In recent years, composition instructors have been tasked with introducing or inoculating student writers to the discursive community, as well as promoting a sense of community in the composition classroom. But what defines such “communities”: academic discourse? Professional norms (that is, various genres of professional and technical writing)? Creative-writing pedagogy and interest? Something transcending these boundaries?
Are these notions, further, reinforced or challenged by more informal, nebulous communities like social-networking sites? How does the composition classroom, or composition instruction more broadly, serve to draw and redefine the boundaries of these communities? How can they learn and benefit from one another’s codes and wisdom? How does a “community” in a composition classroom mirror or promote one of the other above-mentioned ones? How do these “communities” shape the purposes and charges governing the teaching of composition in our times? How has this changed to reflect broader curricular mandates, student preparation and academic/ life goals, and other realities?
Proposals outlining successful practices and new initiatives may be submitted by Sept. 30 as MS Word attachments to Maria Plochocki at firstname.lastname@example.org. The NEMLA Conference will be held Apr. 7 - 10, 2011, in New Brunswick, NJ.
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