ENGL 790-002 - Fall 2013
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 5:30-8:00
Location: HCB 312
Instructor Office Hours: HUO 222, MWF 1:00-3:00pm
Contact by email: email@example.com
This course serves as an inquiry into the field of composition studies, focusing on the historical contexts and theoretical movements which have defined its development thus far. Students will explore the conversations undertaken by composition scholars to understand what composition is, what it does, how it occurs, and what sorts of composition practices and products matter in regards to various spheres (academic, professional, civic). As a major component of the course, students will examine--through readings and written responses thereto, class discussions, and longer papers leading up to a focused major project--the discursive controversies marking significant theories and practices within the field.
- to introduce students to the development of composition studies as a discipline
- to develop students' understanding of and engagement with major theories, themes, and conversations taking place in composition studies
- to apply students' knowledge those theories, themes, and conversations with the issues relevant to their own developing scholarship and pedagogy
- to acquaint students with major journals and other resources related to composition studies in order to prepare them for conducting and publishing relevant scholarship
- Critical Essay
End-of-term project, an in-depth critical exploration (~20 pages) of a significant contemporary issue in composition studies. This project will require the establishment of a rhetorical and historical context for the inquiry pursued throughout the essay. The focal point for the project could include a specific research question, methodology, or theoretical problem that requires critical consideration and engagement. This project is meant to build upon--or even to provide a foundation for--research each student is either already pursuing or interested in pursuing in the future.
NOTE: During the last week of class, we'll have brief (8-10 minute) presentations on these projects as part of a review roundtable.
- Literature Review
Provide a historical and contextual overview of a conversation taking place in composition studies (~10 pages). It is absolutely possible that this conversation incorporates scholars from other fields--just make sure that the focus remains on the impact that conversation has composition.
NOTE: This project is meant to provide scaffolding for the Critical Essay assignment.
- Discussion Leader
Each participant will be required to head up discussion for one class meeting. This does not necessarily mean that the discussion leader runs class for the entirety of that week's meeting, but rather that he or she pays special attention to maintaining active discussion for a particular day. The role of discussion leader involves:
- Providing a 10-to-15 minute overview of the day's topic(s). This is a relatively informal presentation meant to situate the central theme of the day's discussion.
- Preparing a set of questions or concerns that will help facilitate discussion as necessary.
NOTE: everyone, regardless of his or her role as discussion leader on a given day, is required to participate actively in each and every class discussion.
- Introduction to a Journal
Introduce the class to, and offer context for, an established journal in the field of composition. This should be roughly a 10-minute presentation at the beginning of a class meeting.
- What kinds of issues or topices seem to be popular among the articles published in this journal? What are the current conversations taking place (based on a brief review of the last 4-5 years of publication)?
- What are the submission and review practices for this journal?
- What kinds of audiences does the journal attempt to reach, generally speaking?
- Short Paper 1
For the fourth week of class, write a short paper (max. 4 pages) that, first, briefly summarizes and then responds critically to one issue/theme (i.e., one set of readings) from the weeks up to that due date. Extra articles or other works that provide context to or extend the conversation are absolutely valid (and valuable) to be included in this response. The goal of this assignment is not to regurgitate previous discussion but instead to tug on threads that may not have been explored in class, or to explore new questions that emerged upon rereading of relevant material.
- Short Paper 2
For the eighth week of class, write a short paper (max. 4 pages) that, first, briefly summarizes and then responds critically to one issue/theme (i.e., one set of readings) from the weeks up to that due date. Extra articles or other works that provide context to or extend the conversation are absolutely valid (and valuable) to be included in this response. The goal of this assignment is not to regurgitate previous discussion but instead to tug on threads that may not have been explored in class, or to explore new questions that emerged upon rereading of relevant material.
- Critical Essay
Texts / Software
- Dobrin, Sid. Postcomposition. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2011. Print.
- Miller, Susan (ed.). Norton Book of Composition Studies. New York: Norton, 2009. Print.
- Shipka, Jody. Toward a Composition Made Whole. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh Press, 2011. Print.
- Villanueva, Victor and Kristin L. Arola. Cross-Talk in Comp Theory:A Reader. 3rd ed. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 2011. Print.
- Assorted articles available via PDF (available through USC Libraries, either through database access or on electronic reserve)
The basic grading scheme is as follows:
A: 90-95 B+: 85-89 B: 80-84 C+: 75-79 C: 70-74 D+: 65-69 D: 60-64 F: 0-59
- Critical Project: 25%
- Literature Review: 20%
- Discussion Leader: 10%
- Journal Introduction: 10%
- Short Paper 1: 5%
- Short Paper 2: 5%
- Participation: 25%
Each student is expected to attend and participate in every class meeting. This involves being prepared for each week's discussion (familiarity with the readings), engaged with other students' ideas, and actively interested in exploring questions and considerations arising from both readings and classmates' points.
