Landmark Essays on Basic Writing:
Kay Halasek, Nels P. Highberg
The essays selected for this volume address debilitating assumptions that place both students and teachers of basic writing, as well as the discipline itself, on the margins of educational, economic, and political localities of influence. The collection presents readers with previously published essays that together depict the fundamental and shifting theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical assumptions of basic writing instruction over the past two decades. Arranged chronologically, the essays examine such issues as defining basic writers, the phenomenology of error, cognitivism and writing instruction, the social construction of remediation, and the politics of basic writing pedagogy in a postmodern world. They collectively present what the contributors perceive as some of the most enduring and important debates in the field. At the same time, they illustrate that neither the basic writing classroom nor recent scholarship need to be intellectually marginalized locations.
By including primarily essays published between 1987 and 1997, the contributors bring together essays that historicize the preceding decades of scholarship and also anticipate the future of the field. The volume moves thematically from situating and defining basic writers and basic writing scholarship to questions of the relationships among methodology, ideology, and race. It closes with a series of essays that collectively move the field "Toward a Post-Critical Pedagogy of Basic Writing."