Spring 2005, 33.1


Course Design

Mary Kay Mulvaney English 401: Composition IV: Theory and Research


Review Essay

Bill Bolin Hunting Corderian Rhetoric


Abstract for Composition Studies 33.1

Sirc, Geoffrey. "Composition's Eye/Orpheus's Gaze/Cobain's Journals." Composition Studies (33.1): 11-30.

Kurt Cobain's Journals, in the expressive quality of their form and content, cause one to wonder just why the journal has fallen out of fashion in contemporary composition. Certainly, earlier compositionists in our field saw the journal as a crucial tool for learning to write. And critical theorists (e.g., Maurice Blanchot) find the journal significant in helping create a literary space for the writer. In this article, I address this issue, looking at Cobain and other journal-writers (Joseph Cornell and a couple of my students) to give us pause as regards the daybook's elision from our curriculum.

Mastrangelo, Lisa S., and Victoria Tischio. "Integrating Writing, Academic Discourses, and Service Learning: Project Renaissance and School/College Literacy Collaborations." Composition Studies (33.1): 31-53.

"Integrating Writing, Academic Discourses, and Service Learning: Project Renaissance and School/College Literacy Collaborations” discusses a year-long general education program for first-year students that integrated disciplinary learning with a pen pal project in light of the goals of critical pedagogy and service-learning.  The program aimed at providing connecting students’ lived experiences in the pen pal project with academic knowledges in order to increase their critical awareness of literacy as a complex social ability that is highly implicated social formations, such as individual opportunity and equity.  The pen pal project, which involved a group of first-year college students at a northeastern state university and kindergarten, first, and second graders from a local public elementary school, helped ground the academic concepts studied in three disciplinary modules (biology, sociology, and philosophy) in experience through the college students' interactions (face-to-face and text-mediated) with their pen pals.  College and elementary students, alike, found increased motivation toward literacy through the pen-pal exchanges.  Additionally, this team-taught, writing-intensive year-long course encouraged the college students to write with the local community and to work towards developing a critical consciousness of the world around them.

Rice, Jeff . "The 1963 Composition Revolution Will Not be Televised, Computed, or Demonstrated by Any Other Means of Technology." Composition Studies (33.1): 55-73.

This article challenges the rebirth narrative traditionally attributed to Composition Studies and the date 1963. By revisiting specific media-oriented moments excluded from that narrative, the article discovers important moments ignored by Composition Studies regarding technological innovation and rhetorical production. The article argues that the failure to recognize these missing moments has generated broad consequences for how Composition Studies defines writing and technology today. To work with technology and writing involves breaking out of the traditional 1963 narrative and working from the moments not yet studied.

Young, Sandra. "Beyond 'Hot Lips' and 'Big Nurse': Creative Writing and Nursing." Composition Studies (33.1): 75-91.

This essay describes a special topics creative writing course designed for nursing students, and argues that creative writing strategies work to improve nurses' compositional skills. Also discussed are other potential benefits from creatively writing patients' lives, notably, the blending of arts and sciences, and the ways in which medical schools are encouraging their students to study the humanities, especially literature and creative writing. Essay includes student creative writing samples.

Mulvaney, Mary Kay . "English 401: Composition IV: Theory and Research." Composition Studies (33.1): 93-109.

"English 401: Composition IV: Theory and Research" is designated in the Elmhurst College catalogue as “a writing course that introduces students to the scholarly field of composition studies.” It is part of a series of courses for English majors pursuing a degree with “Writing Emphasis,” for students seeking teacher certification, or for any interested upper-level students who have completed an advanced writing course beyond the traditional first-year composition sequence. Elmhurst College, located in the western suburbs of Chicago, is a four-year, comprehensive, liberal arts college (granting bachelor and masters degrees) with approximately 2,550 students, including traditional, non-traditional, resident, and commuter students.