English | Problems in Composition, Literature & Literacy
L705 | 26021 | Schilb


L705   26021 SCHILB (#6)
Problems in Composition, Literature & Literacy

1:25p  4:25p R

TOPIC:  THE SOCIAL CONTEXTS OF COMPOSING

In key respects, this course will trace the history of composition
studies as a field.  It will focus on composition scholarship from
roughly the 1970s (when the field began to be recognized as
genuinely intellectual) to the present.  More specifically, we will
examine and evaluate this scholarship as a series of attempts to
define the social contexts of composing.  We will consider how, in
succeeding stages, composition specialists defined social context as
the rhetorical situation, as discourse communities, as "contact
zones," as activity systems, and as electronic networks.
Additionally, we will analyze the ways in which these scholars took
into account such factors as gender, race, class, sexual
orientation, nationality, and physical location.  To enrich our
perspective on composition studies, we will also consult other
fields that deal with "the social," including rhetoric, literary
studies, cultural studies, theories of new media, and economics.
Most of the reading will be in the form of articles, although we
will read at least one full-length book, Alan Liu's The Laws of
Cool:  Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information.

Students will be required to make one class presentation; to write a
few microthemes on the readings; and to write a major (20 page)
paper reflecting their own research interests.

I am open to suggestions for readings and for any other features of
the course; feel free to email me (jschilb@indiana.edu).