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Composition Forum 32, Fall 2015

From the Editors: Volume 32

Christian Weisser, Mary Jo Reiff, and Anis Bawarshi

In keeping with our field’s scholarship, Composition Forum continues to expand and transform to keep pace with developments in writing studies. We are especially pleased to announce an expansion in our editorial staff with this issue, which will enable the journal to better meet the needs and interests of our readers. Anis Bawarshi has transitioned from his role as Program Profile Editor to join Mary Jo Reiff as one of two Managing Editors of the journal. Anis and Mary Jo, along with assistant editors Angela Green, Shane Wood, and Ann Shivers-McNair, will work together to manage the blind peer-review process for submitted articles, among other duties. Greg Giberson, Jim Nugent, and Lori Ostergaard join the staff as incoming Program Profile Editors, bringing with them a wealth of experience in this important genre of scholarship. Please join us in congratulating all four of these editors in their new positions.

This volume also includes a feature that is new to Composition Forum, yet worthwhile and significant in extending the conversations in our field. Many readers have shared their appreciation for Volume 31: Special Issue on Rhetorical Genre Studies that was guest edited by Dylan B. Dryer. Heather Lindemann’s article in Volume 31 has prompted a response by Kathleen Blake Yancey, Liane Robertson, and Kara Taczak which readers can find in the “Responses” section of this issue. Alongside that response, we have published Professor Lindemann’s rebuttal. We appreciate these scholars’ dedication and care in extending the conversations in productive and useful ways.

This volume’s feature interview with Dr. Thomas Newkirk discusses his work in the field of writing studies over the past several decades. Newkirk argues for a vision of composition that maintains the connection between teaching and scholarship and re-affirms the significance of the field’s historical service-based mission of providing high-quality writing instruction to students across the age-span. As interviewer Michael Michaud writes, Newkirk is “an eclectic and restless scholar [who] has written about research methodology, writing conferences, standardized testing, Michel de Montaigne, the intersections of identity and writing, popular culture, masculinity, and the Common Core standards,” and we are pleased to present this interview to our readers. If you’d like to propose or suggest an interview with a leading scholar in rhetoric and composition, contact our Interviews Editor.

The Retrospective article in this volume is written by Deborah Mutnick and Shannon Carter, and it is entitled Valuing the Literate Skills and Knowledge of Academic Outsiders: A Retrospective on Two Basic Writing Case Studies. In this retrospective, the authors reflect on the reciprocity and wider, political implications of their separate yet related early research on basic writing (BW) in light of a close collaboration on a more recent project. To learn more about the Retrospective section or to nominate an author or essay for the section, please visit our Submissions page. Please send Retrospectives queries or nominations to the Retrospectives Editor.

This volume includes seven new articles addressing diverse aspects of composition theory and pedagogy. Mapping the Resourcefulness of Sources: A Worknet Pedagogy by Derek Mueller examines “worknets” as an alternative to traditional source-use in research, offering instead an approach that encourages students to trace associations along semantic, bibliographic, affinity-based, and choric aspects of the research source and across the contexts from which it was produced. Stephanie Kerschbaum’s Anecdotal Relations: On Orienting to Disability in the Composition Classroom examines the ways in which disability narratives can frustrate productive negotiations with disability in the classroom. In the article From Logic to Rhetoric: A Contextualized Pedagogy for Fallacies, Anne-Marie Womack argues that fallacies are directly linked to successful rhetorical strategies, and she poses the visual organizer of the Venn diagram to demonstrate that claims can achieve both success and failure based on audience and context. In Resistance and Identity Formation: The Journey of the Graduate Student-Teacher, Jennifer Grouling works to complicate our narratives of GTA resistance within practicum courses by situating this resistance in the larger process of identity formation and graduate school. Jeff Sommers’ The Virtual Workplace Ethnography: Positioning Student Writers as Knowledge Makers explores the challenges of a “virtual workplace” writing assignment, offering examples of student texts and student metacommentaries on the work. The article (Teaching) Essayist Literacy in the Multimedia World by Santosh Khadka presents an argument for the “re-turn” of essayist literacy in multimedia and multiliteracy contexts. And Pearce Durst’s Film in the Advanced Composition Classroom: A Tapestry of Style concludes the articles section of this issue through an analysis of film as worthy of rhetorical inquiry and deserving of more sustained attention in the advanced composition classroom.

The four Program Profiles in this volume expand our contextual knowledge of writing programs, and they include eComp at the University of New Mexico: Emphasizing 21st Century Literacies in an Online Composition Program by Tiffany Bourelle and Andrew Bourelle; The Source of Our Ethos: Using Evidence-Based Practices to Affect a Program-Wide Shift from ‘I Think’ to ‘We Know’ by Elizabeth G. Allan, Dana Lynn Driscoll, D.R. Hammontree, Marshall Kitchens, and Lori Ostergaard; Fostering Research Identities in Two-Course Writing Sequences: A Curricular Perspective by Thomas Sura; and Assessment as Living Documents of Program Identity and Institutional Goals: A Profile of Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Composition Program by Daniel Reardon and Alexander Wulff.

This volume also offers four reviews of important new texts in writing studies. These reviews include a review of Paul Lynch’s After Pedagogy: The Experience of Teaching by Pegeen Reichert Powell; a review of Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander’s Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Nathan Wagner; a review of Ben Rafoth’s Multilingual Writers and Writing Centers by Michael Pak; and a review of Barbara Monroe’s Plateau Indian Ways With Words: The Rhetorical Tradition of the Tribes of the Inland Northwest by Daniel Cole.

We will continue to use Composition Forum’s Weblog to disseminate news and updates about the journal more quickly. We encourage readers to contribute timely and pertinent information to the blog. Add our feed to your newsreader to receive alerts about new volumes of Composition Forum and other news from the field of rhetoric and composition. Please send questions or comments about the Composition Forum website to

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