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2015 November College English, v78.2

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Level(s): College

ISBN/ISSN: 0010-0994

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College English
Volume 78, Number 2, November 2015

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From the Editor
Kelly Ritter

Para-Expertise, Tacit Knowledge, and Writing Problems
Jenny Rice
Abstract: While "expertise" has been both an implicit and explicit focal point of composition, our most familiar models of expertise—running along a spectrum from novice to expert—may not allow for a nuanced deployment of tacit knowledge. Without dismissing any of the field's important work on expertise, therefore, I introduce the concept of para-expertise: the experiential, embodied, and tacit knowledge that does not translate into the vocabulary or skills of disciplinary expertise. This concept may help to resituate how we conceptualize, teach, and use notions of expertise in the classroom, since it can teach nonexperts to pursue rhetorical action through strategic expertise alliances without overstepping the very real limitations of nonexpertise.

Anxious Uptakes: Nineteenth-Century Advice Literature as a Rhetorical Genre
Dara Rossman Regaignon
Abstract: In this essay, I build on current work in rhetorical genre theory to read a historical genre for the affective uptake(s) it generates. Medically authored child-rearing advice literature developed as a genre in Britain between 1825 and 1850; this new genre instantiated anxiety as the central affect of middle-class maternal subjectivity. This rhetorical genre analysis both extends our understanding of this period and the history of motherhood; it also contributes to the developing affective turn in rhetorical genre studies by offering a way to begin reading for affective uptakes.

Revising Letters and Reclaiming Space: The Case for Expanding the Search for Nineteenth-Century Women’s Letter-Writing Rhetoric into Imaginative Literature
Brenda Glascott
Abstract: The gendered rhetorical constraints imposed on female writers in mid-nineteenth-century letter-writing manuals are challenged by the representations of letter writing in Susan Warner's  The Wide, Wide World and Maria Cummins's The Lamplighter, popular mid-century novels. By investigating imaginative literature by women as a site of women's rhetoric, feminist historians of rhetoric can recognize that the battlefield for expanding women's rhetorical agency in the mid-nineteenth century is not primarily located at the division between domestic and public realms—the site emphasized in current histories of women's rhetoric—but is interior, where letter-writing rhetorics seek to police habits of mind.

Review: Identity, Critical Literacy, and the Pursuit of Inclusion and Justice in Writing Centers
Sarah Blazer and Lauren Fitzgerald
Abstract: Four texts are reviewed that exemplify an important strand of writing center scholarship focused on power dynamics and identity politics in literacy teaching and learning, particularly but not exclusively within college writing centers. Each text takes up the entrenched problem of oppression and injustice toward students identified as being minority by institutional standards; each addresses possibilities for more productive, humane, and inclusive practice. Considered alongside scholarship by authors participating in this January's symposium issue and others concerned with disrupting monolingual, monocultural ideologies and institutionalized oppression, these texts add significantly to the conversation on theory and practice of critical literacy teaching and learning.

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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts