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Bloom gathers twenty of her most recent essays (some previously unpublished) on critical issues in teaching writing. She addresses matters of philosophy and pedagogy, class and marginality and gender, and textual terror transformed to textual power. Yet the body of her work and this representative collection of it remains centered, coherent, and personal. This work focuses on the creative dynamics that arise from the interrelation of writing, teaching writing, and ways of reading—and the scholarship and administrative issues engendered by it. To regard composition studies as a creative art is to engage in a process of intellectual or aesthetic free play, and then to translate the results of this play into serious work that yet retains the freedom and playfulness of its origins. The book is fueled by a mixture of faith in the fields that compose composition studies, hope that efforts of composition teachers can make a difference, and a sense of community in its broadest meaning. Included are Bloom's well-known essays "Teaching College English as a Woman," "Freshman Composition as a Middle Class Enterprise," and many more recent works, equally provocative and insightful.
The Changing Nature of Wildlife and Wild Places in Utah and the Intermountain West
From flying squirrels on high wooded plateaus to hanging gardens in redrock canyons, the Intermountain West is home to some of the world's rarest and most fascinating animals and plants. Creatures of Habitat details many unique but little-known talents of this region's strange and wonderful wild inhabitants and descibes their connections with native environments. For example, readers will learn about the pronghorn antelope's supercharged cardiovascular system, a brine shrimp-powered shorebird that each year flies nonstop from the Great Salt Lake to Central Argentina, and a rare mustard plant recently discovered on Mount Ogden. Emphasizing how increasing loss and degradation of habitat hinders native species' survival, Mark Gerard Hengesbaugh discusses what is happening to wildlife and wild places and what is being done about it.
Well illustrated, this book has habitat maps, pen-and-ink illustrations, and fifty photos of wildlife and wild places selected by photo editor Dan Miller. Also included are guides to wildlife viewing and lists of Utah species, including those considered sensitive, threatened, or endangered.
A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois
Cultures in Conflict offers students of history an invaluable source of documents regarding the history of the Mormon presence in Illinois. Few local histories are so academically sound. —Illinois Times Hallwas and Launius have compiled and written the most balanced and thorough account yet of the events and circumstances that led to the forced Mormon exodus from Nauvoo following the mini civil war that erupted in Illinois during the 1849s
The 1923 USGS Colorado River Expedition
In 1923, America paid close attention, via special radio broadcasts, newspaper headlines, and cover stories in popular magazines, as a government party descended the Colorado to survey Grand Canyon. Fifty years after John Wesley Powell's journey, the canyon still had an aura of mystery and extreme danger. At one point, the party was thought lost in a flood.
Something important besides adventure was going on. Led by Claude Birdseye and including colorful characters such as early river-runner Emery Kolb, popular writer Lewis Freeman, and hydraulic engineer Eugene La Rue, the expedition not only made the first accurate survey of the river gorge but sought to decide the canyon's fate. The primary goal was to determine the best places to dam the Grand. With Boulder Dam not yet built, the USGS, especially La Rue, contested with the Bureau of Reclamation over how best to develop the Colorado River. The survey party played a major role in what was known and thought about Grand Canyon.
The authors weave a narrative from the party's firsthand accounts and frame it with a thorough history of water politics and development and the Colorado River. The recommended dams were not built, but the survey both provided base data that stood the test of time and helped define Grand Canyon in the popular imagination.
Understanding the Political Economy of Composition
Across north-central New Mexico and Arizona, along the line of Route 66, now Interstate 40, there first ran a little-known wagon trail called Beale's Wagon Road, after Edward F. Beale, who surveyed it for the War Department in 1857. This survey became famous for employing camels. Not so well known is the fate of the first emigrants who the next year attempted to follow its tracks. The government considered the 1857 exploration a success and the road it opened a promising alternative route to California but expected such things as military posts and developed water supplies to be needed before it was ready for regular travel. Army representatives in New Mexico were more enthusiastic.
In 1858 there was a need for an alternative. Emigrants avoided the main California Trail because of a U.S. Army expedition to subdue Mormons in Utah. The Southern Route ran through Apache territory, was difficult for the army to guard, and was long. When a party of Missouri and Iowa emigrants known as the Rose-Baley wagon train arrived in Albuquerque, they were encouraged to be the first to try the new Beale road. Their journey became a rolling disaster. Beale's trail was more difficult to follow than expected; water sources and feed for livestock harder to find. Indians along the way had been described as peaceful, but the Hualapais persistently harassed the emigrants and shot their stock, and when the wagon train finally reached the Colorado River, a large party of Mojaves attacked them. Several of the emigrants were killed, and the remainder began a difficult retreat to Albuquerque. Their flight, with wounded companions and reduced supplies, became ever more arduous. Along the way they met other emigrant parties and convinced them to join the increasingly disorderly and distressed return journey.
Charles Baley tells this dramatic story and discusses its aftermath, for the emigrants, for Beale's Wagon Road, and for the Mojaves, against whom some of the emigrants pressed legal claims with the federal government.
The Postmodern Writing Program Administrator
The argument of this collection is that the cultural and intellectual legacies of postmodernism impinge, significantly and daily, on the practice of the Writing Program Administrator. WPAs work in spaces where they must assume responsibility for a multifaceted program, a diverse curriculum, instructors with varying pedagogies and technological expertise—and where they must position their program in relation to a university with its own conflicted mission, and a state with its unpredictable views of accountability and assessment.
The collection further argues that postmodernism offers a useful lens through which to understand the work of WPAs and to examine the discordant cultural and institutional issues that shape their work. Each chapter tackles a problem local to its author’s writing program or experience as a WPA, and each responds to existing discord in creative ways that move toward rebuilding and redirection.
It is a given that accepting the role of WPA will land you squarely in the bind between modernism and postmodernism: while composition studies as a field arguably still reflects a modernist ethos, the WPA must grapple daily with postmodern habits of thought and ways of being. The effort to live in this role may or may not mean that a WPA will adopt a postmodern stance; it does mean, however, that being a WPA requires dealing with the postmodern.
Reading Western Rhetoric
In Discursive Ideologies, C. H. Knoblauch argues that European rhetorical theory comprises several distinct and fundamentally opposed traditions of discourse. Writing accessibly for the upper division student, Knoblauch resists the conventional narrative of a unified Western rhetorical tradition. He identifies deep ideological and epistemological differences that exist among strands of Western thought and that are based in divergent "grounds of meaningfulness.” These conflicts underlie and influence current discourse about vital public issues.
Knoblauch considers six "stories” about the meaning of meaning in an attempt to answer the question, what encourages us to believe that language acts are meaningful? Six distinctive ideologies of Western rhetoric emerge: magical rhetoric, ontological rhetoric, objectivist rhetoric, expressivist rhetoric, sociological rhetoric, and deconstructive rhetoric. He explores the nature of language and the important role these rhetorics play in the discourses that matter most to people, such as religion, education, public policy, science, law, and history.