Revolution Lullabye

November 15, 2010

Enos, Keeping (in) Our Places, Keeping Our Two Faces

Enos, Theresa. “Keeping (in) Our Places, Keeping Our Two Faces.” .” 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. 247-252. Print.

Enos questions whether creating stand-alone departments of writing is really beneficial to the people in the field and the place of the discipline at the institution. She argues that the independent programs that seem to be emerging focus primarily on the more practical, career-oriented aspects of composition instead of on the histories, theories, and practices of rhetoric, a move she argues both hurts composition and rhetoric’s place in the university (perpetuates its identity as a skills-based discipline instead of a “metadiscipline” with both theory and methodology) and does not prepare undergraduates for graduate level work in rhetoric and composition. She wonders if the departmentalization of independent writing departments might further marginalize writing at the university.

Notes and Quotes

She points out that most independent programs and departments are housed in small liberal arts colleges and some 4-year universities; there are very few in comprehensive or research universities (she notes Syracuse as a primary exception to this, and also Syracuse, she points out, is one of the few stand-alone departments that houses a PhD program.)

Will PhDs in rhetoric/composition – or “composition specialists” as they’ll no doubt be named – be turned out only to become permanent non-tenure-track instructors?” (252)


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