CCR 712, Spring 2011
This iteration of CCR 712 will explore the ways in which theories of composing have developed; the ways in which "theories of composing" has been taken as a synonym for "composition theory"; and the resistances to and work that exceeds that synonymy. We will use the often-false binary of theory versus practice to explore the ways in which the composition job market values or ignores theory work. And we will investigate how a theory journal's book awards define contemporary work in the field.
That's the official description. Here's my work-in-progress on how I'll play this out:
At the beginning of the course we will visit early efforts to articulate "composition theory," following them into contemporary scholarship. We will also survey the practices named in the 2010 position announcements in the MLA Job Information List, WPA Job Board, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, looking to identify the frequently-sought categories. Each student will choose one of these areas of practice and spend the semester researching not only the practices but the informing theories. Each student will have the responsibility of teaching her or his material to the rest of the class. During lulls of project reporting, we will collaboratively investigate the evolution of process theory, postprocess theory, and "beyond." We will also collaboratively read the three most recent winners of the JAC/W. Ross Winterowd award for best book in composition theory, asking how these three books, taken together, would redefine or reinforce the representations of "theory" in the earlier works on the topic.
What texts? Well, here's what's currently on the shopping list. Given the major project I'm thinking about assigning, this list will have to be winnowed down considerably. Suggestions for deletions, additions gratefully received.
Identifying and defining "composition theory"
Kitzhaber, Albert R. Themes, Theories, and Therapy: The Teaching of Writing in College. New York: McGraw, 1963.
Park, Douglas B. "Theories and Expectations: On Conceiving Composition and Rhetoric as a Discipline." College English 41 (1979): 47-56.
Berlin, James A. "Contemporary Composition: The Major Pedagogical Theories." College English 44 (1982): 765-777.
Clifford, John, and John Schilb. Writing Theory and Critical Theory. New York: Modern Language Association, 1994.
Olson, Gary A., and Sidney I. Dobrin. Composition Theory for the Postmodern Classroom. Albany: SUNY Press, 1994.
Berthoff, Ann E. The Mysterious Barricades: Language and Its Limits. University of Toronto Press, 1999.
Williams, Jeffrey J. "The Posttheory Generation." Disciplining Composition: Alternative Histories, Critical Perspectives. Ed. David R. Shumway and Craig Dionne. SUNY P, 2002. 115-134.
Sanchez, Raul. The Function of Theory in Composition Studies. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005.
Vandenberg, Peter, Sue Hum, and Jennifer Clary-Lemon. Relations, Locations, Positions: Composition Theory for Writing Teachers. NCTE, 2006.
Developing, rejecting, exceeding one theory/model of composing
Rohman, D. Gordon. "Pre-Writing: The Stage of Discovery in the Writing Process." College Composition and Communication 16 (1965): 106-112.
Crowley, Sharon. "Around 1971: Current-Traditional Rhetoric and Process Models of Composing." Composition in the Twenty-First Century: Crisis and Change. Ed. Lynn Z. Bloom, Donald A. Daiker, and Edward M. White. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1996. 64-74.
Murray, Donald M. "Teach Writing as a Process Not Product." The Leaflet (November 1972): 11-14. Rpt. Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: A Reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva, Jr. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 1997. 3-6.
Faigley, Lester. "Competing Theories of Process: A Critique and a Proposal." College English 48.6 (1986): 527-542.
Trimbur, John. "Taking the Social Turn: Teaching Writing Post-Process." College Composition and Communication 45 (1994): 108-118.
Kent, Thomas, ed. Post-Process Theory: Beyond the Writing-Process Paradigm. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1999.
Fulkerson, Richard. "Of Pre- and Post-Process: Reviews and Ruminations." Composition Studies 29.2 (Fall 2001): 93-120.
Enos, Theresa, and Keith D. Miller, eds. Beyond Postprocess and Postmodernism: Essays on the Spaciousness of Rhetoric. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002.
Matsuda, Paul Kei. "Process and Post-Process: A Discursive History." Journal of Second Language Writing 12.1 (February 2003): 65-83.
Dobrin, Sidney I., ed. Beyond Post-Process. Utah State UP, 2010.
JAC/W. Ross Winterowd recent award winners for best book in composition theory
Hawk, Byron. A Counter-History of Composition: Toward Methodologies of Complexity. Pittsburgh: U Pittsburgh P, 2007.
Reid, Alexander. The Two Virtuals: New Media and Composition. Parlor Press, 2008.
Fleckenstein, Kristie S. Vision, Rhetoric, and Social Action. Southern Illinois University Press, 2009.