributors. Tony Ballantyne, Marilyn Booth, Antoinette Burton, Ann Curthoys, Peter Fritzsche, Durba Ghosh, Laura Mayhall, Jennifer S. Milligan, Kathryn J. Oberdeck, Adele Perry, Helena Pohlandt-McCormick, John Randolph, Craig Robertson, Horacio N. Roque Ramírez, Jeff Sahadeo, Reneé Sentilles
Women in ancient Rome challenge the historian. Widely represented in literature and art, they rarely speak for themselves. Amy Richlin, among the foremost pioneers in ancient studies, gives voice to these women through scholarship that scours sources from high art to gutter invective.
In Arguments with Silence, Richlin presents a linked selection of her essays on Roman women’s history, originally published between 1981 and 2001 as the field of “women in antiquity” took shape, and here substantially rewritten and updated. The new introduction to the volume lays out the historical methodologies these essays developed, places this process in its own historical setting, and reviews work on Roman women since 2001, along with persistent silences. Individual chapter introductions locate each piece in the social context of Second Wave feminism in Classics and the academy, explaining why each mattered as an intervention then and still does now.
Inhabiting these pages are the women whose lives were shaped by great art, dirty jokes, slavery, and the definition of adultery as a wife’s crime; Julia, Augustus’ daughter, who died, as her daughter would, exiled to a desert island; women wearing makeup, safeguarding babies with amulets, practicing their religion at home and in public ceremonies; the satirist Sulpicia, flaunting her sexuality; and the praefica, leading the lament for the dead.
Amy Richlin is one of a small handful of modern thinkers in a position to consider these questions, and this guided journey with her brings surprise, delight, and entertainment, as well as a fresh look at important questions.
In this book, Jasper Neel’s sure-to-be-controversial resituating of Aristotle centers around three questions that have been constants in his twenty-two years of teaching experience: What does it mean to teach writing? What should one know before teaching writing? And, if there is such a thing as "research in the teaching of writing," what is it?
Believing that all composition teachers are situated politically and socially, both as part of the institution in which they teach and as beings with lived histories, Neel examines his own life and the life of composition studies as a discipline in the context of Aristotle. Neel first situates the Rhetoric as a political document; he then situates the Rhetoric in the Aristotelian system and describes how professional discourse came to know itself through Aristotle’s way of studying the world; finally, he examines the operation of the Rhetoric inside itself before arguing the need to turn to Aristotle’s notion of sophistry as a way of negating his system.
By pointing out the connections among Aristotelian rhetoric, the contemporary university, and the contemporary writing teacher, Neel shows that Aristotle’s frightening social theories are as alive today as are Aristotelian notions of discourse.
Neel explains that by their very nature teachers must speak with a professional voice. It is through showing how to "hear" one’s professional voice that Neel explores the notion of professional discourse that originates with Aristotle. In maintaining that one must pay a high price in order to speak through Aristotle’s theory or to assume the role of "professional," he argues that no neutral ground exists either for pedagogy or for the analysis of pedagogy. Neel concludes this discussion by proposing that Aristotelian sophistry is both an antidote to Aristotelian racism, sexism, and bigotry and a way of allowing Aristotelian categories of discourse to remain useful.
Finally, as an Aristotelian, a teacher, and a writer, Neel responds both to Aristotle and to professionalism by rethinking the influence of the past and reviving the voice of Aristotelian sophistry.
Around the Texts of Writing Center Work reveals the conceptual frameworks found in and created by ordinary writing center documents. The values and beliefs underlying course syllabi, policy statements, website copy and comments, assessment plans, promotional flyers, and annual reports critically inform writing center practices, including the vital undertaking of tutor education.
In each chapter, author R. Mark Hall focuses on a particular document. He examines its origins, its use by writing center instructors and tutors, and its engagement with enduring disciplinary challenges in the field of composition, such as tutoring and program assessment. He then analyzes each document in the contexts of the conceptual framework at the heart of its creation and everyday application: activity theory, communities of practice, discourse analysis, reflective practice, and inquiry-based learning.
Around the Texts of Writing Center Work approaches the analysis of writing center documents with an inquiry stance—a call for curiosity and skepticism toward existing and proposed conceptual frameworks—in the hope that the theoretically conscious evaluation and revision of commonplace documents will lead to greater efficacy and more abundant research by writing center administrators and students.
