Inventing the Discipline: Student Work in Composition Studies

Edited by Stacey Waite and Peter Wayne Moe

Working and Writing for Change
Series Editors: Steve Parks and Jessica Pauszek. Associate Editor: Justin Lewis.

978-1-64317-343-6 (Web); (c) 2022 by the editors and authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Book designed by Justin Lewis. Free to read online.

About This Book

Inventing the Discipline: Student Work in Composition Studies argues that attending to student writing is still a radical act in composition studies––strange as that may seem.  While many articles and books quote student writing, Inventing the Discipline tends exclusively to student compositions, asking how we might read them, what we might make of them in the classroom, how we might value them, and to what ends. By reorienting the field around students themselves and the kinds of work they do in composition classrooms, the essays collected here invite us to consider how our students are our discipline.

Our contributors speak to the aims of this book: to bring a diverse set of voices––and, in particular, those from underrepresented groups––from a diverse set of locations (community colleges, small liberal arts schools, regional universities, R1s) into conversation on what matters most to the teaching of writing: students and their compositions. With essays written (and co-written) by undergrads and graduate students, adjunct faculty, and tenure-line faculty and addressing topics ranging from traditional essays to digital essays to multimodal work, Inventing the Discipline broadens not only who speaks about student writing but also what counts as student work.

Front Page and Navigation

Stacey Waite

Pedagogical Genealogies
Peter Wayne Moe

Student Writing
Bruce Horner


“It’s Not about You,” or, Getting Out of My Own Way to Better Perceive Composition
Eric A. House

Respectfully, Michael: A Narrative Exploration of Student Writing and What We Might Make of Its Beautiful Disruptions
Gina Tranisi

Undervaluing Student Writing in Composition Courses: A Reading Problem
Michael Bunn


Christie Toth

(Anti)Racist World-Makings in theUniversity: Reinventing Student Work
Pritha Prasad

Community College Students at the Center: Supporting the Uptake of Academic Discourse in the First-Year CompositionClassroom
Jane S. Nazzal


Diving In: A Redux
Jessica Enoch

From “Low-Stakes” to the Real Deal: Student Writing, the Weekly Assignment, and Topics-Based Curricula
James E. Seitz

Developing Academic Identity while Inventing the University
Bernice Olivas


Rhetorical Clash in Draft Review as Productive Intercultural Kairos
Chanon Adsanatham

Our (Students’) Work (and Play) CanMake Us Smarter Next Time
Donna Qualley and Matthew Sorlien

Disrupting Hierarchies of Knowledge; StudentWriting in the Digital Transgender Archive La
Mariel Aleman, Alice Galvinhill, Keith Plummer, and K. J. Rawson 


Writing with Students to Make an Academia with More Room
Rachael Shah

Inventing Happens in Perpetuity
Ashanka Kumari


The Field & The Force: Notes from Prison Teaching
Cory Holding

Writing for Change: Re-Inventing the University
Danielle Althouse, Ciara Bailey, Amanda Beinhauer, Cailin Brashear, Jacqueline Bridges, Mia DiFelice, Jonathan Frye, Clara Grantier, Phillip Koman, Mary Lawrence, Lucas Lecomte, Louis M. Maraj, Christopher Minor, Ana Moser, Kayla Ortiz, David Patlakh, Victoria Pfefferle-Gillot, Hannah Polk, Yizhan Qu, Anna Rosenberg, Marina Sullivan, and Sarah Tolaymat

Re)Humanizing the Discipline: Students’ Critical Story-ing as a Resource Archive
Sherita V. Roundtree


Messiness Matters: A Story of Writing in One Act
Derek Tanios Imad Mkhaiel and Jacqueline Rhodes

Student Writing on Student Writing
Treviene Harris, Nozomu Saito, Amanda Awanjo, Sam Lane, Nelesi Rodriquez, Tanya Shirazi, Khirsten L. Scott, and Cory Holding

DBLAC and Student Writing: Turning Individual Pain into Collective Gain
Khirsten L. Scott and Louis M. Maraj


Gettin Crunk with Composition Studies
Vershawn Ashanti Young

About the Editors

Stacey Waite is Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of English and Graduate Chair at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Waite is the author of Teaching Queer: Radical Possibilities for Writing and Knowing (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017). Waite’s work has appeared in College Composition and CommunicationPedagogy, Peitho, and Literacy in Composition Studies. Along with David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky, Waite edits Ways of Reading: An Anthology for Writers, now in its 11th edition.  

Peter Wayne Moe is an associate professor of English at Seattle Pacific University, where, for six years, he also served as the director of campus writing. His work has appeared (among other places) in College Composition and CommunicationRhetoric Society QuarterlyRhetoric Review, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, and Longreads.  His book––Touching This Leviathan––was published by Oregon State University Press in 2021.

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