Abstracts for Composition Studies 33.2
Crawford, Ilene. "Playing in Traffic: A Timely Metaphor for Postmodern Ethnography and Composition Pedagogy." Composition Studies (33.2): 11-23.
This article argues that traveling and working as a writer in Vietnam yielded metaphors that changed the author’s pedagogy as well. The article first describes how the experience of crossing the street taught her to move on the terms dictated by local conditions. The metaphor of “moving in traffic” that grew out of this experience denotes a series of related, timely practices the author developed for her work as a writer. The article then draws on examples from recent composition courses to shows how the author has taken on similar timely teaching practices to develop a pedagogy of moving in traffic that relies on related metaphors of the street. The article concludes by offering a final metaphor of playing in traffic, which shows that teaching and writing is necessarily both fearful and hopeful work.
DiGrazia, Jennifer and Michel Boucher. "Writing InQueeries:
Bodies, Queer Theory, and an Experimental Writing Class." Composition Studies (33.2): 25-44.
In an experimental writing course we taught at a northeastern state university, we explored queer and writing, hoping to discover what students could create by merging these terms. How might queer theory help students use writing to reimagine and rearticulate various identity categories in ways that allowed them to reconfigure the mental map with which they navigate the world and understand themselves? How might writing help them understand queer theory and apply it to their lived realities? We use student interviews and reference students' projects to illustrate that, given the writing opportunity and theoretical background, students and teachers can use the writing classroom as a place to recreate identity categories and reimagine possibilities for self–representation. Yet, our course reaffirmed for us that even in a space within which we purportedly challenge identity categories, possibilities for representation remain limited. In a classroom, as in everyday interactions, we read bodies and rely upon these readings to categorize people and guide our interactions with them.
Goggin, Peter, and Zach Waggoner. "Sustainable Development: Thinking Globally and Acting Locally in the Writing Classroom." Composition Studies (33.2): 45-67.
This essay argues for sustainability-- a course of action and a mindset that meets the needs of the present while being conscious of, and not compromising the needs of, the future--as a robust focus teaching first-year composition. The essay describes a course designed to respond to calls by composition scholars to reimagine pedagogical designs for writing instruction based on the concept of sustainability. This revisioning is addressed through the pedagogical design of the New London Group’s four tenets of multiliteracy. Included in the essay are an account of the authors’ experiences in implementing and teaching the course along with excerpts from students’ discussions and observations on sustainability and writing.
Herberg, Erin. "Can a Metamorphosis be Quantified?: Reflecting on Portfolio Assessment." Composition Studies (33.2): 69-87.
This article outlines the experiences of a first-year writing program’s adoption of large-scale portfolio assessment as part of its move from student-focused assessment to programmatic assessment. This research is an attempt to provide evidence to support the claims benefits associated with portfolio assessment and to chronicle the changes that resulted in one writing program’s shift to portfolio assessment. It recounts the development, implementation, and evolution of a portfolio assessment program and reflects on its successes and the challenges the program continues to face.
Ritter, Kelly. "English 200: Intermediate Composition." Composition Studies (33.2): 89-112.
"English 200: Intermediate Composition" is a program elective for English majors and a writing-intensive elective for nonmajors at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU), a comprehensive institution of 11,000 undergraduate and graduate (master’s level) students. English 200 is described in the departmental course catalog as a course “in expository writing, focusing on rhetorical analysis of a variety of texts in our culture.” Instructor approaches vary within a special topics format; the topic for this section was “Rhetoric, Argument, and the Law in Popular Culture.” The course is capped at 20 students and has a pre-requisite of English 112 (Composition II: Research Writing).