Writing Studies PhD students Mary-Jo Witrak-Uhlenkott, Matthew Willaims, Timothy Oleksiak and Writing Studies professor Pat Bruch along with English PhD student Lucia Pawlowski were invited to present at the Rhetoric Socieity of America's 2010 conference in Minneapolis, MN. A general description of their panel follows:
Inventing the Department: Rhetorics of Access in Writing Studies
As RSA convenes, we pause to remember the 25th anniversary of David Bartholomae's essay, "Inventing the University." As Bartholomae argues, the university should illuminate the performative nature of rhetoric by asking students to "try on the peculiar ways of knowing...that define the discourse of our community." But as Tom Fox suggests in Defending Access, the rhetorics valued in the university frequently invite students to participate in discourse communities in ways that keep critical attention away from the violence of the rhetorical system itself. The concerns for both Fox and this panel center on enabling students to critically grapple with writing as it welcomes, denies, or discourages participation in the university. Specifically, we focus on the rhetorics promoted by the new Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota as these rhetorics relate to the goal of critical participation.