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Between the Lines

Between the Lines

Relating Composition Theory and Literary Theory

By John Schilb

    During the years I worked on this book, I have been alternately gloomy and hopeful about composition's status in English departments. My mood could change over the course of a day, shaped by remarks of colleagues in literature. . . . Nevertheless, I have tried in this book to point out lingering abuses as well as grounds for optimism. Whatever your reaction, I hope it helps you reread and rewrite the lines it discusses.

    —from Between the Lines

Effective citizens do more than interpret the world around them—they change it. In Between the Lines, John Schilb shows the role composition could...

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Full Description

    During the years I worked on this book, I have been alternately gloomy and hopeful about composition's status in English departments. My mood could change over the course of a day, shaped by remarks of colleagues in literature. . . . Nevertheless, I have tried in this book to point out lingering abuses as well as grounds for optimism. Whatever your reaction, I hope it helps you reread and rewrite the lines it discusses.

    —from Between the Lines

Effective citizens do more than interpret the world around them—they change it. In Between the Lines, John Schilb shows the role composition could play in enabling students to intervene in civic affairs by suggesting ways they can create their own discourses. When instructors understand and put into practice the latest in theory, they can help students learn how to read and write "between the lines" to initiate change.

In addition to looking at the line between the academy and the world at large, Schilb examines traditional barriers within English Departments. He argues that many of them have used theory to reinforce a separation of composition studies and literary studies in both theory and instruction.

The book offers a thorough, accessible review of recent developments in both composition and literary theory as well as a fruitful comparison of their respective uses and understandings. The chapters in Part One discuss how composition studies and literary studies have differed in their interpretations of the term "rhetoric." Part Two examines the ways in which each has handled the ideas of postmodernism. In Part Three, Schilb compares their new shared interest in personal writing, their different attitudes toward collaboration, and issues that arise when literary theories travel into composition.

With this book, readers will benefit from an enriched understanding of the theoretical perspectives, institutional conditions, and pedagogical strategies involved in teaching English.

Contents

Contents:
I. Rhetoric(s) 1. A Prologue 2. A Tale of Two Conferences 3. After the Conferences II. Postmodernism(s) 4. Another Prologue 5. Postmodernism and Epistemology 6. Postmodern Art 7. Postmodernism and Global Developments III. Selves, Groups, Theories 8. Not-So-Private I's 9. Collaboration 10. A Future Without Theory?