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2015 February CCC, v66.3

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Level(s): College

ISBN/ISSN: 0010-096X

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College Composition and Communication
Volume 66, Number 3, February 2015


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From the Editor
Jonathan Alexander

British Invasion: James Britton, Composition Studies, and Anti-Disciplinarity
Russel K. Durst
Abstract: This essay examines James Britton’s role in the development of composition studies as an academic discipline and considers the relevance of his work in the field today. It contends that his influence arose, paradoxically, through his construction of an antidisciplinary theory of the role of language in teaching and learning. Finally, in response to calls for composition studies to move away from its longstanding focus on instruction, it argues instead for an increased emphasis on pedagogical inquiry.

“Gifts” of the Archives: A Pedagogy for Undergraduate Research
Wendy Hayden
Abstract: This essay details the pedagogical possibilities of incorporating archival research assignments in undergraduate rhetoric and composition courses. It uses Susan Wells’s concept of the “gifts” of the archives to explore a pedagogy for undergraduate research that emphasizes uncertainty and exploration—a pedagogy that has applications beyond undergraduate archival research projects.

Writing about Writing and the Multimajor Professional Writing Course
Sarah Read and Michael J. Michaud
Abstract: This article connects the pedagogy of the multimajor professional writing (MMPW) course with two important contemporary discussions in composition studies: the pedagogy called writing about writing (WAW) and the conversation about the transferability of rhetorical knowledge from school to work. We argue that the capaciousness of the WAW approach accommodates the best of genre-based and client-based pedagogies for the MMPW course and provides a framework for expanding the course beyond skill-based outcomes to include preparing students to be learning transformers. The article includes two iterations of what a writing about writing–professional writing (WAW-PW) course can look like.

Local Examples and Master Narratives: Stanley Fish and the Public Appeal of Current-Traditionalism
Sean Zwagerman
Abstract: This article analyzes the rhetoric of public attitudes toward composition, as represented in Stanley Fish’s “Think Again” blog in the New York Times and in comments posted by his readers. Fish denounces the field of composition as highly politicized and anti-academic and advocates instead a belletristic, current-traditional approach. The dialogue between Fish and his audience exemplifies the web of definitions and logical fallacies by which current-traditionalism and belletristic English frame public attitudes. To the extent that composition’s “public turn” involves engaging public opinion, compositionists must anticipate this framing or else find their engagements ineffective, even self-defeating.

Review Essay: Sponsors and Activists: Deborah Brandt, Sponsorship, and the Work to Come
Steve Parks
Abstract: Reviewed are:

Literacy, Economy, and Power: Writing and Research after Literacy in American Lives
John Duffy, Julie Nelson Christoph, Eli Goldblatt, Nelson Graff, Rebecca S. Nowacek, and Bryan Trabold, eds.

Writing Home: A Literacy Autobiography
Eli Goldblatt

PHD (Po H# on Dope) to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life
Elaine Richardson

Rhetoric of Respect: Recognizing Change at a Community Writing Center
Tiffany Rousculp

Symposium: Critical Retrospections on the 1987 CCCC Position Statement “Scholarship in Composition: Guidelines for Faculty, Deans, and Department Chairs”
Abstract: This issue’s symposium consists of what I call “critical retrospections” on a CCCC position statement from 1987, “Scholarship in Composition: Guidelines for Faculty, Deans, and Department Chairs.” The authors of the statement intended it to be useful to faculty and administrators called upon to justify or explain the work of composition studies as an academic and scholarly field. The statement calls attention to our field’s methodological “diversity” as well as to how our work “reach[es] outside the traditional methods of literary studies.” I invited several scholars and teachers from across the field to reflect on this statement, asking them if it still represents the range of interests and commitments within our discipline.

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