Composition Studies in the New Millennium: Rereading the Past, Rewriting the Future

Composition Studies in the New Millennium: Rereading the Past, Rewriting the Future

Composition Studies in the New Millennium: Rereading the Past, Rewriting the Future

Composition Studies in the New Millennium: Rereading the Past, Rewriting the Future

Synopsis

Contents and Contributors"Introduction: Challenges and Invitations for Composition Studies in the New Millennium" by Donald A. Daiker"Three Mysteries at the Heart of Writing" by Peter Elbow"The Great Paradigm Shift and its Legacy for the Twenty-First Century" by Lynn Z. Bloom"Why Composition Studies Disappeared and What Happened Then" by Susan Miller"No Discipline? Composition's Professional Identity Crisis" by Christine Farris"Because Teaching Composition Is (Still) Mostly about Teaching Composition" by Wendy Bishop"Education for Irrelevance? Or, Joining Our Colleagues in Lit Crit on the Sidelines of the Information Age" by Kurt Spellmeyer"The Juggler" by Brenda Jo Brueggemann"Reimagining the Landscape of Composition in the Twenty-First Century: Contingent Faculty and the Profession" by Art Young"Twenty-First-Century Composition: The Two-Year College Perspective" by Mark Reynolds"Vertical Writing Programs in Departments of Rhetoric and Writing" by Ellen Cushman"Ethics and the Future of Composition Research" by Gesa E. Kirsch"A Methodology of Our Own" by Todd Taylor"Celebrating Diversity in Methodology" by Susan H. McLeod"Under the Radar of Composition Programs: Glimpsing the Future Through Case Studies of Literacy in Electronic Contexts" by Danielle Nicole DeVoss, Joseph Johansen, Cynthia L. Selfe, and John C. Williams Jr."The Challenge of the Multimedia Essay" by Lester Faigley"Multimedia Literacy: Confessions of a Nonmajor" by Christine M. Neuwirth"Composition's Word Work: Deliberating How to Do Language" by Min-Zahn Lu"Working with Difference: Critical Race Studies and the Teaching of Composition" by Gary A. Olson"From Classroom to Program" by Joseph Harris"Composition and theCritical Moment" by Keith Gilyard"The Uses of Literacy in a Globalized, Post--September 11 World" by Harriet Malinowitz"Teaching after September 11" by Richard E. Miller"Conclusion: Everything Has Changed; Nothing Has Changed" by

Excerpt

Perhaps it was because the conference Composition Studies in the Twenty-First Century: Rereading the Past, Rewriting the Future took place less than a month after the series of attacks on September 11 that so many conference speakers invited those in attendance, as they do in their essays here, to consider more thoughtfully where we've been, how we got there, and where we're going. For most speakers, the conference subtitle “Rereading the Past, Rewriting the Future” posed a significant challenge, especially because they acknowledged that the past is not easily read and that the future is even more problematic.

Peter Elbow's keynote address and lead essay, “Three Mysteries at the Heart of Writing, ” is a rereading of the past that celebrates human intelligence and creativity. Elbow endorses the “principle of mental plenitude, ” the principle that our minds are always full of things to say, which is one reason that with the help of freewriting, inkshedding, and effort, we enact the first mystery: We move from no words to some words, from nothing to something. The second mystery — making what we've written more clearly reflect what we want to say — can be understood in term of felt sense, an inner intention or even bodily sense that enables us almost always to answer the question “Was that what you really meant to say?” If the answer is “no, ” we can move back and forth between our words and our felt sense in order to express our ideas and insights more accurately. The third mystery — the distinction between words that readily give an experience to the readers and words that make readers work hard to experience them — Elbow explains in terms of intonation. Through intonation, which “embodies in language a felt nonverbal experience of meaning, ” speakers and writers can “pour” their meaning into words. In order to bring intonation into writing, Elbow sometimes asks every student to give a “celebratory reading” of several paragraphs to the entire class. Elbow claims, finally, that students who make progress on these three mysteries are likely to enjoy writing more, to experience themselves . . .

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