Historical Studies of Writing Program Administration: Individuals, Communities, and the Formation of a Discipline

SKU: 1-932559-22-1

Edited by Barbara L’Eplattenier and Lisa Mastrangelo

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

Information and Pricing
1-932559-22-1 ($30.00, paperback); © 2004 by Parlor Press. 316 pages, with index, notes, and bibliography

Other Formats Available
1-932559-23-X ($58.00, cloth); 1-932559-24-8 ($12.00, Adobe eBook)

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Winner of the 2004-2005 WPA Best Book Award


Historical Studies of Writing Program Administration: Individuals, Communities, and the Formation of a Discipline collects essays that shine new light on the early history of writing program administration. Broad in scope, the book illuminates the development of the profession in the narratives of the individuals who helped form the discipline prior to the emergence of the Council of Writing Program Administrators in 1976, including those narratives of Gertrude Buck and Laura J. Wylie, Edwin Hopkins, Regina Crandall, Rose Colby, George Jardine, Clara Stevens, Stith Thompson, and George Wykoff. Drawing from deep archival work, these narratives offer rare glimpses into writing program administration and the development of composition as a college requirement.

What others are saying about Historical Studies of Writing Program Administration

“It is a marvelous, ground-breaking book . . . an important contribution to an important field. Everyone interested in composition and rhetoric will read and cite this book. It is quite alone in its focus on the pre-history of the WPA function.”
— Edward M. White


In addition to eleven chapters from contributors, Historical Studies of Writing Program Administration includes a preface by Edward M. White, a concluding essay by Jeanne Gunner, interviews with Erika Lindemann and Kenneth Bruffee, and a detailed introduction by the editors, Barbara L’Eplattenier and Lisa Mastrangelo.

About the Editors

Barbara L’Eplattenier is assistant professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Arkansas—Little Rock, where she teaches in the professional writing track. Her historical research focuses on the rhetoric of Progressive Era women. She has published in IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication and The Writing Program Administrator as Researcher: Inquiry in Action and Reflection.

Lisa Mastrangelo is assistant professor of English and coordinator of Women’s Studies at the College of St. Elizabeth, where she teaches courses in composition, rhetoric, creative nonfiction, and playwriting. Her research interests include nineteenth-century writing instruction and administration at women’s colleges. Her work in this area has been published in Rhetoric Review.


List of Figures and Tables
Preface, Edward M. White
Why Administrative Histories? Barbara L’Eplattenier and Lisa Mastrangelo

Part I: Individuals

The WPA as Publishing Scholar: Edwin Hopkins and The Labor and Cost of the Teaching of English
Randall Popken

“Replacing Nice, Thin Bryn Mawr Miss Crandall with Fat, Harvard Savage”: WPAs at Bryn Mawr College, 1902 to 1923
D’Ann George

Cooperative Writing ‘Program’ Administration at Illinois State Normal University: The Committee on English of 1904-05 and the Influence of Professor J. Rose Colby
Kenneth Lindblom and Patricia A. Dunn

Building a Career by Directing Composition: Harvard, Professionalism, and Stith Thompson at Indiana University
Jill Terry Rudy

Part II: Communities
The “Advance” Toward Democratic Administration: Laura Johnson Wylie and Gertrude Buck of Vassar College
Suzanne Bordelon

“Is It the Pleasure of this Conference to Have Another?” Women’s Colleges Meeting and Talking about Writing in the Progressive Era
Lisa Mastrangelo and Barbara L’Eplattenier

Sifting Through Fifty Years of Change: Writing Program Administration at an Historically Black University
Deany M. Cheramie

Part III: Discipline
A Genesis of Writing Program Administration: George Jardine at the University of Glasgow
Lynée Lewis Gaillet

Moving Toward a Group Identity: WPA Professionalization from the 1940s to the 1970s
Amy Heckathorn

Representing the Intellectual Work of Writing Program Administration: Professional Narratives of George Wykoff at Purdue, 1933-1967
Shirley K Rose

Industrial-Strength Composition and the Impact of Load on Teaching
John Heyda

Doomed to Repeat It?: A Needed Space for Critique in Historical Recovery
Jeanne Gunner

Contributing Authors
Acknowledgments and Illustration Credits

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