Composition StudiesComposition StudiesUniversity of Cincinnati

Composition Studies

Fall 2004, 32.2

Guest Editors' Note

Paul Hanstedt, Tom Amorose The Idea of the Small School: Beginning a Discussion about Composition at Small Colleges and Universities


Dominic Delli Carpini "Must Be Willing to Teach Composition": The Rhetoric and Practices of the Small College Job Search
Rebecca G. Taylor Preparing WPAs for the Small College Context
Libby Falk Jones Exploring Paradoxes of Power in Small College Writing Administration
Bianca Falbo When Teaching Is a Private Affair

Book Reviews

Lynée Lewis Gaillet (First Person)2: A Study of Co-Authoring in the Academy, by Kami Day and Michele Eodice
David Martins Talking, Sketching, Moving: Multiple Literacies in the Teaching of Writing, by Patricia A. Dunn
Donald N. S. Unger Insurrections: Approaches to Resistance in Composition Studies, edited by Andrea Greenbaum, with a foreword by Gary A. Olson
Fiona Glade Opening Spaces: Critical Pedagogy and Resistance Theory in Composition, by Joe Marshall Hardin
Jill Swiencicki Misunderstanding the Assignment: Teenage Students, College Writing, and the Pains of Growth, by Doug Hunt
Rebecca G. Taylor Tutoring Writing: A Practical Guide for Conferences, by Donald A. McAndrew and Thomas J. Reigstad
Linda S. Bergmann WAC for the New Millennium: Strategies for Continuing Writing-Across-the- Curriculum Programs, edited by Susan H. McLeod, Eric Miraglia, Margot Soven, and Christopher Thaiss
Kathleen J. Ryan Preparing College Teachers of Writing: Histories, Theories, Programs, Practices, edited by Betty P. Pytlik and Sarah Liggett
Christopher Schroeder Introducing English: Essays in the Intellectual Work of Composition, by James F. Slevin
Rich Rice Teaching Writing Teachers: of High School English & First-Year Composition, by Robert Tremmel and William Broz

Online Exclusive

Linda E. Holt  Risky Writing: Self-Disclosure and Self-Transformation in the Classroom, by Jeffrey Berman
John Eliason  What We Really Value: Beyond Rubrics in Teaching and Assessing Writing, by Bob Broad
Joe Wagner  A Communion of Friendship: Literacy, Spiritual Practice, and Women in Recovery, by Beth Daniell
Carola Mattord  Critical Passages: Teaching the Transition to College Composition, by Kristin Dombek and Scott Herndon, with a foreword by David Bartholomae
Inez Schaechterle A Rhetoric of Pleasure: Prose Style & Today’s Composition Classroom, by T. R. Johnson
Paul J. Morris II  Literacy in the New Media Age, by Gunther Kress
Lisa L. Coleman Rhetoric and Composition as Intellectual Work, edited by Gary A. Olson
Steve Hecox Language Diversity in the Classroom: From Intention to Practice, edited by Geneva Smitherman and Victor Villanueva
Heidi Estrem Reading Student Writing: Confessions, Meditations, Rants, by Lad Tobin

Abstracts for Composition Studies 32.2

Carpini, Dominic Delli. "'Must Be Willing to Teach Composition': The Rhetoric and Practices of the Small College Job Search." Composition Studies (32.2): 31-52.

The tenure line job search provides a crucial opportunity for small college composition programs to advance both the quality and visibility of writing instruction, both on their campus and nationally.  Since small colleges rely upon the multiple competencies of their faculty, the job search helps to define both the new position and the work of the individual who fills it. This essay traces key moments in the job search, from the writing of the advertisement to the on-campus interview, illustrating ways that composition has traditionally been marginalized as a mere “duty,” and offering advice on how it might instead be treated as an area of expertise.  It examines the rhetoric of job ads, discussing the statements they make about the importance of composition, and suggests ways that the interview process can publicly assert the importance of composition theory and pedagogy to the essential work of the small college.

Taylor, Rebecca G. "Preparing WPAs for the
Small College Context." Composition Studies (32.2): 53-73.

This article argues that graduate programs at large research universities do not prepare new WPAs for the realities of administrative work in small colleges.  It first presents and then challenges a series of assumptions about the nature of WPA work, the resources available to facilitate that work, and the rhetorical strategies that are most useful for WPAs, suggesting that most of these assumptions fall apart when WPAs leave the large university context.  More specifically, the article suggests that when WPAs are not prepared for these contextual differences, they may be unable to construct authority for themselves as professionals. The article concludes with several concrete suggestions for ways that graduate programs might better prepare students for the small college context.

Jones, Libby Falk. "Exploring Paradoxes of Power in Small College Writing Administration." Composition Studies (32.2): 75-91.

Drawing on concepts and practices from the fields of communication, conflict management, leadership, and feminist theory, as well as on her experience as a teacher-administrator, the author explores perceptions, sources, and consequences of power.  She argues that effective small college writing administrators must understand the availability of power – structural, personal, and collaborative – and learn to use various power currencies appropriately.  Through meeting in healthy ways the external and internal challenges to appropriate power use, small college writing administrators may embody new models of higher education leadership.

Falbo, Bianca. "When Teaching Is a Private Affair." Composition Studies (32.2): 93-108.

This essay examines contradictory attitudes toward teaching and writing at a small college.  Looking at her “private” experience as a teacher and “public” experience as a WPA, the author considers how assumptions about the privatization of teaching inhibit deep understanding of teaching and learning as intellectual work.

Leahy, Anna and Deborah Rindge. "English 116: Freshman Seminar - Writing & Photography." Composition Studies (32.2): 109-130.

English 116: Freshman Seminar is, according to the college catalog, the “gateway course for North Central College’s integrative curriculum. [It f]ocuses on writing, reading, and critical thinking related to a specific area of inquiry [and is t]eam-taught by faculty from English and another department. Topics vary, but emphasis is on rhetoric and interdisciplinary perspectives. [An i]ntensive research component [is required].” As the gateway course, English 116 introduces students to college-level expectations in general; to thoughtful, critical reading and writing skills; and to research. The course requires that students complete three or four essay assignments and that they participate in two library instruction sessions. Our section, entitled “Writing and Photography,” explores intersections between the written word and the visual art of photography and is taught by a creative writer (Anna Leahy) and an art historian (Debora Rindge).