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Managerial Unconscious in the History of Composition Studies, The

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NCTE Member Price: $31.00

Author(s): Donna Strickland

Level(s): College

ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-8093-3026-3

Stock No.: 30263

Description

In this pointed appraisal of composition studies, Donna Strickland contends the rise of writing program administration is crucial to understanding the history of the field. Noting that existing histories of composition studies offer little to no exploration of administration, Strickland argues the field suffers from a “managerial unconscious” that ignores or denies the dependence of the teaching of writing on administrative structures.

Strickland traces the emergence of writing programs in the early twentieth century, the founding of two professional organizations by and for writing program administrators, and the managerial overtones of the “social turn” of the field during the 1990s. She illustrates how these organizational imperatives not only have provided much of the impetus for the growth of composition studies over the past three decades but also have contributed to the stratified workplaces and managed writing practices the field’s pedagogical research often decries.

The Managerial Unconscious in the History of Composition Studies is the first book to address the history of composition studies as a profession rather than focusing on its pedagogical theories and systems. Strickland makes the case that managerial work should not be separated from intellectual work, calling attention to the interplay between these two kinds of work in academia at large and to the pronounced hierarchies of contingent faculty and tenure-track administrators endemic to college writing programs. The result is a reasoned plea for an alternative understanding of the very mission of the field itself.

Studies in Writing & Rhetoric (SWR) series. 147 pp. 2011. College. NCTE/CCCC and Southern Illinois University Press.

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