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College English, Vol. 77, No. 1, September 2014

Cover Art for College English, Vol. 77, No. 1, September 2014

Table of Contents

  • From the Editor [FREE ACCESS]

    Kelly Ritter

  • The Composition Specialist as Flexible Expert: Identity and Labor in the History of Composition

    Annie S. Mendenhall

    Abstract: This history explores the early growth of composition faculty between 1960 and 1990, arguing that composition has historically functioned as a site of flexible expertise. As archives of the Modern Language Association’s Job Information List attest, early job advertisements for composition “specialists” defined the work of composition in terms antithetical to specialization, expecting a compositionist to perform a variety of administrative work and to teach comfortably in multiple areas. The flexible identity of the field’s faculty aided its growth during a period when tenure-track faculty waned; composition thrived because faculty could serve multiple institutional roles. This essay calls readers to investigate the ways that composition’s flexibility has impacted and continues to impact the field’s identity and labor structures.

    Keywords: Composition, history of composition

  • What Is the Value of the GED?

    Betsy Bowen and Kathryn Nantz

    Abstract: Drawing on interviews, participant observation, and census and economic data, this article examines the value of the GED for students at a community-based urban literacy center. After exploring assumptions about literacy implicit in the GED writing test, the article assesses the economic and noneconomic impacts of the GED, a test taken by over 700,000 adults in 2012. Because the students at this literacy center differ significantly from the national pool of GED test takers—being all women, older, and largely immigrants—the study provides information about the value of the GED for those who are particularly disadvantaged in seeking this credential.

    Keywords: GED, urban literacy

  • Symposium: Off Track and On: Valuing the Intellectual Work of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty [FREE ACCESS]

    Christine Cucciarre, Michael McCamley, and Joseph Harris

    Abstract: This symposium offers three perspectives on how permanent non-tenure track faculty are positioned to effect change in English departments and writing programs, as well as some of the obstacles they face in doing so. 

    Keywords: academia, College, non-tenure-track faculty

  • Review: “English Only” and Multilingualism in Composition Studies: Policy, Philosophy, and Practice [FREE ACCESS]

    Dana R. Ferris

    Abstract: Ferris looks at three books—Cross-Language Relations in Composition; Shaping Language Policy in the U.S.: The Role of Composition Studies; and Writing in the Devil’s Tongue: A History of English Composition in China—as they address the question of adherence to a monolingual or “standard” set of language and writing norms in composition, and consider how the answer to this question impacts our teaching. 

    Keywords: college writing, monolingual standards

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