Academic journal article College Composition and Communication

From the Editor

Academic journal article College Composition and Communication

From the Editor

Article excerpt

A Mixed Genre-Locations of Writing; (Another Beginning), Another Farewell

Dear Colleagues and Friends~~

As you know, in the September issue we focused on questions addressing Locations of Writing. Among other questions, I asked about where we write, about what difference a given location might make to writing, and about the relationship between location and circulation, questions that also locate this second of our double special issue on Locations of Writing. In this introduction to the December issue of CCC, as in the September issue, I'll briefly introduce the narratives, articles, and review essay that document, demonstrate, and illustrate the importance of Locations of Writing. (For a fuller explanation of the context of this double issue, please see the September issue.) Here, I introduce as well Howard Tinberg's CCCC Chair's Address.

And not least, in the second half of this introduction I conclude my editorship of College Composition and Communication with some thoughts about the experience and the privilege of serving as editor.

As I noted in September, our discipline's historical focus on a single site of writing-that of first-year composition in the United States-has expanded and diversified, a point amplified in the various genres offered in this issue: as identified here, we compose in churches, in offices, in notebooks, in coffeehouses, on World Star Hip Hop, on a military post, in marathons, in airports and on boarding passes, on laptops, on trains and in journals-in New Orleans, Boston, Connecticut, Las Vegas, Syria, and Oklahoma-and elsewhere.

To put the face of lived experience on such composing, we turn first to vignettes:

Bradley Smith's "Writing in Transit":

Writing in transit speaks to a kind of layered journey of fits and starts, where texts are composed in many places-even if words are never set to the page in some locations-with artifacts from the past carrying through to future drafts or moldering into dust.

Amanda Hayes's "Splintered Literacies":

The weakness of oral cultures is that they can die in a generation, and my mother recognized this. I can remember her using a typewriter (exciting, when I was a child) as she wrote out some of the family stories and put each story in a box frame with its corresponding heirlooms, such as a great-great-grandmother's pin framed with the story of her travels to these hills from the east, to marry and become a local midwife.

Eric Leake's "Neon Letters: Writing of Sin City":

I wondered then about the ways that we write about places, in this case Las Vegas, and how the profession positions itself relative to those who work in and enjoy visiting Las Vegas, which is to say, much of mainstream America.

What does it mean to invest in letters in such a supposedly crass and unliterary place as Las Vegas?

Ann Shivers-McNair's "(Becoming) At Ease: A First-Year Writing Class on a Military Post":

In fact, all of us-instructor, peer tutors, and student-soldiers-began working to define and create a space for ourselves in a situation and location where purposes collided head-on. It was a classroom, but also a meeting room and a hallway to the offices in the back of the building. It was a university class, but the space was unquestionably military . . . .

Susan Martens's "On the New Orleans Writing Marathon":

I am doubly infatuated-with the city itself but also with the writing practice that was born there almost twenty years ago, the New Orleans Writing Marathon. Held across the country now in hundreds of classrooms, institutes, and writing events, writing marathons bring groups of writers together to write into the moment and into the world, moving through a landscape and sharing their work along the way.

Elizabeth Boquet's "In the Mortar, between the Bricks":

I have a thick folder on this subject as well, memos reminding a string of vice presidents that the Writing Center space (all 124 square feet of it) was deemed "temporary" when I interviewed for the job in 1994; that tout the successes of our Writing Center despite its lack of privacy, inadequate resources, and suffocating heat; that ask first for any space, and then for specific space, and then over and over and over again, until fall 2012. …

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