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College Composition and Communication, Vol. 61, No. 1, September 2009

Cover Art for College Composition and Communication, Vol. 61, No. 1, September 2009

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor: The Authority of the Hybrid Word

    Deborah H. Holdstein

    Abstract: Deborah Holdstein introduces the September issue.

  • Institutional Dimensions of Academic Computing

    Stuart A. Selber

    Abstract: Academic institutions mediate online literacy practices in meaningful and significant ways. This essay explores the nature of that mediational process, using a visual-spatial method to map out and conceptualize dynamics and structures that have a bearing on the work of composition. A key argument is that composition teachers are intellectually positioned to influence institutional approaches to academic computing.

  • Gaming, Student Literacies, and the Composition Classroom: Some Possibilities for Transformation

    Jonathan Alexander

    Abstract: This article explores the literacy narratives of two “gamers” to demonstrate the kinds of literacy skills that many students actively involved in computer and video gaming are developing during their play. This analysis becomes part of a larger claim about the necessity of re-visioning the place of gaming in composition curricula. Ultimately, the author argues that we should use complex computer games as primary “texts” in composition courses as a way to explore with our students transformations in what literacy means.

  • Working Boundaries: From Student Resistance to Student Agency

    Gwen Gorzelsky

    Abstract: Based on an ethnographic study of a writing course taught by a talented instructor who integrated process and critical pedagogy approaches, I argue that many students actively engage with the concerns of critical pedagogy when the classroom ethos strongly supports their agency—their ownership of their developing ideas and texts.

  • Popular Literacy and the Resources of Print Culture: The South African Committee for Higher Education

    John Trimbur

    Abstract: This article examines how the South African Committee for Higher Education used the resources of print culture to design forms of writing and delivery systems that provided students and post-literate adults in the anti-apartheid struggle of the 1980s with the means to recognize and represent themselves as rhetorical agents, for whom reading and writing were tools of deliberation and social action to participate in building a non-racial political future.

  • Lydia J. Roberts’s Nutrition Research and the Rhetoric of “Democratic” Science

    Jordynn Jack

    Abstract: This article examines how the South African Committee for Higher Education used the resources of print culture to design forms of writing and delivery systems that provided students and post-literate adults in the anti-apartheid struggle of the 1980s with the means to recognize and represent themselves as rhetorical agents, for whom reading and writing were tools of deliberation and social action to participate in building a non-racial political future.

  • SPECIAL SECTION: Forum, Newsletter for Issues about Part-Time and Contingent Faculty

  • Not Going It Alone: Public Writing, Independent Media, and the Circulation of Homeless Advocacy

    Paula Mathieu and Diana George

    Abstract: This article argues that the teaching of public writing should not neglect issues of circulation and local need. In a series of case studies involving small press papers and homeless advocacy, the authors seek to extend recent work begun by Susan Wells, John Trimbur, and Nancy Welch, which raises crucial questions about public rhetoric in the writing classroom.

  • The BUSTin’ and Bitchin’ Ethe of Third-Wave Zines

    Brenda M. Helmbrecht and Meredith A. Love

    Abstract: Our article seeks to integrate alternative voices into traditional rhetorical study by turning to Bitch and BUST, two mainstream zines that serve as dynamic examples of young women’s rhetoric in action.  We believe these zines are shaping the present and future of women’s rhetoric.  Their most significant contribution to the understanding of women’s rhetoric is located in the way they accommodate ethotic constructions that are at once contradictory and complementary.  While these texts can seem abrasive and perhaps even outrageous, the ways in which the writers shape their ethe can teach rhetoricians and teachers of rhetoric and writing about the modes of argumentation practiced by this subculture of the current feminist movement, one which is firmly grounded in the larger public sphere.

  • The Uses of Toulmin in Composition Studies

    Joseph Bizup

    Abstract: This article examines the various uses to which Stephen Toulmin has been put in composition studies. It presents data on citations of Toulmin in nine journals, considers appeals to Toulmin in several strains of composition scholarship, and argues that composition scholars ought to attend more carefully to Toulmin’s later works.

  • Toward a New Critical Framework: Color-Conscious Political Morality and Pedagogy at Historically Black and Historically White Colleges and Universities

    Carmen Kynard and Robert Eddy

    Abstract: With the “counterhegemonic figured communities” of HBCUs as our lens, our idea(l)s are shaped within specific rewritings of race, access, and education that move us toward a new framework. Alongside teaching narratives, we foreground collaborative revisions of identity, critical mentoring, and coalition-work as an alternative theory of pedagogy and composition.