All writers conduct research. For some this means poring over records and combing, archives but for many creative writers research happens in the everyday world—when they scribble an observation on the subway, when they travel to get the feel for a city, or when they strike up a conversation with an interesting stranger.
The Art of Creative Research helps writers take this natural inclination to explore and observe and turn it into a workable—and enjoyable—research plan. It shows that research shouldn’t be seen as a dry, plodding aspect of writing. Instead, it’s an art that all writers can master, one that unearths surprises and fuels imagination. This lends authenticity to fiction and poetry as well as nonfiction.
Philip Gerard distills the process into fundamental questions: How do you conduct research? And what can you do with the information you gather? He covers both in-person research and work in archives and illustrates how the different types of research can be incorporated into stories, poems, and essays using examples from a wide range of writers in addition to those from his own projects. Throughout, Gerard brings knowledge from his seasoned background into play, drawing on his experiences as a reporter and a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. His enthusiasm for adventure is infectious and will inspire writers to step away from the keyboard and into the world.
“Research can take you to that golden intersection where the personal meets the public, the private crosses the universal, where the best literature lives,” Gerard writes. With his masterly guidance, anyone can become an expert in artful investigation.
Although fraught with politics and other perils, teacher evaluation can contribute in important, positive ways to faculty development at both the individual and the departmental levels. Yet the logistics of creating a valid assessment are complicated. Inconsistent methods, rater bias, and overreliance on student evaluation forms have proven problematic. The essays in Assessing the Teaching of Writing demonstrate constructive ways of evaluating teacher performance, taking into consideration the immense number of variables involved.
Contributors to the volume examine a range of fundamental issues, including the political context of declining state funds in education; growing public critique of the professoriate and demands for accountability resulting from federal policy initiatives like No Child Left Behind; the increasing sophistication of assessment methods and technologies; and the continuing interest in the scholarship of teaching. The first section addresses concerns and advances in assessment methodologies, and the second takes a closer look at unique individual sites and models of assessment. Chapters collectively argue for viewing teacher assessment as a rhetorical practice.
Fostering new ways of thinking about teacher evaluation, Assessing the Teaching of Writing will be of great interest not only to writing program administrators but also to those concerned with faculty development and teacher assessment outside the writing program.
The goals of this resource are broader than many standard books on writing assessment, which focus on evaluating an individual’s ability to create an effective piece of writing for a particular purpose. Assessing Writing, Assessing Learning seeks to support teachers, administrators, program directors, and funding entities who want to make the best use of the resources at their disposal to understand what students are learning and why and then take actions based on what they have learned. It also seeks to provide a common basis for communication among all the interested parties—the writing professionals, the people who identified the need for the program, and the students.
The book has sections on planning, tools (different ways of collecting data and links to instruments), and reporting (examples provided). Each section includes a discussion of issues and advice for working through the issue along with numerous examples, plus a list of resources to consult to learn more. The final chapter provides worksheets that may be reproduced and used to help those in charge of setting up and delivering a writing program to think through the issues presented. A glossary of terms is also included.
In Assignments across the Curriculum, Dan Melzer analyzes the rhetorical features and genres of writing assignments through the writing-to-learn and writing-in-the-disciplines perspectives. Presenting the results of his study of 2,101 writing assignments from undergraduate courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, business, and humanities in 100 postsecondary institutions in the United States, Assignments across the Curriculum is unique in its cross-institutional breadth and its focus on writing assignments.
The results provide a panoramic view of college writing in the United States. Melzer's framework begins with the rhetorical situations of the assignments—the purposes and audiences—and broadens to include the assignments' genres and discourse community contexts. Among his conclusions is that courses connected to a writing-across-the-curriculum (WAC) initiative ask students to write more often, in a greater variety of genres, and for a greater variety of purposes and audiences than non-WAC courses do, making a compelling case for the influence of the WAC movement.
Melzer's work also reveals patterns in the rhetorical situations, genres, and discourse communities of college writing in the United States. These larger patterns are of interest to WAC practitioners working with faculty across disciplines, to writing center coordinators and tutors working with students who bring assignments from a variety of fields, to composition program administrators, to first-year writing instructors interested in preparing students for college writing, and to high school teachers attempting to bridge the gap between high school and college writing.
The audience—the community of readers who will use the texts a writer produces—must be an important influence on the writer for his or her work to be effective.
Robert Brooke and John Hendricks examine the difficult task of teaching "writing for an audience" in a classroom where students know that the teacher, not the addressed audience, assigns the grade.
