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Sidney I. Dobrin

Publication Year: 2011

Post-Composition argues that Composition Studies‘ intellectual focus upon (writing) subjects and the teaching and management of those subjects rather than upon writing itself has shackled the potential of writing studies.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

Book Title

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Copyright Page

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi

I would be foolish to pretend that this book was solely the product of my work; it is collaboration in the truest sense. Without the conversations, feedback, taunting, prodding, and encouragement from many, this book would have taken a much less useful or interesting shape. ...

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Introduction: On the Occasion of Becoming Postcomposition

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pp. 1-5

Don’t panic. I am not calling for the end of composition studies or even identifying something as dramatic as the death of composition studies, despite the way that many may read the title of this book. The rumor of the death of composition studies has been greatly exaggerated. What the field was and is, is still likely to be—at least for a while. ...

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1. Disrupting Composition Studies

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pp. 6-28

Composition studies, as a field, doesn’t talk much about its intellectual future and only minimally considers its institutional future (the notable exception is the September 2010 special issue of College Composition and Communication that takes up composition studies’ future). Perhaps this is the case because it has been enamored with its own history. ...

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2. The Space of Writing

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pp. 29-58

Because of the more popular use of “post” as an indicator of chronology, many may hear postcomposition to indicate an issue of time, a marker of a shift in era, a time after composition studies. However, as I hope I have indicated thus far, I intend “post” primarily as a spatial indicator. Separating the spatial from the temporal is a tricky maneuver, ...

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3. Beyond the Subject of Composition Studies

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pp. 59-91

To begin to shift focus from subject toward a greater attention to writing, I propose reconfiguring how we think about the subject, the writing-subject, and the student-subject in composition studies. Undoubtedly, subject/subjectivity has played a key role in composition studies’ evolution, permitting the field to develop a body of “research” about subjectivity and to claim an authority to govern over student subjects. ...

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4. Beyond the Administration of Subjects

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pp. 92-121

In his preface to Barbara L’Eplattenier and Lisa Mastrangelo’s 2004 WPA Best Book Award–winning Historical Studies of Writing Program Administration: Individuals, Communities, and the Formation of a Discipline, Edward M. White offers a greatly abbreviated history of writing program administration, a history that is explicated and amplified throughout in the essays that follow. ...

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5. Ecocomposition Postcomposition

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pp. 122-157

Writing is an ecological phenomenon. It is spatial, relational, and complex and thus requires complex theories (and a complex of theories) in order to attempt to understand its intricacies, functions, and possibilities. Forwarding this notion that writing is ecological, a small number of composition scholars began to import ecological methodologies into composition studies just after the millennial shift. ...

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6. The Edge of Chaos

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pp. 158-186

Interestingly, Cary Wolfe’s systems theory in Critical Environments looks remarkably like the rudiments of the complexity theories that have begun to creep into the fringes of composition, providing an invigorating and potentially groundbreaking shift in how the field views rhetoric and writing. ...

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7. Pedagogy

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pp. 187-205

The mantras of composition studies have worn thin, no longer offering answers that satisfy emerging questions about writing in its networked, hyper-circulatory condition. Questions now linger, unanswered by composition studies’ dominant inquiries of the last forty years: How is writing learned? How do students write? How do students learn to write? ...

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Postscript: On the Very Idea of Post-ness

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pp. 206-211

This postscript is problematic, both in its placement and its argument. What unfolds here is an exploration of the idea of “post.” It is an unpacking of the term that I engaged early in this project in order to better understand what it might mean to suggest that something might occur postcomposition. ...


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pp. 215-224

Works Cited

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pp. 225-238


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pp. 239-248

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Author Bio

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Sidney I. Dobrin is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Florida, where for ten years he directed the writing program. Dobrin has authored and edited more than sixteen books and numerous articles. His current research engages posthumanisms; visual rhetorics, cultures, and literacies; and ecological methodologies....

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780809387885
E-ISBN-10: 0809387883
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809330416
Print-ISBN-10: 0809330415

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2011