Volume 80, Number 2, November 2017
This article argues for a purposeful, racial justice–focused framework for community-engaged projects in rhetoric and composition so that faculty, students, and community partners work together to understand and overcome the myriad ways racist and racial discourses perpetuate injustice. The author explores critical race inquiry in community-engaged projects by presenting analyses of successes and missed opportunities of an ongoing multi-year partnership with a small, local, all-volunteer, collector-based museum and the local branch of the NAACP. These projects reveal insights about pedagogy and disciplinary knowledge and suggest possible forward paths that may lead to more egalitarian partnerships, multi-perspectival knowledge, and impactful antiracist writing instruction in our classes and communities.
This essay explores how undergraduate rhetoric and composition courses incorporate archival research. It reviews a number of assignments described in recent publications where students undertake archival research to recover lost voices, (re)read the archive as a source of public memory, and create their own archives. These assignments demonstrate a feminist pedagogy of undergraduate archival literacy in emphasizing the feminist values of collaboration, invitation, and activism in local contexts. Finally, this essay shows how students who develop the kind of archival literacy discussed in this essay often transform their definitions and practice of academic research, while professors who teach such assignments often transform their definitions and practice of undergraduate research.
This essay examines the teaching of composition at Harvard University alongside the teaching of rhetoric at Boston College by returning to a published debate over education reform between Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard, and Timothy Brosnahan, SJ, president of Boston College. The debate, contextualized alongside each school’s curriculum, captures the religious tension at the heart of the turn from rhetoric to composition during the end of the nineteenth century. A reprise for understanding education as religious and rhetorical, Brosnahan's resistance to Eliot's narrative of “the new education” exposes the unseen religious assumptions behind Eliot's attempt at secularizing the American university.