The authors describe in detail a particular writing class, taught by Brooke and observed by Hendricks, that attempted to teach writing for an audience. By combining the experiences from their study with student reactions to the class, they draw some conclusions about the dynamics of teaching writing and about learning in general.
The postmodern conviction that meaning is indeterminate and self is an illusion, though fascinating and defensible in theory, leaves a number of scholarly and pedagogical questions unsatisfied. Authoring—the phenomenological act or felt sense of creating a text—is “a remarkably black box,” say Haswell and Haswell, yet it should be one of the central preoccupations of scholars in English studies. Not only can the study of authoring accommodate the “social turn” since postmodernism, they argue, but it accommodates as well conceptions of, and the lived experience of, personal potentiality and singularity.
Without abandoning the value of postmodern perspectives, Haswell and Haswell use their own perspective of authorial potentiality and singularity to reconsider staple English-studies concerns such as gender, evaluation, voice, character, literacy, feminism, self, interpretation, assessment, signature, and taste. The essay is unique as well in the way that its authors embrace often competing realms of English studies, drawing examples and arguments equally from literary and compositionist research.
In the process, the Haswells have created a Big Idea book, and a critique of the field. Their point is clear: the singular person/mysterious black box/author merits deeper consideration than we have given it, and the book’s crafted and woven explorations provide the intellectual tools to move beyond both political divisions and theoretical impasses.
Autobiographical Writing Across the Disciplines reveals the extraordinary breadth of the intellectual movement toward self-inclusive scholarship. Presenting exemplary works of criticism incorporating personal narratives, this volume brings together twenty-seven essays from scholars in literary studies and history, mathematics and medicine, philosophy, music, film, ethnic studies, law, education, anthropology, religion, and biology. Pioneers in the development of the hybrid genre of personal scholarship, the writers whose work is presented here challenge traditional modes of inquiry and ways of knowing. In assembling their work, editors Diane P. Freedman and Olivia Frey have provided a rich source of reasons for and models of autobiographical criticism.
The editors’ introduction presents a condensed history of academic writing, chronicles the origins of autobiographical criticism, and emphasizes the role of feminism in championing the value of personal narrative to disciplinary discourse. The essays are all explicitly informed by the identities of their authors, among whom are a feminist scientist, a Jewish filmmaker living in Germany, a potential carrier of Huntington’s disease, and a doctor pregnant while in medical school. Whether describing how being a professor of ethnic literature necessarily entails being an activist, how music and cooking are related, or how a theology is shaped by cultural identity, the contributors illuminate the relationship between their scholarly pursuits and personal lives and, in the process, expand the boundaries of their disciplines.
Kwame Anthony Appiah Ruth Behar Merrill Black David Bleich James Cone Brenda Daly Laura B. DeLind Carlos L. Dews Michael Dorris Diane P. Freedman Olivia Frey Peter Hamlin Laura Duhan Kaplan Perri Klass Muriel Lederman Deborah Lefkowitz Eunice Lipton Robert D. Marcus Donald Murray Seymour Papert Carla T. Peterson David Richman Sara Ruddick Julie Tharp Bonnie TuSmith Alex Wexler Naomi Weisstein Patricia Williams
Nahuatl-speaking women and men left last wills in their own tongue during an era when the written tradition of their language was generally assumed to have ended. Describing their world in testaments clustered around epidemic cycles, they responded to profound changes in population, land use, and local governance with astonishing vibrancy.
The Aztecs at Independence offers the first internal ethnographic view of these central Mexican indigenous communities in the critical transitional time of Independence. Miriam Melton-Villanueva uses previously unknown Nahuatl-language sources—primarily last wills and testaments—to provide a comprehensive understanding of indigenous societies during the transition from colonial to postcolonial times. The book describes the cultural life of people now called Nahuas or Mexicas in the nineteenth century—based on their own words, their own written records. The book uses previously unknown, unstudied, and untranslated indigenous texts to bring Nahua society into history, fleshing out glimpses of daily life in the early nineteenth century. Thus, The Aztecs at Independence describes life at the most local level: Nahua lineages of ritual and writing, guilds and societies, the people that take turns administering festivals and attending to the last wishes of the dying.
Interwoven with personal stories and memory, The Aztecs at Independence invites a general audience along on a scholarly journey, where readers are asked to imagine Nahua concepts and their contemporary meanings that give light to modern problems.