Each absence above 10% of the total number of class meetings (that's more than ONE  absence) will result in a 10-point penalty on the student's final grade.
Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and may need accommodations to fully participate in this class, contact the Office of Student Disability Services: 803-777-6142, TDD 803-777-6744, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by LeConte College Room 112A. All accommodations must be approved through the Office of Student Disability Services.
Week 1 - Aug. 28
An Historical Introduction to Composition
- Miller, Susan. "Preface" & "Introduction." [Norton]
- Bizzell, Patricia, B Herzberg, and N Reynolds. "A Brief History of Rhetoric and Composition." [http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/catalog/static/bsm/bb/history.html]
- Crowley, Sharon. "Let Me Get This Straight." Writing Histories of Rhetoric. Ed. Victor Vitanza. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1994. 1-19. [PDF]
- Lindemann, Erika. "Freshman Composition: No Place for Literature." College English 55.3 (1993): 311-316. [PDF]
- Gottschalk, Katherine K. "The Writing Program in the University." ADE Bulletin 112 (1995): 1-6. [PDF]
Week 2 - Sept. 4
Writing Knowledge and Process(es)
- Murray, Donald. "Teach Writing as a Process Not Product." [Cross-Talk]
- Emig, Janet. "Writing as a Mode of Learning." [Cross-Talk]
- Perl, Sondra. "The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers." Research in the Teaching of English 13.4 (1979): 317-336. [Cross-Talk / PDF]
- Elbow, Peter. "Closing My Eyes as I Speak: An Argument for Ignoring Audience." College English 49.1 (1987): 50-69. [PDF]
- Sommers, Nancy. "Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers." [Cross-Talk / Norton]
Week 3 - Sept. 11
Social Perspectives on Writing and Knowing
- Perelman, Chaïm. "The Social Contexts of Argumentation." [Norton]
- Hairston, Maxine. "The Winds of Change: Thomas Kuhn and the Revolution in the Teaching of Writing." [Norton]
- Bartholomae, David. "Inventing the University." [Cross-Talk / Norton]
- Bizzell, Patricia. "Cognition, Convention, and Certainty: What We Need to Know About Writing." [Cross-Talk / Norton]
- Gee, James. "The New Literacy Studies and the 'Social Turn.'" [Norton]
Journal to be discussed: College English
Week 4 - Sept. 18
Writing in the Disciplines / Writing Across the Curriculum
- Haas, Christina. "Learning to Read Biology: One Student's Rhetorical Development in College." Written Communication 11.1 (1994): 43-84. [PDF]
- Carter, Michael. "Ways of Knowing, Doing, and Writing in the Disciplines." College Composition and Communication 58.3 (2007): 385-418. [PDF]
- McCarthy, Lucille Parkinson. "A Stranger in Strange Lands: A College Student Writing Across the Curriculum." Research in the Teaching of English 21.3 (1987): 233-265. [PDF]
- Bazerman, Charles. "The Problem of Writing Knowledge." Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science. Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse, 2000. 3-17. [http://wac.colostate.edu/books/bazerman_shaping/chapter1.pdf]
DUE: Short Paper 1
Journal to be discussed: College Composition and Communication
Week 5 - Sept. 25
Against, or In Addition to, the Dominant Discourse
- Royster, Jacqueline Jones. "When the First Voice You Hear is Not Your Own." [Cross-Talk / Norton]
- Flynn, Elizabeth A. "Composing as a Woman." College Composition and Communication 39.4 (1988): 423-435. [Cross-Talk]
- Sirc, Geoffrey. "Never Mind the Tagmemics, Where's the Sex Pistols?" [Norton]
- Villanueva, Victor. "Maybe a Colony: And Still Another Critique of the Comp Community." [Norton]
- Moss, Beverly. "Literacy in African-American Churches: A Conversation Between the Academy and the Church Begins." [Norton]
Journal to be discussed: Composition Studies
Discussion leader: Gerald
Week 6 - Oct. 2
Composition, ESL, and Transcultural Communication
- Matsuda, Paul Kei. "The Myth of Linguistic Homogeneity in US College Composition." College English 68.6 (2006): 637-651. [PDF]
- Ortmeier-Hooper, Christina. "English May Be My Second Language, But I'm Not 'ESL.'" College Composition and Communication 59.3 (2008): 389-419. [PDF]
- Canagarajah, A. Suresh. "The Place of World Englishes in Composition: Pluralization Continued." [Norton]
- Matsuda, Paul Kei. "Composition Studies and ESL Writing: A Disciplinary Division of Labor." [Cross-Talk]
- Lunsford, Andrea. "Toward a Mestiza Rhetoric: Gloria Anzaldua on Composition and Postcoloniality." [Norton]
Journal to be discussed by Kristofer: Journal of Second Language Writing
