With “Increased Dignity and Importance": Re-Historicizing Charles Roberts and the Illinois Decision of 1955

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

I revisit the so-called Illinois Decision of 1955, which eliminated basic writing from the University of Illinois Rhetoric Program and caused a chain of similar programmatic actions on other campuses nationwide. I contend that reviewing and archiving the Illinois Decision as a locally specific act with multiple actors besides WPA Charles Roberts historicizes a familiar narrative present today—namely, how WPAs address anxieties about writing in high school versus college, and how composition students and programs are beholden to ongoing institutional and extra-institutional imperatives regarding literacy and efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-493
Number of pages36
JournalCollege Composition and Communication
Volume69
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Keywords

  • pedagogy
  • writing program administration
  • first-year writing
  • basic writing
  • archival research
  • labor histories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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