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Composition and/or Literature: The End(s) of Education

Non-Member Price: $37.99

NCTE Member Price: $30.36

Editor(s): Linda Bergmann, Edith Baker

This collection focuses on the rift between literature and composition in English studies, examining the extent to which this division affects teaching practices in colleges and universities.

Level(s): College

ISBN/ISSN: 9780814108079

Stock No.: 08075


Foreword by Winifred Bryan Horner

Afterword by Patricia Harkin

A rift between literature and composition has long existed in the field of English studies. As a result of the increasing professionalization of composition, some schools have created composition/rhetoric/writing departments separate from the literature department; in other institutions, the two disciplines have continued to uneasily coexist under the “English Department” banner.

Contributors to this collection revisit the teaching of literature in composition classes, examine the extent to which the division between literature and composition affects teaching practices in colleges and universities, and document cases of success and failure in the collaboration between the two fields.

Divided into three parts, the volume offers distinct perspectives on the issue of composition and/or literature. The first part, Institutional Contexts, reviews some of the theoretical underpinnings of the rift between composition and literature; Part 2, Departmental Cultures, explores how these differences are set in institutional contexts and departmental cultures; and the final section, Applications in the Classroom, examines classroom approaches that draw on materials and practices from both literature and composition.

Because so many composition courses are taught in English departments, by literature scholars, the relationships between reading and writing, literature and composition, must be continually reexamined and redrawn in order to maintain a vital curriculum. This book provides an opportunity to reconsider the relationship between the two fields and to reframe the discussion that has largely depended on ideas about how composition should be taught, rather than on recognition of the institutional conditions under which it is taught.
Refiguring English Studies. 248 pp. 2006. College. ISBN 10: 0-8141-0807-5;
ISBN 13: 978-0-8141-0807-9.

No. 08075

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

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