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Composition Forum 18, Summer 2008

From the Editors

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Christian Weisser

Volume 18 of Composition Forum provides exciting changes in the location, design, and editorial team of the journal. We have moved the journal to a new host, which allows us to develop the content and structure of the journal to take advantage of our web-based format. Please bookmark our new location:, and keep an eye on our weblog. To accommodate the growth of Composition Forum, we have two new editors involved in the journal’s production. Michelle Ballif has stepped into the role of Managing Editor, and Anis Bawarshi joins us as Programs Editor. Please see our submissions page for further information and submission guidelines for all of these features and sections.

The three essays in this volume offer new perspectives on the work of rhetoric and composition, focusing on the practices and tools that writers use. Mary Salibrici’s “The Habits of Writers: Models of the Private and Public” suggests that published writers can serve students as informal models for how processes happen behind the scene of public work. Students can examine connections between the private journals and notebooks of professional writers and their polished, more formalized public work. Salibrici argues that examining the ways in which working writers use journals and notebooks to suit their processes and projects helps student writers visualize the many possibilities open to them through such practices. Paul Miller takes on a similar subject, examining the metaphor of writing as tool. Miller’s “Writing on the Soul: Technology, Writing, and the Legacy of Plato” calls into question some basic notions of tools, problematizing the material/mental split in how we have viewed “tools” since ancient Greece. J.A. Rice’s “Politicizing Critical Pedagogies for the Logic of Late Capitalism” examines the material and political functions of global language and communication. Rice argues for a fundamental rethinking of the goals and methodologies for liberatory teaching, as well as its practical potential for bringing about viable pedagogical and communicative alternatives in a globalized world.

This volume includes two new Program Profiles. Jenn Fishman and Mary Jo Reiff’s “Taking the High Road: Teaching for Transfer in an FYC Program” addresses program-wide FYC curriculum revisions at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Their profile provides insights into the challenges and opportunities that composition programs nationally face as they are increasingly called upon to address the question of knowledge transfer. David Beard’s “More than 100 Years of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota” intertwines specific historical figures with some specific institutional sites in his program, inviting readers to rethink the inherent interdisciplinarity of rhetorical majors. Program Profile queries should go to Programs Editor Anis Bawarshi at

This volume also features four comprehensive book reviews, including our first review of a textbook: Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein’s They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing. We hope to expand not only the number but also the scope of reviews in the future, and we encourage reviews of important textbooks, websites, and other texts. Review queries should be sent to Derek Owens at

We hope you will visit this site often to view our progress. As mentioned above, we’ve started using a weblog to get news about the journal out more quickly. We are currently working to increase the visibility of articles in search engines, adopt web-publishing standards, and develop the archives section of the journal. Bradley Dilger welcomes questions or suggestions about the web site at

Please send general comments or suggestions about Composition Forum to Christian Weisser at Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to both Christian Weisser and Michelle Ballif.

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