ERIC Number: ED390041
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Contact Zones: Composition's Content in the University.
Gottschalk, Katherine K.
Contact zone theory--spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other--helps writing program administrators to situate themselves. Writing programs and composition courses seem most troubled where the viewpoint of the most powerful faction is assumed as "the" viewpoint. One way to defuse tension is to recognize that writing is not exclusively the domain of the English or composition department; writing occurs within a specific context or discipline. But what happens when the teaching of first-year composition is given to such departments as music, government, and psychology as well as to English? First, educators in disciplines other than English start thinking about writing in ways they might not have before. Second, if given not only advice and training but also freedom and responsibility, instructors, whether graduate students or faculty, will rise to the occasion. Third, writing courses take on a plethora of agendas and subject matters which meet the wide-ranging tastes and needs of the student body. Faculty benefit as they begin to see the teaching of writing as something more than the conveyance of skills and correct grammar. Students benefit by experiencing writing as part of their normal intellectual and emotional lives, by gaining direct familiarity with writing as it occurs in different arenas. Dangers exist, however, because some faculty, who value content over process, will treat writing as an afterthought, and because some graduate students do not write well themselves and have not thought about writing. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Contexts; Writing Development
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-25, 1995).