Posts Tagged ‘composition


Olsen’s Rhetoric and Composition as Intellectual Work

Gary Olsen, ed.
Rhetoric and Composition as Intellectual Work
Area: History of Rhetoric and Memory Studies
From Joseph Harris’ Review

•    Olson’s Rhetoric and Composition As Intellectual Work brings together two sets of essays-one arguing for composition as an academic discipline and the other offering sketches of what scholarship in that discipline might look like.
•    The quality of writing is high, even when the arguments are familiar:
o    Olson agitating for ideological critique,
o    Thomas Kent explaining paralogic rhetoric,
o    Cindy Selfe urging attentiveness to technology,
o    Victor Vitanza discoursing playfully about sophistics,
o    Stephen Mailloux insisting that theory really does have consequences,
o    Susan Miller and Susan Wells digging around in the archives
•    Olson asserts that “composition should be an intellectual as well as a service discipline” (xii).
o    While Olson makes it clear that he is not arguing against teaching per se but, rather, against a view of the field as one “devoted solely to improving writing pedagogy” (xvi), his phrasing distances intellectual work from service and associates it with discipline.
•    Gary Olson argues against what he calls a “disturbing trend in the discipline” (499) to blur key terms and categories describing our work, arguing that “teaching is not research; it can draw on research and apply research and confirm or discredit research results, but it’s not coextensive with or identical to research”


Soliday’s Politics of Remediation

Mary Soliday
The Politics of Remediation: Institutional and Student Needs in Higher Education
Area: History of Rhetoric and Memory Studies
Chapter One: The Politics of Access and the Politics of Representation

•    Crowley: “the discourse of student need”
o    The institutions’ standards for writing don’t change, the students’ abilities do
•    In clarifying “political,” we also identify what constitutes a meaningful avenue for reform (Gary-Rosendale)
o    Developing process-pedagogy
o    Involving more full-time faculty in programs without displacing adjuncts for first year composition
o    More “microlevel” as opposed to “macrolevel” research
1: “This book argues that remediation exists also to fulfill institutional needs and to resolve social conflicts as they are played out through the educational tier most identified with access to the professional middle class.”
3: “The changing fortunes of remedial English teaching in this respect are partly a consequence of an increasing middle-class need to protect the exclusivity of an institution that, now more than ever, most defines itself as a social class.”
6:  “I locate reform within structures that would alter the conditions for learning that affect who teaches whom, and where.  I use the history of composition, and the sociology of education as analytical frameworks to read historical documents, for instance surveys of composition teaching and archival sources form my institution.  In the book’s second half, I examine how remediation and remedial students have been represented in the post-open admissions era.  Here I locate reform in curriculum development and in ways of writing about composition teaching.  I use cultural studies, sociolinguistics, and the anthropological of education as frameworks for reading student writing, ideological debates, and literary and ethnographic accounts.”
7: “’Politics’ (as in the currently fashionable image of the multicultural university) was isolated from ‘economics,’ and the conflict was duly transformed into struggles over language, now safely removed from larger political and economic battles.”

April 2018
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