  • Arguing at Play in the Fields of the Lord; or, Abducting Charles Peirce’s Rhetorical Theory in “A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God”

    Matthew J. Newcomb

    Abstract: This article argues that the ideas of “play” and “abduction” in Charles Peirce’s work represent an inventive theory of argument that opens up the kinds of activities that can be called “arguments” and avoids some of the struggles over imposed beliefs with which recent argument theory has grappled.

  • "Good Will Come of This Evil": Enslaved Teachers and the Transatlantic Politics of Early Black Literacy

    Shevaun E. Watson

    Abstract: This essay offers an earlier chapter in the history of African American literacy by examining colonial literacy campaigns within the eighteenth-century Atlantic world.  The discussion focuses on one such transatlantic effort spanning from London to Barbados, South Carolina, and West Africa, which used enslaved teachers as agents of literacy.

  • Historicizing Critiques of Procedural Knowledge: Richard Weaver, Maxine Hairston, and Post-Process Theory

    Ronald Clark Brooks

    Abstract: Because the ideological and methodological aims of post-process theory could distort the progressive agenda that has been connected to composition since the early twentieth century, we must look at this theory through the historical lens that Weaver and Hairston provide in order to maintain the progressive potential of post-process theory.

  • Creating a Culture of Assessment in Writing Programs and Beyond

    Cindy Moore, Peggy O’Neill, and Brian Huot

    Abstract: As writing-program administrators and faculty are being called upon more frequently to help design and facilitate large-scale assessments, it becomes increasingly important for us to see assessment as integral to our work as academics. This article provides a framework, based on current historical, theoretical, and rhetorical knowledge, to help writing specialists understand how to embrace assessment as a powerful mechanism for improved teaching and learning at their institutions.

  • The Writing Center Paradox: Talk about Legitimacy and the Problem of Institutional Change

    Shannon Carter

    Abstract: Scholarship on writing centers often relies on validation systems that reconcile tensions between equality and plurality by privileging one over the other. According to feminist political theorist Chantal Mouffe, neither absolute equality nor absolute plurality are possible in any democratic system, a conflict she calls “the democratic paradox” and insists is the essence of a “well-functioning democracy” that supports pluralistic goals. The following article argues that a similar logic shapes writing center work and, therefore, any attempt to promote change must likewise embrace the democratic paradox as it manifests itself in the writing center: “the writing center paradox.”

  • Adding Value for Students and Faculty with a Master’s Degree in Professional Writing

    Susan M. Hunter, Elizabeth J. Giddens, and Margaret B. Walters

    Abstract: This article describes an interdisciplinary professional writing program and its benefits for students (in terms of knowledge, habits of mind, and developing careers). The authors present qualitative research findings about habits of mind and knowledge domains of successful students, which may prove valuable for faculty teaching in similar programs as they consider curriculum design, or for faculty pondering issues of career development for master’s degree graduates.

  • The Student Scholar: (Re)Negotiating Authorship and Authority

    Laurie Grobman

    Abstract: This article initiates scholarly discussions of undergraduate research, an educational movement and comprehensive curricular innovation, in composition and rhetoric. I argue that by viewing undergraduate research production and authorship along a continuum of scholarly authority, student scholars obtain authorship and authority through participation in undergraduate research. I then address several implications of this continuum for the discipline.

  • “Yes, a T-Shirt!”: Assessing Visual Composition in the “Writing” Class

    Lee Odell and Susan M. Katz

    Abstract: Computer technology is expanding our profession’s conception of composing, allowing visual information to play a substantial role in an increasing variety of composition assignments. This expansion, however, creates a major problem: How does one assess student work on these assignments? Current work in assessment provides only partial answers to this question. Consequently, this article will review current theory and practice in assessment, noting its limitations as well as its strengths. The article will then draw on work in both verbal and visual communication to explain an integrative approach to assessment, one that allows instructors to consider students’ work with visuals without losing sight of conventional goals of a “writing” course. The article concludes by illustrating this approach with an analysis of an unconventional student text—a T-shirt—that students submitted as the final assignment for a relatively conventional writing course.

  • More “Seriously Visible” Reading: McCloud, McLuhan, and the Visual Language of The Medium Is the Massage

    Kevin Brooks

    Abstract: This article provides an analysis of Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore’s The Medium Is the Massage, a visual-verbal text that is generally acknowledged as innovative but seldom taken seriously or read carefully. The analysis draws on the visual language vocabulary developed by Scott McCloud in Understanding Comics and argues that the field of composition studies would benefit from more sustained and sophisticated readings of visual-verbal academic texts even as the field shifts from analysis to design.

