Thursday, December 07, 2006

Composition, 1970 style

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I'm browsing issues of CCC from 1970. Some of the best parts are the ads. It's easy to see why Sirc has a certain nostalgia for late-60s composition. Textbooks called "The Rhetoric of No" and "NON-BOOKs." Something happened around 1975 or so. (And that's the topic of a chapter I'm working on right about now.)

The ads themselves:

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Daniel said...

Gotta love the non-book. What bothers me is that I think some writing scholars have become numb to the level of pain and drudgery that is formula-bound composition. Tension between the demands of our writing program and the desires of some of the instructors in our program arise all the time for me lately. With a small group on the side we have been reading sirc, hooks, new media stuff, etc. and the constant concern is that these moves won't fit with the program--will I get in trouble?

I'm jazzed because freedom is one of the threads that seems to be coming up in the end-of-semester portfolios I started looking at today. Students are genuinely grateful for a chance to be creative, express themselves, get outside of the conventions and stretch. I'll be curious to hear what you come up with about that 1970s turn. Have we come full circle, or did we never get anywhere to begin with.

bdegenaro said...

Were these seemingly transgressive textbooks coming from the "center" or from the "margins"? I'm wondering how mainstream were the critiques of the drudgery.

Sounds like great research--look forward to reading it.

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