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Writing Theory and Critical Theory

Editor(s): John Clifford, John Schilb

Pages: ix & 374 pp.
Published: 1994
ISBN: 9780873525763 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873525756 (hardcover)

"If theory (and even 'theory talk') can put as much intellectual fun into the study of composition as this volume of essays has, it will be doing teachers and students a great service."
Rocky Mountain Review

Writing Theory and Critical Theory discusses the growing body of work linking composition studies and literary studies. Enlisting the strategies of deconstruction, hermeneutics, postmodernism, feminism, neo-Marxism, neopragmatism, psychoanalysis, reader-response criticism, and cultural studies, the twenty-seven contributors investigate the resources that critical theory can bring to an examination of discourse. Composition teachers, critical theorists, and writing program administrators will find this collection a provocative and insightful overview of the field of composition studies.

Table of Contents


Part I: Refiguring Traditions

Composition as a Cultural Artifact: Rethinking History as Theory
Susan Miller

"On a topic of your own choosing . . ."
Kathleen McCormick

Reading and Writing in the Classroom and the Profession
James F. Slevin

On Conventions and Collaboration: The Open Road and the Iron Cage
Kurt Spellmeyer

Rhetoric, Social Construction, and Gender: Is It Bad to Be Sentimental?
Suzanne Clark

The Doubleness of Writing and Permission to Lie
Susan Wells

Part II: The Language and Authority of Theory

Theory, Theory Talk, and Composition
Beth Daniell

The Rhetoric of Theory
Joseph Harris

Science, Theory, and the Politics of Empirical Studies in the English Department
David R. Shumway

Teaching Composition and Reading Lacan: An Exploration in Wild Analysis
Robert Brooke, Judith Levin, and Joy Ritchie

Part III: Narrative Theory and Narratives

Is There a Life in This Text? Reimagining Narrative
Judith Summerfield

Essays and Experience, Time and Rhetoric
Douglas Hesse

Street Fights over the Impossibility of Theory: A Report of a Seminar
Lester Faigley

Making a Federal Case out of Difference: The Politics of Pedagogy, Publicity, and Postponement
Linda Brodkey

Responses to Brodkey

A Writing Program Administrator's Response
Ben W. McClelland

Topic or Pedagogy?
Mark Andrew Clark

Narrating Conflict
Patricia Harkin

Part IV: Symposium: Looking Backward and Forward

On the (Pendulum-)Swinging Eighties
Louise M. Rosenblatt

My Life in Theory
Robert Scholes

Learning to Live with Your Past and Liking It
W. Ross Winterowd

"Gender and Reading" Revisited
Elizabeth A. Flynn

A Letter to the Editors
Sharon Crowley

"Rhetoric Is Politics," Said the Ancient. "How Much So," I Wonder.
Victor Villanueva, Jr.

Responses to Part IV

Constructing Narratives, Seeking Change
Susan Brown Carlton

Theory, Theories, Politics, and Journeys
Beverly J. Moss

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