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Composition Forum 41, Spring 2019

From the Editors

Christian Weisser and Greg Giberson

Composition Forum’s unique focus as a scholarly venue is in the intersection of writing theory and pedagogy. As editors, we believe that scholarly work addressing this intersection is vital, both in our understanding of writing as a subject and in the application of writing pedagogy across diverse contexts. One aspect of this particular focus is that it often highlights the spaces and locations in which writing takes place, drawing attention to the fact that composition is situated, located, and contextual. This volume of Composition Forum provides a range of perspectives addressing that intersection. The interview, articles, program profile, and reviews in Volume 41 all contribute to our understanding of the spaces and contexts in which writing is situated.

The volume begins with an interview with scholar and author Bruce Ballenger, recently retired from Boise State University. In Composing a Career, from Expressivism to Essayism: A Conversation with Bruce Ballenger, interviewer Michael Michaud discusses a range of topics, including Bruce’s recent collaboration on a study of the revision processes of advanced writers. We are thrilled to share this important and engaging interview with 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 volume features six articles that engage the intersections of theory and pedagogy in writing studies, and these articles reflect the diverse spaces and contexts of writing. Extending the “Warming Trend” to Writing Transfer Research: Investigating Transformative Experiences with Writing Concepts by Sandra L. Tarabochia and Benjamin C. Heddy investigates “transformative experiences” that contribute to writing transfer. The authors propose instructional interventions to test how incorporating TE into writing pedagogy might enhance teaching and learning for transfer. David Gold, Merideth Garcia, and Anna V. Knutson’s Going Public in an Age of Digital Anxiety: How Students Negotiate the Topoi of Online Writing Environments identifies five topoi for examining technologies of literacy. This framework seeks to provide a critical vocabulary for compositionists seeking to help students negotiate emerging networked publics. In From Chaos to Cosmos, and Back: Place-Based Autoethnography in First-Year Composition, Ryan David Leack explores the scope, foundation, and application of autoethnography in first-year composition and critical thinking classrooms. By doing so, he suggests that place-based autoethnography is uniquely situated to engage students (and teachers) with their lifeworlds. Precarious Spaces, Institutional Places by T Passwater searches after more nuanced understandings of safe space pedagogies in writing classrooms. The article suggests that classrooms should not be thought of as singular places, and for that reason a safe space pedagogy cannot be thought of in stable or static terms. Jacob W. Craig’s Affective Materialities: Places, Technologies, and Development of Writing Processes examines how writers’ preferences for particular materials—places, technologies, objects—develop over time. Craig’s study suggests that writers’ material practices register both materially and affectively and are echoed in writers’ processes years later and shape how processes evolve as writers learn to write in new contexts. And Adrienne Jankens’ Learning How to Ask Writing Questions with Rhetorical Reflections describes the development of a pedagogical intervention designed to help students identify knowledge gaps and pose questions about rhetoric and genre. If you have questions or comments about the articles in this volume, or wish to propose an article, contact Managing Editor Greg Giberson.

This volume’s program profile offers another compelling study of the intersection between writing theory and pedagogy. From English-Centric to Multilingual: The Norman M. Eberly Multilingual Writing Center at Dickinson College by Noreen Lape describes a groundbreaking Writing Center that provides peer writing tutoring in eleven languages. Lape’s profile explains the development of Dickinson’s WC, the rationale and benefits of the model it employs, the collaborative governance structure that undergirds it, and the redefined pedagogical goals of that program’s tutor training. If you’d like to propose a profile of your institution’s program, please send a query to our program profile editors Ashley Holmes and Faith Kurtyka.

Volume 41 includes a review essay and three reviews of new scholarly books in writing studies, all of which reflect intersections between theory and pedagogy in the field. The section features Megan Busch’s review essay Fostering Community in Digital Composition Spaces: A Review of Writing in Online Courses: How the Online Environment Shapes Writing Practices and Thinking Globally, Composing Locally: Rethinking Online Writing in the Age of the Global Internet. The Reviews section also includes a Review of Stacey Waite‘s Teaching Queer: Radical Possibilities for Writing and Knowing by Joshua Barsczewski; a Review of Byron Hawk’s Resounding the Rhetorical: Composition as a Quasi-Object by Thomas Girshin; and a Review of Maureen Daly Goggin and Peter N. Goggin’s Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Research by Jill Parrott. Please send review queries—not unsolicited manuscripts—to our review editor Sean Morey.

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 Website Editor Kevin Brock at General inquiries about the journal can be sent to Editor Christian R. Weisser.

Return to Composition Forum 41 table of contents.