Fall 2003, 31.2


Guest Editor's Note

Ann George, Carrie Leverenz  Editor's Note; Conversation with Gary Tate



Victoria M. Tischio  Speaking the Fool’s Rhetoric: A Woman’s Critical Praxis for PowerSharing in a Gendered Writing Classroom
Neal Lerner Punishment and Possibility: Representing Writing Centers, 1939-1970
Amy Spangler Gerald  An Uneasy Relationship: Feminist Composition and Peter Elbow
Kelly Pender Kairos and the Subject of Expressive Discourse


Course Design

Kwame Dawes, Christy Friend English 890: Studies in Composition and Rhetoric “Teaching Creative Writing: Theories and Practices”


Review Essay

Lynnell Edwards "What A Tangled Web: Teachers, Students and the Knot of Plagiarism in the Postmodern Academy"


Book Reviews

Kurt Bouman Noise from the Writing Center by Elizabeth H. Boquet
Amy Rupiper Taggart Writing Partnerships: Service-Learning in Composition by Thomas Deans
Kristine Hansen Moving a Mountain: Transforming the Role of Contingent Faculty in Composition Studies and Higher Education, edited by Eileen E. Schell and Patricia Lambert Stock
Joe Marshall Hardin Conflicts and Crises in the Composition Classroom—and What Instructors Can Do About Them, edited by Dawn Skorczewski and Matthew Parfitt


Abstracts for Composition Studies 31.2

Tischio, Victoria M. "Speaking the Fool's Rhetoric: A Woman's Critical Praxis for Power-Sharing in a Gendered Writing Classroom." Composition Studies (31.2): 27-51.

This article begins and ends in the classroom. It develops from frustrations with critical pedagogy, especially with power-sharing, and grows out of the realization that gender plays a role in these difficulties. Power-sharing, which is a central tenet of critical pedagogy, can be difficult in to achieve in writing classes, where "feminization" marks the teacher and the course with diminished status and power. Responding to their recognition of the diminished standing of writing teachers and classes, students often resist critical pedagogical practices by exerting power of their own through disruptive, disrespectful, and sometimes hostile behaviors. Feminist rhetorical theory offers a response to this power-resistance dynamic in the figure of Folly. Speaking from a position normally prohibited in academia, Folly articulates alternative formulations of reality to bring about democratic social reform and encourage critical literacy. This more explicitly feminist critical praxis shifts the subject position for women critical literacy educators, enabling them to interact more productively with their students.

Lerner, Neal.  "Punishment and Possibility: Representing Writing Centers, 1939-1970." Composition Studies (31.2): 53-72.

Much to the chagrin of those of us in the field, writing centers have long been associated with remediation and punishment for under-prepared students and reductive approaches to teaching writing. However, an examination of writing center representations in College English and College Composition and Communication from 1939 to 1970 reveals a competing identity: the writing center as possibility, whether as a safe haven or as an alternative to misguided classroom practices. Still, the promise of writing centers has been constrained by difficult working conditions, by a reliance on contingent staff, and by the ease with which remedial programs and writing centers were abandoned when institutions decided to flex their muscles about standards in the late 1950s. As a result, the intellectual work of writing center studies received a relatively late start as compared to composition studies and continues to struggle for acceptance.

Gerald, Amy Spangler.  "An Uneasy Relationship:
Feminist Composition and Peter Elbow." Composition Studies (31.2):73-89.

This article looks closely at the tension that occurs from the use of mainstream male theorists in the development of a feminist body of scholarship.  In particular, it presents instances of Peter Elbow's patriarchal language and rhetorical strategies that may be difficult to reconcile with the commonly acknowledged affinity between his ideology and feminist composition theory.  Because of his importance to the field of composition and to the work of feminist compositionists, the realization that his work on voice (and other issues germane to women and writing) ignores women is disconcerting and disorienting.  This article proposes a way to continue to appreciate and make use of Elbow's ideas with greater awareness and more pointed relevance to scholarship and teaching today.

Pender, Kelly. "Kairos and the Subject of Expressive Discourse." Composition Studies (31.2): 91-106.

This article suggests that the concept of kairos can provide a new way of conceptualizing and teaching expressive discourse.   Specifically it argues for an understanding of kairotic expressive discourse as discourse that focuses on the writer but not to the exclusion of the audience and the constraints and contradictions that make up the rhetorical situation.   Additionally it suggests that because it is a kind of writing particularly capable of calling attention to the non-rational aspects of writing, expressive discourse can be taught as a way to complicate and enrich students' understanding of both the processes and products of writing.   In order to illustrate this understanding of expressive discourse, the author investigates similarities between James Kinneavy's phenomenological approach to expressive discourse and the nature of kairos, particularly as it is described by John Poulakos and Michael Carter, and argues that these similarities reveal a more complex theory (and subject) of expressive discourse than critics have acknowledged.

Dawes, Kwame and Christy Friend . "English 890: Studies in Composition and Rhetoric, 'Teaching Creative Writing: Theories and Practices.'" Composition Studies (31.2): 107-124.

English 890: Studies in Composition and Rhetoric is a seminar designed for graduate students in English at the University of South Carolina, a public research university with a population of approximately 25,000 students, about 8,500 of whom are graduate students. The course counts as elective credit for MA and PhD students in English majoring in composition and rhetoric, American literature, or British literature; for MFA students majoring in creative writing; and for MAT and MT candidates in English Education. It is described in the course catalog as an intensive course on "topics selected by the instructor for specialized study" that "may be repeated for credit as topics vary."