Making space in composition studies: Discursive ecologies as inquiry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the final chapter of The Making of Knowledge in Composition (MKC), published in 1987, Stephen North asks a question that has provoked much discussion within our field: "Is there any chance then for an academically full-fledged, autonomous, multi-methodological, knowledgemaking Composition?" (369). This question surfaced at a time when composition was trying to make a place for itself in the university. In 1987, composition did not have a clearly delineated identity as a discipline and was widely seen as a service arm of the university. Composition was the sad woman in the basement (Miller 1991), overshadowed by the resurgent interest in literary studies and its adoption of postmodern theories. Primarily viewed as practice-that is, the teaching of writing-rather than a coherent group of practitioners, researchers, and scholars, composition's image in the university was not a shiny one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Changing of Knowledge in Composition
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Perspectives
PublisherUtah State University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780874218206
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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