Daly-Goggin, Maureen. Authoring A Discipline: Scholarly Journals and the
Post-World War II Emergence of Rhetoric and Composition. Mahwah, N.J.:
Lawrence Erlbaum, 2000.
Searchable text available in Google Book Search.
Daly-Goggin presents a study of nine major journals in rhetoric an
composition over 40 years as evidence of the discipline’s emergence: College
English, CCC, Research in the Teaching of English, Rhetoric
Society Newsletter/Quarterly, Freshman English News, Journal of
Advanced Composition (later only JAC), Pre/Text, Rhetoric
Review, and Written Communication. The preface very clearly
positions the project as a history; the opening traces rhetoric as an
institutional interest, from its lowly status in the early twentieth century to
its resurgence in the late twentieth century. Daly-Goggin draws heavily on
a gardening metaphor–an organic framework related to gardening, budding,
fruits, transplanting, and harvesting.
The book is organized by periods. The second chapter covers 1950-1965;
the third chapter, 1965-1980; and the fourth chapter, 1980-1990. The fourth
chapter/era is the time when disciplinarity was best established, relative to
the earlier periods, and, as such, Daly-Goggin suggests that the ways journals
defined themselves shifted toward theory, methods, and history and away from
practice and pedagogy. Put another way, the discipliniographers
(i.e., editors and contributors who literally write the discipline (xvii))
continued to move in their thinking to a point where rhetoric and composition
was thought a Wissenschaft (14, 122a) or legitimate knowledge-making
Daly-Goggin’s analysis of each journal focuses on transitions between
editors; she characterizes the journals according to each editor’s predilections
for what the journal would do and how decisions would be made about what sorts
of content would be featured. This is especially significant when it comes
to features such as tables of contents (added to RSQ in 1981) and double-blind
peer review (introduced to CCC relatively late compared to other
journals, during Richard Gebhardt’s editorship, starting in 1987).
To account for the early years (1950-1965), Daly-Goggin draws on Laurence
Veysey’s idea of patterned isolation where "knowledge production and
consumption was dispersed, localized, and personal" (48, 65). Collin has written
about this, as well, and it is tremendously useful for getting at questions of
just how much journals did to alter the pattern or relieve the experience of
isolation. Daly-Goggin also suggests that, for this era, many in English studies
might not have been paying attention to the journal–might not have been reading
it at all. In 1964, Macrorie published ten accounts by graduate students
criticizing their graduate training in English. Daly-Goggin writes, "Yet
English professors were silent for reasons that are not entirely clear; some may
have agreed and thus saw no reason to speak out; others may have chosen to
ignore the publication, and still others–most likely many others–probably
simply had not read the journal" (61d). Simply had not read the
- Rel. to Crowley’s notion of mechanical literacy, how are models
- Blind peer review for CCC arrives in 1987, during Gebhardt’s term
as the ninth ed. (63)
- Graphs: 2 in chapter two, 0 in three, 0 in four, 6 in five, and 0 in
- Subhead: "Defining Disciplinary Practices: Developing Lines of Inquiry
and Building Social Networks" (79) (rel. ns)
- Lauer and Berthoff exchange (96b); see Lauer’s "Heuristics"
- Early articulation of process model by Flower and Hayes in 1977
"Problem-Solving Strategies and the Writing Process" (100c)
- 1984 Christopher Burnham on cataloguing articles by type: "as monumental
as Sisyphus’s task and equally absurd" (115d)
- Joseph Harris on algorithms and heuristics from A Teaching Subject
- Journal of Advanced Composition to JAC in effort to
distinguish from Journal of Basic Writing (122b).
- RSQ adds table of contents in 1981–to look more professional
- On citation frequency, density of publications, and critical mass (177)
- Social fabric metaphor (in addition to the organic/garden metaphor)
- Trimbur on specialization as threat (205a)
Terms: discipliniographers (xviii, 148), density of publications (xviii, 176,
rel. to graphs), research ideal (5), grammatocentrism (8c), Crowley’s
mechanical literacy (12b) (rel. models as merely or more than), Wissenschaft
(14b), patterned isolation (48, 65), interdisciplinarity (87), poesis/noesis
(91), generations (149b; rel. to Latour SIA), critical mass (176),
marketing myopia (199d).
"However, I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that journals
alone construct the disciplinary work of a field; the phenomenon is much more
complicated than that" (xviii).
"The point is disciplines have never been unified or coherent; rather by the
mid-20th century academicians began to confront the illusions of coherence"
Technique: "Given the enormous new demands for work and recreational
literacy, the question is why rhetoric did not expand to fill those needs
instead of contracting so sharply. The answer is too complex to deal with in
one chapter, but the following three sections address some of the major forces
that worked to eclipse rhetoric within departments of English" (10d).
Lloyd-Jones compares research agenda to chemistry/alchemy: "Although some in
the field of rhetoric and composition have criticized the natural sciences
analogy, it was fitting. As I already pointed out, those in the field were
isolated in home institutions and thus, largely in the dark about what others
were doing, making coherent research agendas virtually impossible" (77b).
"One point must then be highlighted: The contributors and the journals in
rhetoric and composition became dispersed across the entire United States, and
they further began to represent fairly well the geographical distribution of
postsecondary educational institutions" (160).
"In each case, the analysis suggests just how strong and how tightly woven
the social fabric for the field had become by the 1980s" (178a).
"Narrow specialization threatens rhetoric–an observation made by Cicero over
two millennia ago that appears in the epigraph that opens chapter 1 of this
- Related sources:
- Burnham, Christopher. "Research Methods in Composition." Research in
Composition and Rhetoric: A Bibliographic Sourcebook. Eds. Michael G. Moran
and Ronald F. Lunsford. Westport: Greenwood, 1984: 191-201.
- Crowley, Sharon. "The Perilous Life and Times of Freshman English."
Freshman English News 14 (1986): 11-16.
- Flower, Linda S., and John R. Hayes. "Problem-Solving Strategies and the
Writing Process." CCC 39 (1977): 449-61.
- Lauer, Janice. "Heuristics and Composition." CCC 21 (1976): 396-404.
- Trimbur, John. "The Problem of Freshman English (Only): Toward Programs of
Study in Writing." Writing Program Administration 22 (1999): 9-30.
- Veysey, Laurence R. The Emergence of the American University. Chicago:
U of Chicago P, 1965.
- Veysey, Laurence R. "The Plural Organized Worlds of the Humanities." The
Organization of Knowledge in Modern America, 1860-1920. Eds. Kenneth Oliver
and John Voss. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1979. 51-106.