In the early 1990s, Linda Brodkey ended up on the front page of the New York Times and in the columns of George Will and other conservative pundits. The furor was over the “Writing about Difference” syllabus she helped create at the University of Texas, an effort that came to be one more casualty in the debate over multiculturalism in the academy. Writing Permitted in Designated Areas Only is made up of Brodkey’s dispatches from the front lines of the culture wars. The essays in this book raise provocative questions about the way writing is taught in the United States. Brodkey lambastes conventional composition courses, which since their inception in the mid-nineteenth century have been the site of conflict over what “literacy” really means. She argues that such courses have institutionalized the practice of separating form and content, relegating teachers to the tasks of policing grammar and patrolling the borders of style and literature. Ultimately, this separation of structure and meaning depoliticizes the act of writing, creating an artificial distinction between what is being said and how it is expressed. Comprising specific examples of student work in addition to Brodkey’s own essays, Writing Permitted in Designated Areas Only works against this dynamic. Ranging from personal essay (“Writing on the Bias”) to hard-hitting polemic (“Writing Permitted in Designated Areas Only”) and touching on many of the major issues in the teaching of writing today, this volume explores alternatives to the standard methods for teaching composition. The result is a passionate plea for the loosing of writing to achieve its full power and potential; to unharness writing—and its teachers—from the institutional strictures that stifle both creativity and independent thought.