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2014 May College English, v76.5

Non-Member Price: $12.50

NCTE Member Price: $4.25

Level(s): College

ISBN/ISSN: 0010-0994


College English
Volume 76, Number 5, May 2014

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From the Editor
Kelly Ritter

Emerging Voices: Talking over the Fence: Writing in Turn-of-the-Century Farm Journals
Alicia Brazeau
Abstract: This article investigates turn-of-the-century agricultural journals as mediums of composition education that taught readers the discoursal goals and values of the agricultural press. Editors of Maine Farmer and Ohio Farmer, in particular, argued that advanced composition skills needed to be connected to rural contexts and practices. They also ultimately offered readers an identity to assume as writers: teachers in a community of farming professionals. That these publications were critical of the pedagogies that did not empower rural voices, and were simultaneously so intent on sponsoring new rural writers, demonstrates that more current concerns with rural literacy have a long history.

Collaboration (in) Theory: Reworking the Social Turn’s Conversational Imperative
William Duffy
Abstract: This article examines the limitations of social constructionist theory that conflates collaboration with “conversation,” an idea that not only informs how many writing scholars understand the concept of collaboration itself, but one that also allows writing theorists to argue that all writing is inherently collaborative. After briefly tracing the history of this social turn collaboration theory, the article offers an object-oriented definition of collaboration to initiate a rhetorical framework for understanding what collaborators actually do with their discourse, especially when they compose texts. Following a discussion of Donald Davidson’s concept of triangulation and its relevance for understanding the discursive work of collaboration, the article concludes with a consideration of how this revised approach to collaborative composition reflects the goals of postprocess theory, including the habits of mind discussed in the Framework for Success in Post-Secondary Writing.

Liberal Learning, Professional Training, and Disciplinarity in the Age of Educational “Reform”: Remodeling General Education
Linda Adler-Kassner
Abstract: Reform efforts undertaken in the name of the college- and career-readiness agenda reflect a different understanding of a balance between liberal learning, professional training, and disciplinarity that has long existed in general education programs. This article examines the different interpretations of this balance in general education and contemporary reform efforts, considering the implications of these reforms by examining their possible effects on writing education. It concludes by positing that “remodeling” (not restructuring) general education through a framework that draws on the idea of “communities of practice” (Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998) might represent a strategy for rethinking the balance between liberal learning, professional training, and disciplinarity.

Review: Theory, Practice, and the Disciplinary Cross-Narrative
Deborah H. Holdstein
Abstract: Holdstein examines the threads that connect three seemingly disparate books in composition studies: Agents of Integration: Understanding Transfer as a Rhetorical Act by Rebecca S. Nowacek, The Materiality of Language: Gender, Politics, and the University by David Bleich, and The Promise of Reason: Studies in The New Rhetoric, edited by John T. Gage.

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