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College English, Vol. 76, No. 4, March 2014

Cover Art for College English, Vol. 76, No. 4, March 2014

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor [FREE ACCESS]

    Kelly Ritter

  • Emerging Voices: The “Hands of God” at Work: Negotiating between Western and Religious Sponsorship in Indonesia

    Amber Engelson

    Abstract: This article draws from ethnographic research to explore the interplay between Western capital (both monetary and cultural), the English language, and Indonesian religious identity at the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies, an “inter-religious, international Ph.D. program” in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. After discussing research methodology and positioning the program’s local-global religious identity within the larger Indonesian geopolitical context—which highlights English’s complicated role as both the language of Western imperialism and the language of global academic connection—this article explores how two Muslim PhD students negotiate this contact zone as they write. These student portraits, in turn, highlight the importance of acknowledging (1) religious identities as resources in our increasingly global US classrooms; (2) that identity negotiation occurs both textually and extratextually as multilingual writers reformulate and circulate information they draw from English publications to foment social change in their local communities; and (3) the contributions that non-Western voices can make in academic conversations long dominated by the West.

    Keywords: Cultural Studies, Diversity, Ethnographic Research, Global Englishes

  • Repositioning Curriculum Design: Broadening the Who and How of Curricular Invention [FREE ACCESS]

    Matthew Heard

    Abstract: Within English studies, curriculum design has typically been restricted to conversations about instructor education, where design is treated as a process of applying existing disciplinary knowledge to traditional assignments and practices. This article argues that scholars can extend the scope and value of instructor education by repositioning design as an act of inventive potential, one that invites new instructors to understand disciplinary knowledge and also to participate in the expansion of disciplinary values and practices. When fostered as an inventive act, curriculum design offers a space of welcome where new members of English studies are encouraged to contribute to the central questions and values of the field.

    Keywords: Curriculum design, New teacher induction, Teacher Education

  • Toward a Queerly Classed Analysis of Shame: Attunement to Bodies in English Studies

    Catherine Olive-Marie Fox

    Abstract: This article explores how scholarship informed by queer theory can be brought to bear on social class within the academy in order to open spaces for thinking about our professional ethos in English studies. I offer the term queerly classed faculty to accentuate the usefulness of bringing queer theory into conversation with questions of class, as well as to point to the strange or perverse sense of displacement that many faculty experience in relation to professional normalization. Through a brief analysis of queerly classed ruptures in normativity that tend to coalesce around questions of propriety and civility, I illustrate how we might use shame to expand and open the normative horizon of our collective professional subjectivity and ethos in English studies. Ultimately, I argue that the relational awareness and tension of ambivalence that shame produces for many queerly classed faculty offers an ethical calling, not to dispel the shame that is born of an interest in identification, but instead to use the embodied experience of shame to create a heightened sensitivity to our relation to self and others within our professional lives, such that we might find common ground among our differences.

    Keywords: LGBT, Queer theory

  • Closing Deals with Hamlet’s Help: Assessing the Instrumental Value of an English Degree

    Sheryl I. Fontaine and Stephen J. Mexal

    Abstract: Critics of contemporary higher education frequently overlook an important dimension of assessment of student learning: namely, the social and economic consequences used to justify the assessment measures in the first place. This essay argues that meaningful student assessment must take into account the unintended, transferable utility of liberal higher education. The authors, from a large master’s-comprehensive state university, use a recent survey of alumni of their English degree program from as far back as the 1960s to assess the importance that the degree has had in the lives of former students. Believing that disciplinary differences may help us to understand the navigational courses that emerge as seemingly nonlinear and unpredictable paths from the college degree to the life after college, the authors use students’ responses to identify how, where, and what students have used from their English courses in their most recent professions and, in turn, the limitations of current value-added assessments such as the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA).

    Keywords: Assessing students, Career preparation, Long-term outcomes

  • Announcements and Calls for Papers

* 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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