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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Comp Studies

I also realize that I am largely ignorant of the field of rhetoric and composition studies. I realize that it is a legit field that has a lot to say about writing that I ought to be incorporating into this blog. If this were intelligent motivational tricks, I would have studied all that before even beginning it. I've read an issue or two of College English, and I haven't been impressed, but I'm keeping an open mind.

That being said, I think I would disagree with a lot of the positions taken in this field, which arose in English departments out of the need to theorize the teaching of composition in a way not necessarily dependent on that other function of English departments, the teaching of literature. My aim here is to teach writing in disciplines that take literature, and other forms of art, seriously, so I wouldn't exactly be crazy about the extra- if not anti-literary ethos of the field. I think the cognitive psychology grounding of Turner and Thomas's Clear and Simple will eventually make an end-run around Comp studies and make a lot it irrelevant anyway. We'll see.

5 comments:

Andrew Shields said...

It is an extraordinary book (Turner and Thomas); thanks for recommending it!

Bronwen said...

I'm really interested in this relationship too (between teaching of composition and teaching of literature). I'll be curious to see your continuing thoughts on the matter.

Jonathan said...

i'll have to read more composition theory first to come fully armed for the battle.

Clarissa said...

Jonathan: have you ever taught creative writing in Spanish? Would you like to?

How do you feel about suggestions to teach creative writing courses in any language? How about a suggestion to teach English for Bloggers?

Jonathan said...

I distrust creative writing as an academic subject. I would try never to teach it for that reason, even if I were qualified to do so. I wouldn't be qualified to teach creative writing in Spanish.