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Composition Forum 50, Fall 2022

From the Editors: Volume 50

Christian Weisser, Ashley Holmes, and Faith Kurtyka

Composition Forum published its first volume in 1989 as an offshoot of JAC: The Journal for Advanced Composition (later renamed JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics). At that time, JAC was emerging as one of the premier theory journals in rhetoric and composition, and its editors were receiving a growing number of high-quality articles that integrated theory and pedagogy. Rather than reject these articles in favor of those with a purely theoretical approach, Composition Forum was created as a space to publish work that focused on pedagogical theory in rhetoric and composition. While JAC focused on theoretical scholarship, Composition Forum focused on scholarship that merged theory and pedagogy.

It’s doubtful that anyone at JAC could foresee that Composition Forum would still be operating thirty-three years later—in fact, it has outlasted its progenitor. While so much has changed at Composition Forum in the past three decades, including editors, sections, format, and especially the range of topics, the journal’s primary focus has not. This FIFTIETH volume of Composition Forum continues to explore the junctures where composition theory and pedagogy meet and diverge. It contains fifteen scholarly texts of various types, and each contributes something different to our understandings of composition theory and pedagogy. We are thrilled to carry on this discussion here in Volume 50.

The volume begins with a retrospective entitled No, Really: Teach Writing as a Process not Product by Michael Michaud and Doug Downs, featuring Molly Howard, Jason Palmeri, James Zebroski, Elizabeth Blomstedt, Keith W. Mathias, Bee Chamcharatsri, Tim Taylor, and Donald Murray. The piece celebrates the fifty-year anniversary of Donald M. Murray’s Teach Writing as a Process Not Product by reflecting on its impact on the field and continued usefulness to teachers and scholars of Writing Studies. If you’d like to propose or suggest a retrospective article, contact our Retrospective Editor Elizabeth Wardle.

The volume features six articles that engage the intersections of theory and pedagogy in writing studies. Mindful Practice & Metacognitive Awareness in the Writing Class: A Quantitative Pilot Research Study by Kate Chaterdon investigates whether or not mindfulness interventions in a college writing class can help students develop metacognition. It does so through a pilot study consisting of a control group and a treatment group of students, both enrolled in a foundational writing course. In Exploring First-Year Writing Students’ Emotional Responses Towards Multimodal Composing and Sharing Academic Work with Online Public Audiences, Melanie Gagich explores the range and frequency of First-Year Writing students’ emotional responses towards a project requiring multimodal composing and distribution of their work to an online public audience prior to and after completing the assignment. The article offers pedagogical suggestions for instructors interested in critically integrating this type of digital assignment. Dan Melzer’s Responding for Transfer presents the results of a national study of response to student writing and argues for an approach to response called Responding for Transfer (RFT). The article presents evidence from this corpus to support an argument for an RFT approach that emphasizes student self-assessment, focuses teacher response on student metacognition rather than the products of drafts, and takes response into consideration in the design of vertical transfer curriculum. Writing Program Administration Embodied: Public-Facing Performativity in Times of Trauma by Jessie Blackburn explores a trauma-informed approach to writing program administration. The article incorporates concepts of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma while unpacking data of the types of trauma impacting students, faculty, and WPAs. And Sam Hamilton and Anastasiya Kalyuk’s Understanding Self-Efficacy in FYW: Students’ Belief in their Own Ability to Succeed in Postsecondary Writing Classrooms presents a study of first-year writing students to rate their confidence in how well they were able to engage in specific writing-related actions. The study found participating students perceived themselves strongest at executing writing-based courses of action related to Responsibility, Openness, and Persistence and weakest at executing courses of action related to Flexibility and Creativity. If you have questions or comments about the articles in this volume, or wish to propose an article, contact Managing Editors Ashley Holmes and Faith Kurtyka.

This volume also includes two program profile addressing the intersection between writing theory and pedagogy. Writing in the Dark: Keeping the Lights on in Writing Centers during the COVID-19 Pandemic by April Toadvine, Rasheedah Jenkins, and Christine Jeansonne describes challenges at the Writing Center at Southern University’s Baton Rouge campus. And Rethinking the Rhet Comp PhD: An Interdisciplinary and Rhetoric-Centered Approach to Graduate Studies at Clemson University by Hannah Taylor, Haley Swartz, Jacob Richter, and Mary McDermott addresses the changing nature of graduate programs and how they deal with it at their university. If you’d like to propose a profile of your institution’s program, please send a query to our program profile editors Crystal Fodrey and Meg Mikovits.

The reviews section includes a Review of Ellen Carillo’s The Hidden Inequities of Labor-Based Contract Grading by Charles Carroll; a Review of Allison Harper Hitt’s Rhetorics of Overcoming: Rewriting Narratives of Disability and Accessibility in Writing Studies by Leslie R. Anglesey; a Review of Alexandria L. Lockett, Iris D. Ruiz, James Chase Sanchez, and Christopher Carter’s Race, Rhetoric, and Research Methods by Madeline Crozier; a Review of Ellen C. Carillo and Alice S. Horning’s Teaching Critical Reading and Writing in the Era of Fake News by Mallory Pladus; a Review of Amanda Licastro and Benjamin Miller’s Composition and Big Data by John J. Silvestro; and a Review of Lockhart et al.’s Literacy and Pedagogy in an Age of Misinformation and Disinformation by Kaitlyn Samons. Please send review queries—not unsolicited manuscripts—to our review editors Rachel Daugherty and Jacquelyn Hoermann-Elliott.

Please follow us on Twitter @Comp_Forum for news and updates about the journal. We will continue to use Composition Forum’s Weblog as another source of information about the journal, and we encourage readers to contribute timely and pertinent information to our Twitter feed and to our 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, who is now being assisted in web duties by Paige Welsh, and we are excited to have her join the team. General inquiries about the journal can be sent to Editor Christian Weisser.

Return to Composition Forum 50 table of contents.