Kathleen Blake. "Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key."
CCC 56.2 (2004): 297-328.
Yancey repeatedly points out to the 2004 CCCC audience in San Antonio that
"we have a moment" primed for composition in a new key. This new
composition involved expanded notions of writing brought about with rapidly
changing digital technologies. Yancey’s pastiche text celebrates contributions
from past chairs while establishing composition in a new key relative to four
aspects or considerations:
1. Writing outside of school; electracy as a legitimate third literacy;
2. Disciplinary background; FYC as raison de etre;
3. Programmatic change (new curriculum, renewed WAC, writing majors);
4. Curricular control and assessment.
Yancey explains that the new model of composition is anchored by the
circulation of writing, the canons of rhetoric (which are co-operating, not
discrete), and the deicity of technology (312). She also notes that much of what
came about conceptually with process has gone unquestioned and that we should
wonder why writing for teacher continues to prevail.
"At this moment, we need to focus on three changes: Develop a new
curriculum; revisit and revise our writing-across-the-curriculum efforts;
and develop a major in composition and rhetoric" (308).
"Never before has the proliferation of writings outside the academy so
counterpointed the compositions inside. Never before have the technologies of
writing contributed so quickly to the creation of new genres" (298).
"And I repeat: like the members of the newly developed reading public, the
members of the writing public have learned–in this case, to write, to think
together, to organize, and to act within these forums–largely without
instruction and, more to the point here, largely without our
"Relevant to literacy specifically, we can record other tremors, specifically
those associated with the screen, and in that focus, they return us to
questions around what it means to write" (304).
"What should be the future shape of composition? Questioning the role
of technology in composition programs–shall we teach print, digital,
composition, communication, or all of the above?–continues to confounds us"
"Thinking in terms of circulation, in other words, enables students to
understand the epistemology, the conventions, and the integrity
of different fields and their genres" (313).
"This new composition includes rhetoric and is about
literacy. New composition includes the literacy of print: it adds on
to it and brings the notions of practice and activity and circulation and media
and screen and networking to our conceptions of process. It will require a new
expertise of us as it does of our students. And ultimately, new composition may
require a new site for learning for all of us" (320).
"These are structural changes–global, educational, technological. Like
seismic tremors, these signal a re-formation in process, and because we exist on
the borders of our own tectonic plates–rhetoric, composition and communication,
process, activity, service and social justice–we are at the very center of
those tremors. (321)
Terms: "reading circles" (300), "writing circles" (301), digital morphing
(307d), transfer (315), deicity (318).
- Related sources:
- McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.
1964. Cambridge: MIT P, 1994.
- Prior, Paul, and Jody Shipka. “Chronotopic Laminations: Tracing the
Contours of Literate Activity.” Writing Selves, Writing Societies: Research
from Activity Perspectives. Ed. Charles Bazerman and David Russell. Fort
Collins, CO: The WAC Clearinghouse, and Mind, Culture, and Activity, 180–238.
1 June 2004 <http://wac.colostate.edu/books/selves_societies/prior>.
- Trimbur, John. “Composition and the Circulation of Writing.” CCC
52.2 (2000): 188–219.