Volume 75, Number 3, January 2013
For bulk pricing or author discounts, please contact our Customer Service Department.
From the Editor
Kelly A. Ritter
Emerging Voices: Unpredictable Encounters: Religious Discourse, Sexuality, and the Free Exercise of Rhetoric
T J Geiger II
Abstract: In this essay, I develop a pedagogical stance called the “free exercise of rhetoric” as a way to approach teaching and student writing at the intersection of LGBT and religious discourses. Through this stance, I work with students’ personal commitments and build their rhetorical competence using a process that involves encountering uncommon arguments, valuing misreading, and embracing unpredictability. I suggest the free exercise of rhetoric as a pedagogical option for taking religion seriously as a topic and identity in writing classrooms, but one that does not start from students’ personal experience with religion.
The Consequences of Integrating Faith into Academic Writing: Casuistic Stretching and Biblical Citation
Jeffrey M. Ringer
Abstract: This essay considers how a male evangelical Christian in a first-year writing (FYW) course at a state university negotiates his identity in his academic writing for a non-Christian audience. It focuses on how “Austin” casuistically stretches a biblical text to accommodate his audience’s pluralistic perspective. Austin’s writing thus provides a discursive window into how writing academically for an FYW course might nudge students from dualism toward pluralism. It thus prompts compositionists not only to interrogate how writing academically may implicate students’ most deeply held beliefs, but also to make such identity consequences explicit to students.
“Standard” Issue: Public Discourse, Ayers v. Fordice, and the Dilemma of the Basic Writer
Abstract: This article involves an examination of public discourse surrounding Ayers v. Fordice, one of the most prominent desegregation cases in higher education, in an attempt to explore how such discourse affects our understandings of basic writing programming in the state of Mississippi, but also more globally. Archived local newspaper articles and letters to state government officials from private citizens suggest that the public overwhelmingly adheres to concepts of standards-based education. This research is meant to further stimulate conversations in the field about how we define basic writers and how to provide these students with the opportunity to define themselves.
“Ability to Benefit”: Making Forward-Looking Decisions about Our Most Underprepared Students
Patrick Sullivan and David Nielsen
Abstract: Community colleges have been engaged for the last sixty years in providing open access to public higher education to anyone with a high school diploma. Recently, disappointing success rates for developmental students have driven some colleges to reduce or restrict access to college based on standardized test scores. The operative phrase in most of these discussions is “ability to benefit.” This essay examines the complex variety of issues related to ability to benefit. Using a robust archive of data from our institution to explore this question, we argue that standardized placement scores tell only one kind of story about our most underprepared students. Course pass rates and percentages of students who reach critical milestones provide only one rather limited way to assess this complex issue. Our data tell us other stories that may be more important.
Announcements and Calls for Papers