Instructor: Micciche | Wed 4:40 PM – 7:30 PM

ENGL 7140 is your opportunity to work with the country’s foremost collection of 19th Century composition textbooks and handbooks, the Schultz Archive, named for retired colleague Lucille Schultz, who gathered the materials from libraries and archives throughout the US and published two award-winning histories. The print version of the archive lives in McMicken 110-R, while the digital version can be accessed at:

We will spend the first half of the semester studying the 19th Century roots of current composition theories and practices. In the second half, we will examine how, in the 20th Century, composition, a field concerned almost exclusively with practical strategies for the teaching of writing, became composition studies, an academic discipline still focused on pedagogy but now complete with theoretical frameworks, scholarly journals and book series, conferences, and doctoral programs. We will learn methodologies for primary source research and dig into the archive and other sources to investigate questions of personal interest and disciplinary importance. Texts include: James Berlin’s Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1980-1985, John Brereton’s The Origins of Composition Studies in the American College, 1875-1925, Robert Connors’ Composition-Rhetoric: Backgrounds, Theory, and Pedagogy, Albert Kitzhaber’s Rhetoric in American Colleges, 1850-1900, Jacqueline Royster’s Traces of a Stream: Literacy and Social Change among African American Women, and Lucille Schultz’s The Young Composers: Composition’s Beginnings in Nineteenth-Century Schools. Books can be purchased inexpensively online. Assignments include leading a class discussion, drafting a scholarly article, and writing short reflections.