Contending with Words

Composition and Rhetoric in a Postmodern Age

  • Editors: Patricia Harkin, John Schilb
  • Pages: 242 pp.
  • Published: 1991
  • ISBN: 9780873523875 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9780873523882 (Paperback)
Contending with Words Cover

Recipient of the Nancy Dasher Book Award from the College English Association of Ohio, 1994

College Composition and Communication

“The best essay collection in Rhetoric and Composition I have ever read.”

Journal of Advanced Composition

“Theoretically informed, sophisticated, critical, politically engaged, and demanding. . . .  [A] text to be contended with.”

Rhetoric Review

“This book is about the professional contradictions facing postmodern critics in composition and rhetoric. . . .  It articulates those contradictions and suggests strategies for confronting them.”

Twelve previously unpublished essays relate the teaching of writing to various aspects of postmodern thought, including feminism, neo-Marxist theories, the historiography of Michel Foucault, and cultural criticism. The first ten essays examine modes of discourse ranging from Socratic dialogue to the “false magic” of the National Enquirer, review the present disciplinary impulses of composition studies, and propose new directions for the teaching of writing. The two closing articles synthesize the arguments of the essays and respond critically to the collection as a whole.

Don H. Bialostosky
Patricia Bizzell
John Clifford
William A. Covino
Sharon Crowley
Bruce Herzberg
Susan C. Jarratt
James J. Sosnoski
Victor J. Vitanza
Lynn Worsham