  • Essjay’s Ethos: Rethinking Textual Origins and Intellectual Property

    James J. Brown Jr.

    Abstract: Discussions of intellectual property are often the focus of rhetoric and composition research, and the question of textual origins grounds these discussions. Through an examination of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia anyone can edit, this essay addresses disciplinary concerns about textual origins and  intellectual property through a discussion of situated and constructed ethos.

  • ”Folksonomy” and the Restructuring of Writing Space

    Jodie Nicotra

    Abstract: Metaphors that posit writing as linear, essayistic, and the province of a single author no longer fit the dynamic, newly spatialized practices of composition occurring on and via the Web. Using “folksonomy,” or multi-user tagging, as an example of one of these practices, this article argues for a new metaphor for writing that encapsulates how writing emerges spatially from dynamic, collective subjectivities in a network.

  • Theorizing Feminist Pragmatic Rhetoric as a Communicative Art for the Composition Practicum

    Kathleen J. Ryan and Tarez Samra Graban

    Abstract: This article uses the convergence of our positionings as feminists, pragmatists, and rhetoricians to theorize communicative gaps related to different beliefs about writing instruction as sites of generative dialogue. We offer a WPA/TA discourse model centered on productive resistance and on discursive power to posit feminist pragmatic rhetoric as a communicative art of writing program change.

  • The Queer Turn in Composition Studies: Reviewing and Assessing an Emerging Scholarship

    Jonathan Alexander and David Wallace

    Abstract: This article surveys and analyzes nearly fifteen years of scholarship, situating itself at the intersection of LGBT/queer studies and composition/rhetoric studies. The authors argue that paying attention to queerness provides unique opportunities to engage with students in challenging discussions about how the most seemingly personal parts of our lives are densely and intimately wrapped up in larger sociocultural and political narratives that organize desire and condition how we think of ourselves. Three moves in queer composition scholarship are identified—confronting homophobia, becoming inclusive, and queering the homo/hetero binary—and implications of these moves for composition are discussed.

  • Plateau Indian Ways with Words

    Barbara Monroe

    Abstract: The indigenous rhetoric of the Plateau Indians continues to exert a discursive influence on student writing in reservation schools today. Plateau students score low on state-mandated tests and on college writing assignments, in large part because the pervasive personalization of Plateau rhetoric runs counter to the depersonalization of academic argument. Yet, we can teach writing in ways that honor all students’—and not just Plateau students’—“rhetorical sovereignty” even as we prepare them for academic writing.

  • Negotiating Rhetorical, Material, Methodological, and Technological Difference: Evaluating Multimodal Designs

    Jody Shipka

    Abstract: The assessment framework presented here draws on theories of reflective practice and mediated activity to update or “multimodalize” the reflective texts students are sometimes asked to compose after completing an essay. The article underscores the importance of having students assume greater responsibility for cataloging and assessing the potentials of the texts they compose both within and beyond the space of the classroom.

  • The Politics of Literacy: Countering the Rhetoric of Accountability in the Spellings Report and Beyond

    Angela K. Green

    Abstract: This article briefly analyzes the Spellings Commission Report on Higher Education, places it in the context of other American education reforms, and suggests ways for literacy educators to respond to this latest call for accountability in ways that are cognizant of political realities without compromising the integrity of our profession.

  • Campus Racial Politics and a “Rhetoric of Injury”

    Haivan V. Hoang

    Abstract: If college writing faculty wish to prepare students to engage in civic forums, then how might we prepare students to write and speak amid racial politics on our campuses? This article explores the college student discourse that shaped an interracial conflict at a public California university in 2002 and questions the “rhetoric of injury” informing racial accountability in the post–civil rights era.

  • CCC Special Synposium: Exploring the Continuum . . . between High School and College Writing

    Essays by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein-Graff; Doug Hesse; Dennis Baron; and Christine Farris

    Abstract: These four essays derive from presentations on a panel held at the CCCC Annual Convention in 2007.

  • Review Essay: Town and Gown: Partnering Writing Programs with Urban Communities

    Robert Brown

    Abstract: Review of  three books:
    Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Public Engagement
    Linda Flower
    Because We Live Here: Sponsoring Literacy beyond the College Curriculum
    Eli Goldblatt
    Making Writing Matter: Composition in the Engaged UniversityAnn M. Feldman

  • Review Essay: “Are You Going to Be a Problem?” Race as Performance

    Howard Tinberg

    Abstract: Review of Your Average Nigga Performing Race Literacy and Masculinity by Vershawn Ashanti Young

  • Guidelines for Writers

  • CCCC News

  • Announcements and Calls

* 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.

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