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Discord And Direction

The Postmodern Writing Program Administrator

edited by Sharon James McGee & Carolyn Handa

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.

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Discursive Ideologies

Reading Western Rhetoric

By

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.

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Diverse by Design

Literacy Education within Multicultural Institutions

Christopher Schroeder

Conflicts surrounding linguistic diversity are central to Diverse by Design, an institutional case study of an Hispanic-Serving Institution—in fact, the most ethnically diverse university in the midwest—situated within a metropolitan area shaped by immigration and migration. Christopher Schroeder examines the interactions of the institution and individuals, highlighting a cohort of Latino students enrolled in a special admissions program. He analyzes the ways that institutional language policies and literacy philosophies shape student experience within this institution, where ethnolinguistic diversity is framed as an educational obstacle to overcome rather than an intellectual opportunity to exploit.

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Dos Mundos

Rural Mexican Americans, Another America

Richard Baker

Mexican Americans make up the largest minority in Idaho, yet they seemingly live in a different world from the dominant Anglo population, and because of pervasive stereotypes and exclusive policies, their participation in the community's social, economic, and political life is continually impeded.

This unique ethnographic study of a small Idaho community with a large Hispanic population examines many dimensions of the impact race relations have on everyday life for rural Mexican Americans.

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Dynamics Of Folklore

Barre Toelken

One of the most comprehensive and widely praised introductions to folklore ever written. Toelken's discussion of the history and meaning of folklore is delivered in straightforward language, easily understood definitions, and a wealth of insightful and entertaining examples.

Toelken emphasizes dynamism and variety in the vast array of folk expressions he examines, from "the biology of folklore," to occupational and ethnic lore, food ways, holidays, personal experience narratives, ballads, myths, proverbs, jokes, crafts, and others. Chapters are followed by bibliographical essays, and over 100 photographs illustrate the text. This new edition is accessible to all levels of folklore study and an essential text for classroom instruction.

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Economies of Writing

edited by Bruce Horner

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Emma Lee

Juanita Brooks

 Emma Lee is the classic biography of one of John D. Lee's plural wives. Emma experienced the best and worst of polygamy and came as near to the Mountain Meadows Massacre as anyone could without participating first hand. 

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Emotional and Priestly Logic of Plural Marriage, The

Kathleen Flake

Kathleen Flake, associate professor of American religious history at Vanderbilt University examines the logic of those women who thrived, rather than suffered, in early Mormon polygamy, and finds that the marriage covenant granted them priestly rights and independence through the powers of heaven.

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English Composition As A Happening

Geoffrey Sirc

What happened to the bold, kicky promise of writing instruction in the 1960s? The current conservative trend in composition is analyzed allegorically by Geoffrey Sirc in this book-length homage to Charles Deemer's 1967 article, in which the theories and practices of Happenings artists (multi-disciplinary performance pioneers) were used to invigorate college writing. Sirc takes up Deemer's inquiry, moving through the material and theoretical concerns of such pre- and post-Happenings influences as Duchamp and Pollock, situationists and punks, as well as many of the Happenings artists proper.

With this book, already a cult classic, began a neo-avant-garde for composition studies.

Winner of the Ross W. Winterowd Award for most outstanding book in composition theory.

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Everyday Writing Center

A Community of Practice

Anne E. Geller, Michele Eodice, Frankie Condon, Meg Carroll, Elizabeth H. Boquet

In a landmark collaboration, five co-authors develop a theme of ordinary disruptions ("the everyday") as a source of provocative learning moments that can liberate both student writers and writing center staff. At the same time, the authors parlay Etienne Wenger’s concept of "community of practice" into an ethos of a dynamic, learner-centered pedagogy that is especially well-suited to the peculiar teaching situation of the writing center. They push themselves and their field toward deeper, more significant research, more self-conscious teaching.

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