Transforming English Studies: New Voices in an Emerging Genre

SKU: 978-1-60235-097-7

Edited by Lori Ostergaard, Jeff Ludwig, and Jim Nugent

Lauer Series in Rhetoric and Composition
Edited by Patricia Sullivan, Catherine Hobbs, Thomas Rickert, and Jennifer Bay

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978-1-60235-097-7 (paperback, $30.00, £22.00, €24.00, $37.00 CAD); © 2009 by Parlor Press. 280 pages with notes, bibliography, and index.

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978-1-60235-098-4 (hardcover, $60.00, £44.00, €48.00, $74.00 CAD); 978-1-60235-099-1 (Adobe eBook, $16.00, £12.00, €14.00, $20 CAD)

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Transforming English Studies: New Voices in an Emerging Genre is a concerned response to the disciplinary crises—both real and imagined—that threaten the viability of contemporary English Studies. These crises have been variously cited as the lack of employment prospects for English Studies PhDs, the decline in English majors, the corporatization of the university, the crunch in academic publishing, widespread budget cutbacks, the varying perceptions of the value of scholarly work, and the field’s inequitable labor practices. Inspired by the work of Stephen North, Transforming English Studies contributes to a new and emerging genre of English Studies scholarship: the genre of self-reflexive disciplinary critique.

Transforming English Studies turns our attention to the field itself as an object of study and provides what Gary A. Olson calls in his forward to this book a “self-conscious, meta-level examination of the discipline qua discipline.” Bringing together scholars from multiple fields, Transforming English Studies offers polyvocal and transformative approaches to field-wide reform that go beyond preserving the disciplinary status quo. Instead, the contributors to this collection are distinguished by their insightful interrogation of the discipline’s seemingly mundane assumptions, their respect for how local contexts influence reform, and their acknowledgement of the diversity of our (inter)discipline.

About the Editors

Lori Ostergaard is an assistant professor of writing and rhetoric at Oakland University. Her scholarly interests include the history of composition and writing program administration.

Jeff Ludwig is a writing instructor at the University of Denver, specializing in modernist American literature, curricular reform in English Studies, and writing across the curriculum.

Jim Nugent is an assistant professor of writing and rhetoric at Oakland University. His research interests include neosophistic rhetorical theory, the teaching of technical writing, and certificate programs in technical communication.


Transforming the Discourse of Crisis, Gary A. Olson

1 Introduction: Preservation and Transformation, Jim Nugent and Lori Ostergaard

Part I: Negotiation and Collaboration           

2 Making Trouble Elsewhere: Second-Generation Con/fusion, Chris W. Gallagher, Peter M. Gray, and Shari J. Stenberg

3 Sociolinguistics as a Lens for Viewing English Studies, or Wearing My Ever-Lovin,’ Ever-Changin’ Heart on My Sleeve, Susan Meredith Burt

4 We’re All Teachers of English: The (Rocky) Road to Collaboration, Caren J. Town

Part II: Disciplinary Enactment         

5 Beside Disciplinary English: Working for Professional Solidarity by Reforming Academic Labor, David B. Downing

6 Embracing the Conflicts: An Argument Against Separating Writing Studies from English Studies, William P. Banks

7 Transforming Fragmentation into Possibility: Theory in the Corporate University, Matthew Abraham

Part III: Curricular Design     

8 The Purpose of the University and the Definition of English Studies: A Necessary Dialogue, Marcia A. McDonald

9 A Socially Constructed View of Reading and Writing: Historical Alternatives to “Bridging the Gap,” Lynée Lewis Gaillet

10 On the Border: Theorizing the Generalist, Matthew T. Pifer

Part IV: Kairotic Approaches

11 We Are (Not) One: Corrupting Composition in the Ruined University, Michael Pennell

12 English Teachers We Have Known, Christopher Schroeder

13 (Re)defining the Humanistic: Making Space for Technology in Twenty-First Century English Studies, Michael S. Knievel

14 Afterword: From Plainchant to Polyphony, Doug Hesse


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