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Recently in 104 - History Category

Ritter, Kelly. "Before Mina Shaughnessy: Basic Writing at Yale, 1920-1960." CCC 60.1 (2008): 12-45.


This article examines Yale's "Awkward Squad" of basic writers between 1920 and 1960. Using archival materials that illustrate the socioeconomic conditions of this early, "pre-Shaughnessy" site of remedial writing instruction, I argue for a re-definition of basic in composition studies using local, institutional values rather than generic standards of correctness applied uniformly to all colleges and universities.

Lamos, Steve. "Literacy Crisis and Color-Blindness: The Problematic Racial Dynamics of Mid-1970s Language and Literacy Instruction for 'High-Risk' Minority Students." CCC 60.1 (2008): 46-81.


This article argues that mid-1970s discourses of literacy crisis prompted a problematic shift toward color-blind ideologies of language and literacy within both disciplinary and institutional discussions of writing instruction for "high-risk" minority students. It further argues that this shift has continuing import for contemporary antiracist writing instruction.

Spring, Suzanne B. "Seemingly Uncouth Forms": Letters at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. CCC 59.4 (2008): 633-675.


Dispelling historical narratives in composition and rhetoric that largely depict nineteenth- century student compositions as "vacuous" themes, this archival study examines women's compositions at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary as complex generic hybrids, in which the composition is fused with common social and dialogic forms. By focusing particularly on two related hybrid forms--the letter composition and the sermon composition--this article demonstrates the discursive nature of women's intellectual work as it circulated within and beyond seminary walls, in both written and oral forms, serving as localized evidence of a gendered antebellum epistolary culture.

Kopelson, Karen. Sp(l)itting Images; or, Back to the Future of (Rhetoric and?) Composition. CCC 59.4 (2008): 750-780.


This article places responses received from an open-ended survey of graduate students and faculty in dialogue with published commentary on the scope of composition studies as a discipline to explore three interrelated disciplinary dilemmas: the "pedagogical imperative," the "theory-practice split," and the increasingly complicated relationship between "rhetoric" and "composition" as our field's titular terms.

Wu, Hui. "Writing and Teaching behind Barbed Wire: An Exiled Composition Class in a Japanese-American Internment Camp." CCC 59.2 (2007): 237-262.


By reflecting on Japanese internment camps executed by the U.S. government in World War II, this article examines camp schools' curricula and writing assignments and an English teacher's response to student essays to show how racially profiled students and their Caucasian teacher negotiated the political meanings of civil rights and freedom.

Anokye, Akua Duku. "2007 CCCC Chair's Address: Voices of the Company We Keep." CCC 59.2 (2007): 263-275.



Lerner, Neal. "Rejecting the Remedial Brand: The Rise and Fall of the Dartmouth Writing Clinic." CCC 59.1 (2007): 13-35.


"Branding" a university in an effort to attract student applicants and alumni dollars is increasingly commonplace. The history of the Dartmouth Writing Clinic attests to the ways student writers represent an institution's brand and provides a troubling picture of a world in which under-prepared students are branded out of existence.

Beasley, James P. "'Extraordinary Understandings' of Composition at the University of Chicago." CCC 59.1 (2007): 36-52.


While Richard Weaver, R. S. Crane, Richard McKeon, and Robert Streeter have been most identified with rhetoric at the University of Chicago and its institutional return in the 1950s, the archival record demonstrates that Frederick Champion Ward, dean of the undergraduate "College" from 1947 to 1954, and Henry W. Sams, director of English in the College during Ward's tenure, created the useful tensions for these positions to emerge.

Mutnick, Deborah. "Inscribing the World: An Oral History Project in Brooklyn." CCC 58.4 (2007): 626-647.


This essay reports on a university-school oral history project at an elementary school in Brooklyn, New York. It theorizes the dialectic of place and history as expressed in the voices of the school community and goes on to suggest some tenets for a public sphere pedagogy rooted in material rhetoric and economic geography.

Powers, M. Karen and Catherine Chaput. "'Anti-American Studies' in the Deep South: Dissenting Rhetorics, the Practice of Democracy, and Academic Freedom in Wartime Universities." CCC 58.4 (2007): 648-681.


Using Frederic Jameson, we outline concentric circles of the political unconscious structuring debates about academic freedom at the national and state levels. By drawing parallels between the World War I university and the contemporary university, we suggest that such circles function historically, always bearing traces of an earlier time. To illustrate implications at one local site, we discuss the "Anti-American Studies" fliers repeatedly posted in our department and end by emphasizing the importance of using critical writing pedagogies to encourage opportunities for dissenting rhetorics.