Thursday, July 12, 2012

Yancey's "Delivering Composition" (Chapter 1 of the Book by the Same Title

Yancey, Kathleen Blake. "Delivering Composition: A Vocabulary for Discussion." Ed. Kathleen Blake Yancey. Delivering Composition. Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook, 2006. Print.

The project of this book, as Yancey outlines in the preface, is to examine what college composition looks like in a variety of contexts. Her first chapter then seeks to define the three essential concepts at the heart of this issue: college, composition and delivery. She begins with college, which she explains is no longer a single site, but rather something that takes place at multiple sites, "physical and virtual, informal and formal, official and just-in-time" (4). Next she takes a close look at the path of composition from the paradigm shift from current-traditional into process and from print based composition to writing for the screen. What it means to compose, much less to teach composing has clearly changed and is continuing to do so. Finally she examines the varied elements of college composition delivery from the physicality of the classroom spaces to who is delivering the subject. These varied sites and agents of delivery greatly influence the course being composed. As colleges, society and other circumstances continue to evolve, the delivery of composition will also and thus is a subject that is due great consideration.

Discussion: This piece serves as an excellent primer for the recent C's CFP that Yancey sent out via the WPA Listserv. It's additionally a nice breakdown of the college composition's background. I think this piece serves as a nice piece for a WPA class, particularly one that cannot assume all students have taken a class in this history of the field. It's interesting to me too that many of the debates of our field can be nicely tied to the defining of these three concepts.

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