Professor Jessica Yood
Eng 784: Rhetoric, Composition and New Spaces for Writing
Lehman College, CUNY, Spring 2014, Tuesdays 6:00pm-8:40pm

This course begins with the premise that writing is undergoing a fundamental shift in this networked, digital age. By participating in multimodal composing and by reading and sharing theories and pedagogies of writing, we will open the semester with hand-on explorations of our relationship to writing. This study of writing frames our research into the primary debates in the field of Composition and Rhetoric, the discipline that has long been interested in rhetoric, writing, culture and pedagogy. We conclude by considering key arguments about the place of writing studies in thinking through and educating a changing public.

Goals and Course Objectives
At the start of the course

  • Students will create a personal course syllabus that lists expectations, prior knowledge and experience with the course material, and learning goals for the course. Students will be exposed to central debates in the new discipline of writing studies, participate in several writing and reading digital projects that engage in the theories and practices of this field, and receive an overview, through a survey of key articles, of the history of Composition and Rhetoric in American higher education.
  • Professor will expose students to a variety of innovative course syllabi in writing studies and offer workshops on thinking through the “personal syllabus” with the goal of connecting students’ interests and aspirations to particular threads in the field

At the midway of the course

  • Professor will conduct midterm evaluations and reevaluate learning goals for the remainder of the term
  • Students will have gained a broad historical understanding of the place of writing studies and Composition and Rhetoric in the landscape of higher education in American and be fluent in several theories, pedagogies, and digital platforms that inform composing, communication, and writing and teaching effectively today.

At the end of the course

  • Students will create a digital project that connects course goals with personal interests and contributes to ongoing research and scholarship in writing studies
  • Professor will offer feedback on final projects and  connect students to opportunities for teaching and research in the field of writing studies

All course material comes from Susan Miller, ed. The Norton Book of Composition Studies and Sidney I. Dobrin, Rice, Vastola, eds. Beyond Postprocess. These books are ready to buy at the Lehman College bookstore and on online sites. All course books much be purchased by the second class.

There will be five graded assignments: 

  1. Engagement: course attendance, tardiness and participation that includes coming to each class session, being prepared with the reading and actively involved in discussion, writing group activities, and in-class digital projects
  2. Continuous Writing with Reading: weekly posts to the googledocs set up for this course. Posts due by Sunday, 11:55pm. Please check the googledocs at least one hour before class meets Tues evening so that you can respond to conversations and be ready to engage in face to face discussion. 
  3. Finding My Course Syllabus: each student will create a syllabus that maps out his or her potential relationships to different aspects of the field
  4. Teaching a connection to the field: each student will choose one piece of scholarship to teach in any way he or she would like. We will use 45 minutes of class time for this. Students will choose their presentation date by Feb 4 and the article for their teaching at least one week before their date to teach. The article must be chosen from the Norton Book or Beyond Postprocess
  5. Final project: students will create a digital project, in consultation with professor.

*Descriptions of assignments and grading rubric found on course blackboard site.
*Assignments 1, 2 and 3= 50% of grade and Assignments 4 and 5 =50% of grade

Important College Information
Accommodating Disabilities
Lehman College is committed to providing access to all programs and curricula to all students. Students with disabilities who may need classroom accommodations are encouraged to register with the Office of Student Disability Services. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Disability Services, Shuster Hall, Room 238, phone number, 718-960-8441.

Lehman College Writing Tutoring
Lehman College has two tutoring centers on campus. The ACE provides appointment based and drop-in tutoring in the humanities, social sciences, and writing, as well as general writing skills and test preparation workshops for the CPE. The SCL provides drop-in tutoring for natural and computer science courses. To obtain more information about the ACE and the SLC, please visit their website at, or please call the ACE at 718-960-8175, and the SLC at 718-960-7707.

Course Schedule
NB= Norton Book of Composition Studies (Ed. Susan Miller)
BPP= Beyond Postprocess (Eds. Dobrin, Rice, Vastola)
Readings Due= readings that must be done and commented on by the Sunday (11 55pm) before class meets in order to respond on googledocs

Jan 28 Introduction: What is Writing Studies?    
Reading: Writing Program Administrators Outcomes Statements for First-Year Writing and Various syllabi in “Writing Studies”
Feb 4 English Studies and What is Writing Studies: A History
Reading due: Parker, “Where do English Departments Come From?” (NB); Couture, “Writing and Accountability” (BPP)
Presentation1: Professor presents

Feb 11 Rhetoric and Composition and Writing Studies
Reading due: Corbett, “The Cornell School of Rhetoric” (NB); Emig, from The Composing Processes of Twelfth Graders (NB), 
Writing due: googledocs 1
Presentation(s) 2

Feb 18 Rhetoric and Composition and Writing Studies
Reading due: Shaughnessy, Introduction to Errors and Expectations (NB), Hairston, “The Winds of Change” (NB)
Writing due: googledocs 2
Presentation 3

Feb 25 Rhetoric and Composition and Writing Studies
Reading due: Rose, “The Language of Exclusion” (NB), Bartholomae, “Inventing” (NB)
Writing due: personal course syllabus
Presentation 4

March 4 Composition and Process
Reading due: Lu, “Redefining the Legacy of Mina Shaughnessy” (NB), Moss, “Literacy in African-American Churches” (NB)
Writing due: googleodocs 3
Presentation 5

March 11 Composition and Process
Reading due: Elbow, “Some Thoughts on Expressive Discourse” (NB), Sirc, “The Salon of 2010” (BPP)
Presentation 6
Writing due: googledocs 4

March 18 No Class, Conference on College Composition and Communication  
Reading due: Sommers, “Revision Strategies” (NB)
Writing due: return to one googlepost and revise one of your posts

March 25 Composition and Post-Process
Reading due: Atkinson, “Writing in the Post-Process Era” (NB), 
Writing due: googledocs 5
Presentation 7

April 1 Composing and Writing
Reading due: Kent, “Preface” (BPP), Dobrin et al “Introduction” (BPP)
Writing due: googledocs 6

April 8 Composing and Writing
Reading due: Brandt and Clinton, “Limits of the Local” (NB), Rice, “Folksomic Narratives” (BPP)
Presentation 8

April 15 No Class, Spring Break

April 22 No Class, Spring Break

April 29 Writing Studies
Reading due: Hawk, “Reassembling Postprocess” (BPP), revisiting previously read
Writing due: draft of final project posted to googledocs

May 6 Writing Studies
Reading due: revisiting previously read
Presentation 9, 10

May 13 Last Day of Classes
Writing due: Final project