Moran, “Computers and Composition 1983-2002”

Charles. "Computers and Composition 1983-2002: What We Have Hoped
For.’" Computers and Composition. 20 (2003): 343-358.

Charlie Moran, writing from the perspective of an insider, synthesizes twenty
years of Computers and Composition (1983-2002) scholarship by identifying
trends in what was hoped for. Addressing participant’s in Barton’s
discourses of technology and as teachers, Moran contends that the journal
reflects a particular series of hopes for the implications of computer
technology on the teaching of writing. Early hopes, Moran explains, focused on
the elimination of drudgery ("copy-editing, revising, and retyping" (346) to
"responding to student writing" (346)) and on technology-prompted improvements
in the quality of student writing (for basic writers, as well). As the journal
matured, the hoped-for thing shifted to improved professional status in an
effort to "become more established, more secure in our research, tenure, and
promotion" (351).

More recent hopes, according to Moran, reflect a shift from looking at
technologies to looking through them (Lanham’s distinction). Along these
lines, Moran accounts for the improved material quality of the journal (352) and
also increasing consideration of egalitarian and social justice
concerns–manifestations of critical pedagogy–reflected in the journal.

"Computers and Composition 1983-2002" proceeds by broad-strokes synthesis and
the generalization of thematic patterns in the scholarship appearing in
Computers and Composition
. To some extent, the essay is bibliographic;
in it, Moran reduces numerous article-length works to single sentences while
accounting for overarching, persistent themes.

"So what is it that we, in the field of computers and writing, have hoped
for?" (344).

"I argue in this article that in the pages of Computers and Composition,
we have been critics, but we have been planners and designers too, working for
change in the spaces presented to us by technological change" (344).

Terms: "cultural hybridity" (353)

Related Sources
Haas, Christina. Writing Technology. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1996
Lanham, Richard. The Electronic Word. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1993.
Selfe, Cynthia. Technology and Literacy in the Twenty-first Century.
Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1999.