Discussion leader: Kristofer
Week 7 - Oct. 9
Issues of Difference and Ownership
- Anson, Chris M. "Response and the Social Construction of Error." Assessing Writing 7.1 (2000): 5-21. [PDF]
- Howard, Rebecca Moore. "Sexuality, Textuality: The Cultural Work of Plagiarism." [Norton]
- Hesse, Doug. "Who Owns Writing?" [Norton]
- Schneider, Barbara. "Uncommon Ground: Narcissistic Reading and Material Racism." [Norton]
- Haswell, Richard. "The Complexities of Responding to Student Writing; Or, Looking for Shortcuts via the Road of Excess." [Norton]
Journal to be discussed: Composition Forum
Discussion leader: Joe
Week 8 - Oct. 16
- WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition. [http://wpacouncil.org/positions/outcomes.html]
- Elbow, Peter. "Ranking, Evaluating, and Liking: Sorting Out Three Forms of Judgment." College English 55.2 (1993): 187-206. [PDF]
- Yancey, Kathleen Blake. "Looking Back As We Look Forward: Historicizing Writing Assessment." [Norton 1186-1204]
- Anson, Chris M. "Assessment in Action: A Mobius Tale." Assessment in Technical and Professional Communication. Ed. Margaret Hundleby and Jo Allen. Amityville, NY: Baywood, 2009. 3-15. [PDF]
- Walker, Paul. "Composition's Akrasia: The Devaluing of Intuitive Expertise in Writing Assignment." Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture 15 (2013). [http://www.enculturation.net/compositions-akrasia]
DUE: Short Paper 2
Journal to be discussed by Patrick: WPA: Writing Program Administration
Discussion leader: Dana
Week 9 - Oct. 23
Multimodal Composition & Multiliteracies
- George, Diana. "From Analysis to Design." [Norton 1429-1449]
- Selfe, Cynthia. "Technology and Literacy: A Story About the Perils of Not Paying Attention." [Norton 1163-1185]
- Anderson, Daniel. "The Low Bridge to High Benefits: Entry-Level Multimedia, Literacies, and Motivation." Computers and Composition 25.1 (2008): 40-60. [PDF]
- Yancey, Kathleen Blake. "Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key." College Composition and Communication 56.2 (2004): 297-328. [Cross-Talk 791-826 (3rd ed.) / PDF]
- Shipka, Jody. "A Multimodal Task-Based Framework for Composing." College Composition and Communication 57.2 (2005): 277-306. [PDF]
Journal to be discussed by Dana: Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy
Discussion leader: Ragan
Week 10 - Oct. 30
Emerging Technologies and Composition Practices
- Freedman, Sarah. "Moving Writing Research into the 21st Century." [Norton 1049-1058]
- Miller, Carolyn R. and Dawn Shepherd. "Blogging as Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog." [Norton 1450-1473]
- Selber, Stuart. "Reimagining the Functional Side of Computer Literacy." College Composition and Communication 55.3 (2004): 470-503. [PDF]
- Faber, Brent and Johndan Johnson-Eilola. "Universities, Corporate Universities, and the New Professionals." [Norton 1059-1080]
- Lauer, Claire. "What's in a Name? The Anatomy of Defining New/Multi/Modal/Digital/Media Texts." Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy 17.1 (2012). [http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/17.1/inventio/lauer/index.html]
Journal to be discussed by Gerald: Computers and Composition (note: this is a different publication than Computers and Composition Online)
Discussion leader: Patrick
Week 11 - Nov. 6
The Writing Center and the Field of Composition
- Kail, Harvey and John Trimbur. "The Politics of Peer Tutoring." WPA: Writing Program Administration 11.1-2 (1987): 5-12. [PDF]
- Harris, Muriel. "Talking in the Middle: Why Writers Need Writing Tutors." College English 57.1 (1995): 27-42. [PDF]
- Boquet, Elizabeth H. "'Our Little Secret': A History of Writing Centers, Pre- to Post-Open Admissions." College Composition and Communication 50.3 (1999): 463-482. [PDF]
- Buck, Amber M. "The Invisible Interface: MS Word in the Writing Center." Computers and Composition 25.4 (2008): 396-415. [PDF]
- Denny, Harry. "Queering the Writing Center." The Writing Center Journal 30.1 (2010): 95-124. [PDF]
Journal to be discussed by Joe: Praxis: A Writing Center Journal
Discussion leader: Carmen
Week 12 - Nov. 13
- Shipka, Jody. Toward a Composition Made Whole.
DUE: Literature Review
Journal to be discussed by Carmen: Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture
Week 13 - Nov. 20
- Dobrin, Sidney I. Postcomposition.
Journal to be discussed by Ragan: Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture
Week 14 - Nov. 27
NO CLASS - Thanksgiving holiday
Week 15 - Dec. 4
Roundtable on Critical Essays
Last day of class
Week 16 - Dec. 11
DUE: Critical Essays