ERIC Number: ED396333
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding the Absence of Composition in Western Canada: A Brief History.
Understanding the absence of composition in western Canada is predicated upon understanding the presence of composition in the United States, the only country in the world with a highly visible tradition of composition. This absence in western Canada, between 1900 and 1950, is largely a matter of appearance--composition in both countries was an institutional requirement. The blending of composition and literature, however, was the dominant pattern of instruction in western Canada, a pattern inherited from Harvard, where many professors had studied. After 1950 the two federal governments' responses to the Cold War and subsequent funding of postsecondary education differed. Canada established the Massey Commission which, after hearing presentations from art groups, university representatives, and others, resulted in federal funding of universities in 1952, and, in 1957, in funding of the humanities. American federal support for the arts has consistently been a practical, rather than a philosophical issue. For Canadian scholars in the 1960s to have turned to composition and rhetoric as a research agenda would simply have been to Americanize the curriculum and to pursue a low art rather than a high culture. Rhetoric and composition have not yet made, and may never make, a significant impact in western Canadian English departments and universities as long as researchers continue to pursue and governments continue to fund high culture. (Contains 24 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada (West); Curriculum Emphases
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (47th, Milwaukee, WI, March 27-30, 1996).