Design Discourse: Composing and Revising Programs in Professional and Technical Writing (Perspectives on Writing)
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DESIGN DISCOURSE: COMPOSING AND REVISING PROGRAMS IN PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL WRITING addresses the complexities of developing professional and technical writing programs. The essays in the collection offer reflections on efforts to bridge two cultures-what the editors characterize as the "art and science of writing"-often by addressing explicitly the tensions between them. DESIGN DISCOURSE offers insights into the high-stakes decisions made by program designers as they seek to "function at the intersection of the practical and the abstract, the human and the technical." Contributors include Diana L. Ashe, Brian D. Ballentine, Kelly Belanger, Julianne Couch, Anthony Di Renzo, James M. Dubinsky, Jude Edminster, David Franke, Gary Griswold, Dev Hathaway, Brent Henze, Colin K. Keeney, Michael Knievel, Carla Kungl, Carol Lipson, Andrew Mara, Jim Nugent, Anne Parker, Jonathan Pitts, Alex Reid, Colleen A. Reilly, Wendy B. Sharer, Christine Stebbins, and Janice Tovey. DAVID FRANKE teaches at SUNY Cortland, where he served as director of the professional writing program. He founded and directs the Seven Valleys Writing Project at SUNY Cortland, a site of the National Writing Project. ALEX REID teaches at the University at Buffalo. His book, THE TWO VIRTUALS: NEW MEDIA AND COMPOSITION, received honorable mention for the W. Ross Winterowd Award for Best Book in Composition Theory (2007), and his blog, Digital Digs (alex-reid.net), received the John Lovas Memorial Academic Weblog award for contributions to the field of rhetoric and composition (2008). ANTHONY DI RENZO teaches business and technical writing at Ithaca College, where he developed a Professional Writing concentration for its BA in Writing. His scholarship concentrates on the historical relationship between professional writing and literature.
underway. It’s a necessary process that many other departments have undergone and that still others have yet to begin. Too, there have been moments of productive cooperation. Comments from many faculty show a desire to structure the department as one that welcomes an expansive array of approaches to texts and a multi-faceted understanding of the kinds of writing that might fit within a diverse department. One survey respondent, a literature specialist by training, reminded readers of what our
meta-course under which its existing courses would make “professional” sense. The English department had yet to develop courses in media theory and criticism, cultural studies, information design, or digital culture. There was, in fact, no course in media theory in any department. In thinking about the composition of the PW program in the English department, I was, of course, also composing myself—thinking intensely about my own identity and role in the department. My doctoral concentration had
to the traditional English course in Literary Criticism. The course would introduce students to cultural and media theory, providing students with a historical and theoretical context for their symbolic-analytic development. The other side of the major would be anchored by Rhetorical Theory, an advanced seminar taking students from classical rhetoric to cyberspace. These two upper-division seminars, Cultural Studies and Rhetorical Theory, would be advanced explorations of topics surveyed in the
offerings. The courses I classified into the “Miscellaneous” category are those that were difficult to meaningfully include in other groups. The most prevalent such courses include projects and practicum courses (with 15% of programs requiring at least one course), internship courses (13%), and courses in usability or human factors (13%). Also within the “Miscellaneous” group, I found that some of the least commonly required certificate program courses provide an interesting glimpse at the
inaugurate the minor program. Several concerns faced us that had not been part of our original plan. First was the changed state of availability in participating (more) 183