This thread has been going around on the Writing Program Administrators'
list (the original question was: What's up with Rhet/Comp in Canada?). I
haven't heard any CASLLers weigh in on this one . . . and I thought some of
you might like the chance. I'll forward anything you send to me or to this
list, if you're not a WPA-L member.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jay Dolmage <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sep 3, 2007 9:47 PM
Subject: Re: Comp/Rhet in Canada
To: [log in to unmask]
I have one resource to recommend (kind of a plug):
Composition in Canada: Programs, Progress, and Possibilities.? Eds. Roger
Graves and Heather Graves. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Inkshed Press, 2006.
As a Canadian working in the States, I have been a product of -- or a fan
of, from afar -- many of the great programs mentioned in this thread.
I just wanted to add something to the discussion about Comp/Rhet programs in
I think that what hasn't been said is that many (if not the majority of)
Canadian Universities do not have the sort of large first-year or college
writing programs that we see everywhere in the US.? I'd be interested to
know how many Canadian schools have a first-year or college writing
requirement?? The WPA Council lists only three programs (there are many more
than this), but says that, "there are of course many more colleges and
universities in Canada that
teach writing. Writing programs in Canada consist mostly of Writing
Centers and Professional Writing Programs" (
There are surely other programs in which the writing requirement is there,
and is satisfied in different ways -- WAC, WID etc.
Perhaps others can weigh in on this, provide some clarification, and correct
me if I am wrong.
But, going with my assumption about the relative lack of first-year or
college writing courses in Canada, I started thinking...
I recently re-discovered a question posed by Lester Faigley way back in
1986, and described as one of "the most obvious questions in college writing
The question was, and is:
"Why are college writing courses so prevalent in the U.S and rare in the
rest of the world?" ("Competing Theories of Process" 539).
I think this question cuts back and forth across the border in interesting
Jay Dolmage, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of English
Coordinator, English 101
West Virginia University
246 Stansbury Hall
304 685 3593
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