Revolution Lullabye

November 15, 2010

Bishop, A Rose by Every Other Name

Bishop, Wendy. “A Rose by Every Other Name: The Excellent Problem of Independent Writing Programs.” .” In A Field of Dreams: Independent Writing Programs and the Future of Composition Studies. Ed. Peggy O’Neill, Angela Crow, and Larry W. Burton. Logan: Utah State UP, 2002. 233-246. Print.

Bishop reviews the other essays in the A Field of Dreams collection from her perspective: a comp/rhet faculty member in a large literature-heavy English department who has tried to maintain her own intellectual and administrative connections with English, only recently beginning to contemplate what it would mean for her and her institution to create an independent writing program. She looks at what is gained in independent programs – an increased respect for the research and teaching of composition (if not better working conditions for contingent faculty) – and what is lost – difficulty in attaining tenure, inability to solve institutional labor issues, bridging faculty whose alliances might be in competing departments, burn-out with the heavy load creating a program brings, affects on grad students and adjunct faculty who are excluded often from the decisions but still must continue their daily work in the middle of it.

Notes and Quotes

Corporate university and its effect on independent programs.


“Just like we claim in our writing classrooms – that a writer can’t write a better draft without learning about the failures of good attempts – so too we can’t learn to design better programs without experiencing problems on the road to improvement” (235).

“Compositionists use their intellect but often in service of action-oriented projects….They strike off across party lines, across class lines; and they fail to communicate primarily (or solely) by the book. Because of this, the field of composition has been misrepresented as anti-intellectual, atheoretical…and lacking in rigor” (237).


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