CFP: Future(s) of Composition (3/1/04; collection)

full name / name of organization:
contact email: 

Call for Papers:

For an edited collection tentatively entitled

The What Next? Generation: Emerging (Re)Visions of Composition Studies

Edited by Jonathan Alexander (University of Cincinnati) and
Jacqueline Rhodes (California State University, San Bernardino)

Kathleen Blake Yancey, in her Keynote Address for the upcoming CCCC, plans to pose the question, "As we move into the 21st century, what do (and what will) we mean by composing?"  The question begs yet another densely inter-related question: "As we move into the 21st century, what do (and what will) we mean by teaching composition?"  As composition programs across the country continue to change, develop, and assess curricula, methods, and even the structure of administering composition and writing, it's important to ask what trends and values are emerging that will shape the future of writing instruction in our colleges and universities.

Indeed, what we mean by composition, writing instruction, literacy—-all are in fl
ux, and the next few decades promise to bring a number of changes due to shifting economies and subsequent shifting in institutional priorities.  At the same time, composition specialists relatively new to the field are bringing to bear on these changes their own ideas, their own responses, and their own energies in thinking through the future of our field.  Often referring to themselves as the "Generation X" of composition studies--a generation standing with one foot in the social-turn and the other somewhere in the post-process movement--these compositionists attempt to juggle innovative pedagogies and disparate theories, often in ways that challenge recently-past pedagogies, theories, and assumptions about writing instruction.  Many innovations that a new generation brings to writing instruction come from advanced work with social-epistemic theories and interdisciplinary connections made with a host of other fields of inquiry, such as disability studies, feminism and women
's studies, psychology, queer theory, religious studies, and sociology.  Additionally, new compositionists continue to highlight the ongoing impact of digital and technological literacies on how we communicate, both with text and visuals.  And finally, as newer teacher-scholars experiment with distance-learning platforms and other structural changes to the "delivery" of writing instruction, we need to assess how such venues will impact our field and its commitment to the development—and definition—of literacy among students.

Given these shifts, fads, and trends, our question is simple: what next? That is, if the emerging generation of composition specialists takes a step back and views the field as a whole, what would they see?  With their immersion in the field of composition and rhetoric, and with their fresh insights into pedagogical, theoretical, and institutional shifts, what do these compositionists see as the "hot spots," the major issues, the immediate present as it
refracts the future of our field?

We seek essays that address questions and that locate them in theoretically informed and engaging discussions about the state-—and future(s)—-of composition.  If you are interested in contributing, please contact the editors with an initial query by March 1, 2004.  Queries may be either in the form of an abstract of no more than 200 words or a letter of intent with some indication of what you would like to do in your contribution.  Please submit via email to and  Final submitted papers will be approximately 20-25 pages in length, typed doubled-spaced, in MLA format.  We hope to review complete drafts by June 15, with revisions expected by September 1.

Jonathan Alexander is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati, where he also serves as Director of the English Composition Program.

Jacqueline Rhodes is Assistant Professor of Engl
ish at California State University, San Bernardino, where she has served as composition coordinator, technology coordinator, and associate coordinator of the M.A. program in English Composition.

Prof. Jacqueline Rhodes
Department of English
CSU San Bernardino
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA  92407

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Received on Mon Jan 19 2004 - 20:42:35 EST