Editor: Jonathan Alexander
University of California, Irvine
June 2016 College Composition and Communication
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Call for Proposals:
“The Public Work of Composition”
Deadline: November 1, 2016
The editor of CCC invites abstract proposals for a special issue of College Composition and Communication on "The Public Work of Composition."
Without a doubt, literacy remains an important public concern. Following in the tradition of Dewey, many of us—as scholar-teachers, WPAs, and writing professionals—are motivated by the belief that the cultivation of a literate citizenry is a prerequisite for robust participation in a pluralistic democracy. Such a lofty goal has inspired our work, leading to both the social and public turns in composition studies and to extensions and productive complications of our understandings of literacy– or better yet, literacies.
More recently, though, we have felt many pressures to take stock of our work and demonstrate what we do, what we know, and how we can validate the efficacy of our theories and pedagogies to a larger public. The assessment movement has made compelling—and explicit—the political and funding stakes of reading and writing curricula, and politicians, pundits, parents, and others routinely express concern about the reading and writing abilities of young people and the citizenry at large. At the same time, scholars and teachers in our field have also been attentive to and often active interlocutors with the Black Lives Matter movement, conversations about racism on American university campuses, debates surrounding ethnic studies programs and curriculum, ongoing issues related to sexism and homophobia, and other social and political happenings which move across both institutions of higher education and the world at large. Such engagement reminds us that our work has been, is, and, arguably, should continue to be in dialogue with the public.
We invite submissions to this special issue to look broadly at how we represent ourselves as a discipline to a public concerned (or needing more information) about the theorization and teaching of writing in collegiate environments. We also invite articles that consider (and reconsider) our field's political commitments, as well as inquiries about how compositionists present themselves as public intellectuals and public spokespeople about writing. What's at stake in orienting attention to/of nonacademic publics? How have we done so? More fundamentally, do we imagine composition studies as a discipline, as a profession, doing work in the world? And if so, how? Case studies and other accountings, well-theorized and analyzed, may offer important opportunities for reflection on both what we do and how we might proceed.
Abstracts, approximately 300-500 words in length and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, should be received no later than November 1, 2016.
College Composition and Communication publishes research and scholarship in rhetoric and composition studies that supports college teachers in reflecting on and improving their practices in teaching writing and that reflects the most current scholarship and theory in the field. The field of composition studies draws on research and theories from a broad range of humanistic disciplines—English studies, rhetoric, cultural studies, LGBT studies, gender studies, critical theory, education, technology studies, race studies, communication, philosophy of language, anthropology, sociology, and others—and from within composition and rhetoric studies, where a number of subfields have also developed, such as technical communication, computers and composition, writing across the curriculum, research practices, and the history of these fields.