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2016 September CCC, v68.1

Non-Member Price: $18.75

NCTE Member Price: $6.25

Special Issue: The Political Economies of Composition Studies

Level(s): College

ISBN/ISSN: 0010-096X


Special Issue: The Political Economies of Composition Studies

From the Editor
Jonathan Alexander

Subverting Crisis in the Political Economy of Composition
Tony Scott
Abstract: In an era of normative austerity in US higher education, composition is being transformed by budget cuts, retrenchment, and marketization. Nevertheless, the field’s scholarship continues to compartmentalize questions concerning the material terms of practice away from questions of curricular philosophy. Because composition has not developed a deliberate, sustained inquiry into how scholarship and teaching are being shaped by the perpetual crisis of austerity economics, we are compelled to adopt myopic and reactionary stances toward our work. As a means of subverting composition’s perpetual crisis, Scott advocates disciplinary work that not only imagines new, globally focused, and politically conscious curricula but also actively pursues the creation of the work and learning environments that are necessary for their successful realization.

The Indianapolis Resolution: Responding to Twenty-First-Century Exigencies/Political Economies of Composition Labor
Anicca Cox, Timothy R. Dougherty, Seth Kahn, Michelle LaFrance, and Amy Lynch-Biniek
Abstract: Since the adoption and subsequent fade of the Wyoming Resolution, we have seen the political economy of writing instruction change remarkably. Certainly, composition studies’ disciplinary viability seems more solid, but the proportion of contingent writing teachers has increased to almost 70 percent. The authors of this article attribute these trends to “neoliberal creep” and attempt to think through their effects on our work and our students.

Rhetoric and Composition’s Conceptual Indeterminacy as Political-Economic Work
Matthew Abraham
Abstract: By returning to the controversy created by the publication in 2002 of Marc Bousquet’s JAC article (“Composition as a Management Science”), focusing on the labor issues attending composition teaching and the prospects of institutional critique, I examine how the conceptual indeterminacy of many of the field’s key terms in actuality undergo (and perform) a political-economic function. This exploration forms the basis for an analysis of how the knowledge domains of the field can be more clearly defined through an effort to reframe the field as “writing studies,” for the purpose of moving beyond the worn out common places and labor exploitation associated with first-year composition.

“It’s Like Writing Yourself into a Codependent Relationship with Someone Who Doesn’t Even Want You!” Emotional Labor, Intimacy, and the Academic Job Market in Rhetoric and Composition
Jennifer Sano-Franchini
Abstract: Drawing on forty-eight interviews with individuals who participated on the academic job market in rhetoric and composition between 2010 and 2015, this essay shows how conceptualizing the academic job search as an intimate endeavor can offer insights for understanding the rhetorical production of affective binds within institutional contexts.

Rethinking Regulation in the Age of the Literacy Machine
Mary Soliday and Jennifer Seibel Trainor
Abstract: Drawing from a large qualitative study, we examine how students experience writing in college, focusing on the conditions that allow students to develop their authorship and those that encourage students to experience writing as a process of following rules and regulations. We situate students’ perceptions, and the assignments and practices that led to them, within what anthropologists call “audit culture”—accounting practices and their technologies, which have migrated across institutions, including higher education. We suggest our field’s institutional status and pedagogical complexities make us especially susceptible to audit culture, and we argue that students’ experiences in our writing classrooms, where they face and ever-increasing bureaucratization of literacy, is an urgent area of research. We ask readers to consider the extent to which audit culture encourages teachers to create closed systems that privilege outcomes rather than consequences with an end-inview. We conclude by calling for an artisanal identity for both teachers and students.

SPECIAL SECTION: FORUM: Issues about Part-Time and Contingent Faculty
Abstract: FORUM: Issues about Part-Time and Contingent Faculty is a peer-reviewed publication concerning working conditions, professional life, activism, and perspectives of non-tenure-track faculty in college

Review Essay: Rhetorical Carnival
Ira Shor
Abstract: Reviewed books:

Trained Capacities: John Dewey, Rhetoric, and Democratic Practice
Brian Jackson and Gregory Clark, editors
Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2014. 256 pp.

Political Literacy in Composition and Rhetoric: Defending Academic Discourse against Postmodern Pluralism
Donald Lazere
Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2015. 342 pp.

Producing Good Citizens: Literacy Training in Anxious Times
Amy J. Wan
Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P, 2014. 232 pp.

SYMPOSIUM: The IWP in an Age of Financial Austerity
Elizabeth Kalbfleisch and Matthew Abraham
Abstract: This symposium brings together a range of scholars to consider what economic forces have driven the development of independent writing programs, and how such programs are susceptible to economic conditions and pressures, perhaps even more so than neighboring disciplines in the humanities.


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