Conference on College Composition and Communication Logo

College Composition and Communication, Vol. 60, No. 4, June 2009

Cover Art for College Composition and Communication, Vol. 60, No. 4, June 2009

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor: The Promise of Redundancy

    Deborah H. Holdstein

    Abstract: Editor Holdstein introduces the June issue.

  • In Memoriam: Larry Johannessen (1947–2009)

    Abstract: Two authors remember a colleague

    Keywords: College

  • The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing

    Cynthia L. Selfe


    Rhetoric and composition’s increasing attention to multimodal composing involves challenges that go beyond issues of access to digital technologies and electronic composing environments. As a specific case study, this article explores the history of aural composing modalities (speech, music, sound) and examines how they have been understood and used within English and composition classrooms and generally subsumed by the written word in such settings. I argue that the relationship between aurality (and visual modalities) and writing has limited our understanding of composing as a multimodal rhetorical activity and has thus, deprived students of valuable semiotic resources for making meaning. Further, in light of scholarship on the importance of aurality to different communities and cultures, I argue that our contemporary adherence to alphabetic-only composition constrains the semiotic efforts of individuals and groups who value multiple modalities of expression. I encourage teachers and scholars of composition, and other disciplines, to adopt an increasingly thoughtful understanding of aurality and the role it—and other modalities—can play in contemporary communication tasks.

    Keywords: College

  • Retention and Writing Instruction: Implications for Access and Pedagogy

    Pegeen Reichert Powell

    Abstract: As faculty are increasingly recruited to participate in retention efforts on their campuses, I argue that composition studies professionals should pay attention to the scholarship on retention, one of the fastest growing areas of research in higher education. Moreover, the questions surrounding which of our students persist until graduation and why should qualify our arguments about access and reframe our conversations about pedagogy.

    Keywords: College

  • Chaos Is the Poetry: From Outcomes to Inquiry in Service-Learning Pedagogy

    Shari J. Stenberg and Darby Arant Whealy

    Abstract: This article argues for approaching pedagogical outcomes as ends-in-view that guide, but do not determine or limit, pedagogical possibilities. Reflecting on moments from a service-learning literacy course, the writers argue that experiences of chaos in the classroom, while often uncomfortable, can open opportunities for reflection and inquiry.

    Keywords: College

  • Hospitality in College Composition Courses

    Janis Haswell, Richard Haswell, and Glenn Blalock

    Abstract: There has been little discussion of hospitality as a practice in college writing courses. Possible misuses of hospitality as an educational and ethical practice are explored, and three traditional and still tenable modes of hospitality are described and historicized: Homeric, Judeo-Christian, and nomadic. Application of these modes to instructional situations may lead to new and sometimes counter-establishment methods, in terms of course objectives, shared labor of teacher and students, writing assignments, response to writing, and assessment of student work. Perhaps the most radical form is transformative hospitality, which accepts the possibility that host and guest, teacher and students, will all be changed by their encounter, a potentiality that is characterized by risk taking, restlessness, and resistance to educational entrenchments. Traditional hospitality as practiced in writing classrooms does not mark a return to student-centered pedagogies of past decades but does stake out a position that might be considered marginal apropos the current political and educational climate in the United States.

    Keywords: College

  • Composition as a Thermostatic Activity

    Paul Lynch

    Abstract: This essay offers Neil Postman’s thermostatic metaphor as a model for critical teaching. In this model, the role of the composition teacher is that of a thermostat that responds to a changing ideological environment by offering counterbalance. Such a stance is an anti-stance since it requires the teachers to enact philosophies and pedagogies, rather than holding them.

    Keywords: College

  • Teaching Propriety: Unlocking the Mysteries of “Political Correctness”

    Lois Agnew

    Abstract: Contemporary composition classrooms have understandably distanced themselves from the elitism associated with the terms taste and propriety. However, writers do need to learn how appropriate discourse is rhetorically negotiated. Understanding and reinventing propriety’s rhetorical function can enable students and teachers to develop notions of propriety that consider complex histories and perspectives.

