Sem Comp (Comp Pedagogy & “Minority” Rhets) (CR)

Composition Pedagogy & “Minority” Rhetorics

The field of
contemporary composition studies arose in the second half of the 20th
century, as the academy opened its doors to student populations previously
under-represented in college classrooms. With the introduction of
open-admission policies, affirmative action, and the GI bill, educators sought
to diversify their classrooms by opening access and by reforming pedagogical
practices. As literary scholars were questioning the foundations of the
“traditional” canon, so were teachers of college writing interrogating the
ideological assumptions behind what had previously been viewed as the study and
practice of “remedial” and first-year writing.  Relatedly, the past few decades have seen a
rise in critical examinations of the social, cultural, political and economic
functions of rhetoric, including special attention to the roles played by what
have been termed dominant, alternative, and minority rhetorics.

The combination of a
significant shift in student population, an interrogation of previously held
assumptions about effective writing pedagogies, and the re-examination of the
role of the western rhetorical canon has resulted in a set of challenging
questions for compositionists, ones which continue to influence their teaching
and scholarship. Perennial questions– “Can writing be taught, and if so, what
are its most effective methods?”, “What is the proper function of writing
pedagogy, and whose interests should it serve?” and “What are the relationships
among language, power, and identity in writing instruction?” have been
re-framed by challenges posed by critical theory, cultural critique, the
widespread (yet uneven) use of globalized technologies and media, and
multivocal/hybrid  texts that honor and
exemplify diverse writing practices and rhetorical expressions.

In this course, we
will consider such exciting and thought-provoking challenges to the practice
and theory of writing instruction in depth. We will refer to recent core texts
in composition studies that address diversity and writing pedagogy, looking for
ways in which they speak to one another and how they can effectively inform the
teaching of writing at the college level.


Short papers in
response to readings, on-line posts, and a seminar paper.

Required Texts:


In addition to relevant articles, the following
texts will be required reading


Adam Banks: Digital Griots: African
American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age

Gwendoyn Pough: Check
It While I Wreck It: Black Womanhood, Hip-Hop Culture and the Public Sphere

Morris Young and
LuMing Mao: Representations:
Doing Asian American Rhetoric

LuMing Mao: Reading
Chinese Fortune Cookie: The Making of Chinese American Rhetoric

John Scenters-Zapico
Generaciones: Narratives: The Pursuit and
Practice of Traditional and Electronic Literacies on the U.S.-Mexico

Damian Baca: Mestiz@
Scripts, Digital Migrations, and the Territories of Writing

Scott Richard
Lyons:  X-Marks: Native Signatures of