In this Book

Discord And Direction
summary

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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. ix
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  1. Introduction: Postmodernity and Writing Programs
  2. pp. 1-16
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  1. Appendix: Schematic Differences between Modernism and Postmodernism
  2. p. 17
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  1. 1: Where Discord Meets Direction: The Role of Consultant Evaluation in Writing Program Administration
  2. pp. 18-27
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  1. 2: Cold Pastoral: The Moral Order of an Idealized Form
  2. pp. 28-39
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  1. 3: Beyond Accommodation: Individual and Collective in a Large Writing Program
  2. pp. 40-58
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  1. 4: Overcoming Disappointment: Constructing Writing Program Identity through Postmodern Mapping
  2. pp. 59-71
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  1. 5: The Road to Mainstreaming: One Person's Successful but Cautionary Tale
  2. pp. 72-83
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  1. 6: Developmental Administration: A Pragmatic Theory of Evolution in Basic Writing
  2. pp. 84-94
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  1. 7: Information Technology as Other: Reflections on a Useful Problem
  2. pp. 95-104
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  1. 8: Computers, Innovation, and Resistance in First-Year Composition Programs
  2. pp. 105-122
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  1. 9: Minimum Qualifications: Who Should Teach First-Year Writing?
  2. pp. 123-139
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  1. 10: The Place of Assessment and Reflection in Writing Program Administration
  2. pp. 140-154
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  1. Appendix A: WCC Three-Year Plan
  2. pp. 155-157
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  1. 11: New Designs for Communication across the Curriculum
  2. pp. 158-180
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  1. 12: Mirror, Mirror on the Web: Visual Depiction, Identity, and the Writing Program
  2. pp. 181-202
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 203-206
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  1. References
  2. pp. 207-217
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 218-219
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 220-222
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