Seminar, Friday, 6/09/2017

Composition/Rhetoric/Writing Studies as an Academic Field

  • An interest in how texts are produced
  • An interest in ordinary language—that is, in the writing of students, workers, and community members

A Brief Composition Timeline 

CCC1874          Harvard College institutes a written entrance exam

1944          GI Bill

1949          Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) founded, CCC  begins publication

1966          Dartmouth Seminar on the Teaching of English

Dartmouth Seminar 1966

1969          Open Admissions founded at CUNY

1971          Janet Emig publishes The Composing Processes of Twelfth Graders

1974          CCCC endorses The Students’ Right to Their Own Language

1977          Mina Shaughnessy publishes Errors and Expectations


1987          Wyoming Conference Resolution Opposing Unfair Salaries and Working   Conditions for Teachers of Postsecondary Writing

1995           Elbow/Bartholomae debate on personal and academic writing

1996          The New London Group publishes “A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies”



Joseph Harris, A Teaching Subject, 2nd ed, 2012


Continuing On

Reflections on This Seminar

We hope to continue to offer this seminar in the future, and so would much appreciate your help as we refine and move forward with this project. I’d thus like to ask you to do some reflective writing in which you respond to any or all of the following questions:

  • What should we make sure to continue to do?
  • What might we do more of?
  • What could we perhaps do differently?

We may draw on your your comments as part of a report to the Mellon Foundation, so please don’t put your name on them. Instead use Guerilla Mail to email your reflection anonymously to John Paulas. He will organize them for our review. Thanks!


Have your laptop open with your course site displayed. Turn your screen to the middle of the room. Walk around, see what people are doing, and talk to them about it.

Some Closing Thoughts (For Now) From Me

I thought this week was at once exhausting and invigorating. I’m excited by the courses you are designing, and I think Berkeley is lucky to have you! Please don’t hesitate to contact me in the coming weeks and months. I’m eager to keep in touch.

Thanks for your work!