    Keywords: College

  • “Mutt Genres” and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the University?

    Elizabeth Wardle

    Abstract: The goal of teaching students to write for the university assumes that in first-year composition students can be taught ways of writing (genre and genre knowledge) that they can then transfer to the writing they do in other courses across the university. This goal and its underlying assumption are problematic for a number of reasons illustrated here through a study of a large midwestern composition program. The study validates theoretical critiques of general skills writing courses made by genre and activity theorists over the past decade. The difficulties of teaching varied academic genres in only one context suggest we might better serve first-year students by reframing the goals of FYC, such that the course does not promise to teach students to write in the university but rather teaches students about writing in the university.

    Keywords: College

  • Voice of Authority: Theorizing Creative Writing Pedagogy

    Rosalie Morales Kearns

    Abstract: Creative writing workshops typically feature a gag rule and emphasize purported flaws. This structure limits students’ meaningful engagement with each other’s work; positions the author as inherently flawed; and positions other participants as authority figures, passing judgment without articulating their aesthetic standards. I propose an alternative structure in which authors lead discussion; the work is treated not as inherently flawed but as “in process”; and discussants articulate their expectations about “good” writing rather than allowing them to function as unspoken norms.

    Keywords: College

  • Rhetoric, Literacy, and Social Change in Post-Mao China

    Steven Wexler

    Abstract: Chinese migrant narratives suggest a parodic reworking of China’s official market ideology, “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” as well as new rhetorics that bring worker solidarity and opportunities for positive change.

    Keywords: College

  • Perspectives: From Introspection to Action: Connecting Spirituality and Civic Engagement

    Gesa E. Kirsch

    Abstract: Kirsch explores “the connection between spirituality and civic engagement,” suggesting that “spirituality—broadly defined to include mindfulness, introspection, and reflection—can play an important role in enabling rhetorical agency.”

    Keywords: College

  • Perspectives: Writing in the Post–“Man-of- Letters” Modern World

    Geoffrey Sirc

    Abstract: Sirc’s essay also uses the writing course as touchstone—this time, to wrestle initially “with the issues Allen Tate pondered in his 1952 essay . . . ‘The Man of Letters in the Modern World.’” Sirc challenges contemporary instructors of writing, claiming that “the vox pop criticism of iTunes writing represents a new Attic style, one well worth studying and teaching to.”

    Keywords: College

  • SYMPOSIUM: Comparitive Rhetorical Studies in the New Contact Zone: CHINESE RHETORIC REIMAGINED

    Abstract: The essays in this special symposium on Chinese rhetoric join the work of other cross-cultural rhetorical scholars in proposing new contrastive as well as comparative approaches and exploring structures that are dialectical and literary as well as rhetorical. In this work can be observed the formation of a new contact zone.

    Keywords: College

  • Interchanges: Response to Sean Zwagerman’s “The Scarlet P: Plagiarism, Panopticism, and the Rhetoric of Academic Integrity”

    Virginia Anderson

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: College

  • Book Review: Does Cultivating Social Action Put Writing Pedagogy Out to Pasture?

    Randy Koch

  • Book Review: “We Are Not All the Same:” Latino Students, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and the Need to Reform Rhetoric and Composition

    Carol Severino

  • Guidelines for Writers

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: College

  • CCC News

  • Announcements

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: College

  • Index to Volume 60

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: College

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

Document and Site Resources

Share This On:


Anonymous commenting is not allowed. Please log in with an individual NCTE account to post comments to this page.

Most Recent Comments (1 Total Posts)

Posted By: Anonymous User on 12/2/2010 9:44:30 AM

purported flaws

Page Tools:

Related Search Terms

  • There currently are no related search terms for this page.


Copyright © 1998-2019 National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved in all media.

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

Looking for information? Browse our FAQs, tour our sitemap and store sitemap, or contact NCTE

Read our Privacy Policy Statement and Links Policy. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use

Document URL

Document Owner

Organization Name

NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts