A Field of Dreams: Independent Writing Programs and the by Peggy O'Neill, Angela Crow, Larry W. Burton

By Peggy O'Neill, Angela Crow, Larry W. Burton

One of many first collections to target autonomous writing courses, A box of desires deals a posh photograph of the adventure of the stand-alone. integrated listed here are narratives of person courses from a variety of associations, exploring such concerns as what institutional concerns ended in their independence, how independence solved or created administrative difficulties, the way it replaced the tradition of the writing application and college feel of function, good fortune, or failure.

Further chapters construct better rules concerning the merits and drawbacks of stand-alone prestige, overlaying hard work matters, promotion/tenure matters, institutional politics, and others. A retrospective at the recognized controversy at Minnesota is integrated, besides a glance on the common self sufficient courses at Harvard and Syracuse.

Finally, the e-book considers disciplinary questions raised through the expansion of stand-alone courses. Authors right here reply with critique and mirrored image to rules raised by way of different chapters—do present self sustaining types inadvertently minimize the impression of rhetoric and composition scholarship? Do they have a tendency to disregard the outward circulate of literacy towards know-how? Can they be established to augment interdisciplinary or writing-across-the-curriculum efforts? Can self sustaining courses play a extra influential position within the college than they do from the English department?

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D. in rhetoric and composition prepares a faculty member to teach first-year writing and many other courses. If we agreed to teach, say, half our annual load in composition—which, as teachers, we were certainly willing to do—would it mean the beginning of a two-tier English faculty: those who teach university service courses and those who teach literature? We responded in two ways. One, we began working on building our professional writing major and developing a minor in writing so that we would have enough upper-level courses to justify new rhetoric/composition hires beyond the need of first-year writing.

Some did, either out of a lingering sense of duty or continued interest—or perhaps simply because of a canceled literature seminar. But from the administration’s point of view, not enough tenure-track faculty were teaching composition to justify the steady stream of hires that had been given to the English department over the years. It appeared that composition was very low on the department’s priority list, and by the spring of 1998 the administration made it clear to the English chair that in order for the department to continue receiving those new positions, the tenure-track faculty had better start teaching more composition.

The chair would be aided by an assistant or assistants and by three program directors, one for writing, one for literature, and one for graduate studies. Under this model, all three directors would participate in personnel decisions, which would have been one of the advantages. The programs would now be closely connected, giving graduate students the opportunity to train in composition. However, the major disadvantages, according to the committee, were that the chair’s responsibility wasn’t significantly reduced, the roles of the directors weren’t clearly delineated, and the size of the department wasn’t affected.

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