Lance Massey âs readers are familiar with the various disciplinary tensions within composition studies: Are we humanists or social scientists (or both)? Should research be âempiricalâ or âsituated?â Should we even continue to teach firstyear composition? This last question invokes what has come to be known as the ânew abolitionistâ debate in composition (Connors 1995; Goggin and Miller 2000; Brooks 2002). New abolitionists like Sharon Crowley (1998) have issued a âchallengeâ to compositionâs âsacred cow, the universally required first-year composition course, because of . . . terrible employment conditions,â compositionâs âservice requirement,â and how âthe requirement patently misrepresents the needs of studentsâ (Brooks 2002: 27). Echoing new abolitionists, David W. Smit argues in The End of Composition Studies that composition and English need fundamental change in the face of disciplinary and professional crises. Moreover, he implicitly challenges claims by defenders of first-year composition that the course as currently conceived can, in fact, be a productive site of instruction, change, and resistance (Roemer, Schulz, and Durst 1999: 378). Yet The End of Composition Studies is not easily pigeonholed; Smitâs is neither an abolitionist nor a revisionist argument. Rather, it is what Mau: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition,
Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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