In this Book

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In Gravyland, Parks chronicles the history of an urban university writing program and its attempt to develop politically progressive literacy partnerships with the surrounding community while having to work within and against a traditional educational and cultural landscape. He details the experience of the New City Writing program at Temple University from its beginning as a small institute with one program at a local public school to a multi-faceted organization, raising millions of dollars, and establishing partnerships across the diverse neighborhoods of Philadelphia. In doing so, the author describes classrooms where the community takes a seat and becomes part of the conversation—a conversation which is recorded and shared through a selection of writing produced. While Parks celebrates classroom success in generating knowledge through dialog with the larger community, he also highlights many of the obstacles the organizers of the New City Writing program faced. The author shows that writing alliances between universities and communities are possible but they must take into account the institutional, economic, and political pressures that accompany such partnerships. Blending the theoretical and practical lessons learned, Parks details New City Writing’s effort to offer a new model of education, one in which the voice of the professor must share space with the voices of the community, and one in which students come to understand that the right to sit in a classroom is not just the result of war, but of peaceful civil disobedience, of community struggles to gain self-recognition, and of collective efforts to seek social justice.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Entering Gravyland: Breaking Bonds and Reaffirming Connections
  2. pp. xiii-xxxi
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  1. 1. Writing Beyond the Curriculum: The Hybrid Nature of University/Public-School Partnerships
  2. pp. 1-34
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  1. 2. Edge Politics: Oppositional Strategies and Collective Politics
  2. pp. 35-68
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  1. 3. Strategic Speculations on the Question of Value: The Role of Community Publishing in English Studies
  2. pp. 69-97
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  1. 4. Writing Within and Beyond the Curriculum: No Restraints, Community Publishing, and the Contact Zone
  2. pp. 98-129
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  1. 5. The Insights of Everyday Scholars: New City Community Press
  2. pp. 130-190
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  1. 6. Success: The Aftermath of Survival
  2. pp. 191-208
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  1. References
  2. pp. 211-216
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 217-219
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