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Composition Forum 52, Fall 2023

From the Editors: Volume 52

Christian Weisser, Ashley Holmes, and Faith Kurtyka

Discussions about theory and pedagogy are central to the field of Composition Studies. Composition Forum’s primary goal is to develop and foster dialogue surrounding this relationship, and we believe the current volume of this journal does exactly that. Featuring thirteen diverse scholarly texts in five different sections, this volume contributes unique insights to our comprehension of composition theory and pedagogy.

Volume 52 begins with an interview with Jackie Rhodes, a Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, a prolific scholar in rhetoric and composition and co-recipient of the 2022 CCCC Exemplar Award. In the interview, Rhodes discusses her current research projects, her documentary film ventures, the role of play and mindfulness in composing, and other engaging topics. We are thrilled to share this important 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’s Retrospective Article reflects on Janet Emig’s 1971 book The Composing Processes of Twelfth Graders—often cited as one of the most important works in the history of Composition Studies. The authors of this retrospective discuss Emig’s practice of “composing aloud,” which occurs in the writing process across settings as varied as classrooms, writing centers, and communities, and within various composition theories. We are excited to see such a landmark text revisited here in this journal. If you have an idea for a Retrospective article, reach out to our Retrospectives Editor.

The volume features six articles that engage the intersections of theory and pedagogy in writing studies. Playing with Mêtis, or, Cultivating Cunning in the Composition Classroom by Elizabeth Caravella puts scholarship on embodiment and emergent gameplay in conversation with one another to explore a potential means of cultivating mêtic intelligence in the composition classroom by empirically examining how an open world video game scaffolds mêtic intelligence and encourages mêtic strategies in its players. John Silvestro’s “These Posts Would Circulate Because People Love Complaining”: Adjusting Composition Pedagogies in an Era of Virality addresses theories of circulation through an empirical case study of first-year composition (FYC) students. In Marginalized Students Need to Write about Their Lives: Meaningful Assignments for Analysis and Affirmation, Nancy Mack addresses the bias against personal experience that often manifests in writing courses, arguing for more meaningful, experience-based, narrative writing assignments. Providing Peer Feedback as a Threshold Concept for Writing Transfer by Denise Comer presents the results of an IRB-approved study investigating what learners self-identify about their writing-transfer, proposing foregrounding writing transfer from providing peer feedback. Meridith Reed and Amy D. Williams’s Engaging Graduate Instructors in Composition Theory through Reflective Writing addresses various discursive patterns common in graduate student writing, discussing the connections between these students’ discursive strategies and their theoretical orientations. And Investigating Perspectives: The Impact of a Custom Common Textbook on FYW Instructors by Jessa M. Wood examines the impact of the custom common textbook on graduate and professional instructors in a First Year Writing program at a large Midwestern research university. If you have questions or comments about the articles in this volume, or wish to propose an article, contact our Managing Editors.

This volume offers two program profiles addressing the intersection between writing theory and pedagogy. English Language Learner Writing Center: Supporting Multilingual Students and Faculty who Teach them by Larysa Bobrova describes the establishment and development of the English Language Learner Writing Center (ELLWC) at Miami University.

Grappling with an Evolving Field: Developing an Undergraduate Writing Minor in Science Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara by Karen J. Lunsford and Amanda Stansell describes the development of a new track in Science Communication (SciComm) for an existing Professional Writing minor offered by an independent Writing Program. If you’d like to propose a profile of your institution’s program, please send a query to our program profile editors.

The Reviews section includes three timely reviews, including a Review of Greg Giberson, Megan Schoen, and Christian Weisser’s Behind the Curtain of Scholarly Publishing: Editors in Writing Studies by Paul Butler, Erin Cadenhead, Lea Colchado-Joaquin, Ann O’Bryan, Rand Khalil, Dalel Serda, and Virginia Swindell; a Review of Melissa Nicolas and Anna Sicari’s Our Body of Work: Embodied Administration and Teaching by Sarah Fischer; and a Review of James Rushing Daniel’s Toward an Anti-Capitalist Composition by Kerry M. Smith. Please send review queries—not unsolicited manuscripts—to our review editors.

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 Editors. General inquiries about the journal can be sent to Editor Christian Weisser.

Return to Composition Forum 52 table of contents.