Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I thank Karl Kageff of Southern Illinois University Press for his support and encouragement throughout the writing of this book, and Wayne Larsen, Linda Buhman, Bridget Brown, Amy J. Etcheson, Lynanne Page, and Ryan Masteller, also of Southern Illinois University Press...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-7

This book contests the meanings commonly assigned to specific terms that have emerged as key in the dominant professional discourse of what in this book I continue to call composition: terms of language, labor, value/evaluation, and discipline, as well as composition itself...

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1. Composition

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pp. 8-54

Composition is an ongoing historical project: the name given to work done in colleges and universities, mostly in the United States, by students and teachers as they engage and mediate differences in written language. That is the definition I am willing to offer, knowing that it is at best...

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2. Language

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pp. 55-91

Language is the ongoing outcome of practices. Writing is one such practice. Representations of language, like the one you are reading, are themselves language practices contributing to the ongoing social accomplishment that is language. I begin with this stark (re)presentation of language,...

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3. Labor

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pp. 92-120

Writing language is the labor of composition. That is not how labor is ordinarily understood in composition. But unless we understand the labor of composition in this way, the troubles of labor in composition as ordinarily understood cannot end. While a change...

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4. Value/Evaluation

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pp. 121-162

To designate an activity or set of activities “work” is to assign it a particular value, distinct from the value of other kinds of activities—not work, not real work, labor, and, of course, play. That is, as I discuss in chapter 3, “work” serves to hierarchize forms of labor (“labor” as “manual” and “low” unlike...

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5. Discipline

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pp. 163-205

Knowledge exists only in the instance of its knowing. This is true even in the case of knowledge embedded in objects, in Marx’s sense of “General Intellect,” for objects in themselves know nothing. It is only through engagement in specific, learned practices with those objects...

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Epilogue

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pp. 206-210

I have argued in this book that in terms like Composition, Language, Labor, Value, and Discipline we need to learn to recognize the presence of composition, language, labor, value, and discipline. (Iterations, recall, are never, can never be the same.) Rather than imagining the latter...

Notes

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pp. 211-224

Works Cited

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pp. 225-252

Index

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pp. 253-264

Author Biography

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p. 265

Back Cover

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