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The Writing Program Interrupted

Making Space for Critical Discourse

By Donna Strickland, Edited by Jeanne Gunner
Foreword by John Trimbur

“The recognition in this volume is that WPA responses to the conditions of work comprise a particular discourse in the academy that itself is constitutive of the very nature of the job and the self-representations of its practitioners. To my mind, this recognition, as it is enacted critically and self-critically in The Writing Program Interrupted, displays a healthy willingness to talk about things that in the past have often, in the fear of breaking ranks, been left to listservs and conversations in the hall at conferences. How do writing program administrators speak their own name? This is the...

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“The recognition in this volume is that WPA responses to the conditions of work comprise a particular discourse in the academy that itself is constitutive of the very nature of the job and the self-representations of its practitioners. To my mind, this recognition, as it is enacted critically and self-critically in The Writing Program Interrupted, displays a healthy willingness to talk about things that in the past have often, in the fear of breaking ranks, been left to listservs and conversations in the hall at conferences. How do writing program administrators speak their own name? This is the difficult and necessary question of the present moment—and the chapters that follow go a long way toward providing answers.”

John Trimbur

Writing Program Administrators typically champion reflection, building reflective practice into their students’ assignments and instructors’ assessments. But immersed in overly busy lives, how many find the time to engage with the historical, social, political, and pragmatic implications of their work?

The Writing Program Interrupted seeks to create that regenerative space and time. Foregrounding critical discourses about writing programs, it opens new paths for intellectual consideration and reexamines conventional assumptions about WPA culture. The thoughtful, stimulating, provocative essays in this volume invite colleagues to look at the material and managerial matters that often remain obscure to those of us who do this work.

The Writing Program Interrupted provides new perspectives on the entrenched discourses of WPA work as they construct the profession and its values, strive to locate “the field,” and address material inequities. Contesting the conservative tradition are chapters on the queer writing program, globalization, self-colonization, identity and signification, and the political economy of composition. Whether you are an experienced WPA or a graduate student interested in a WPA career, The Writing Program Interrupted invites you to explore critical WPA issues.

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