Thanks to everyone who offered advice, practical and philosophical,
about the two views of writing (disciplinized vs nondisciplinized, or
"its own discipline"). I say this in some fear because such thank-you's
often function as thread-stoppers, signalling "I've got enough so you
can stop writing now." I'd like to see this discussion continue.
Clearly there is little consensus, let alone empirical data, about how
generic a comp course can be before it becomes useless. The key seems
to be in how well and in what manner writing is taught rather than in
what people write about, although the latter is an important part of
the former. When writing assignments degenerate into "my pet dog," we
have a problem, but most people seem to think that this does not mean
that writing can _only_ be located within a particular discipline.
There is an "academic" way of knowing that is not completely specific
to a discipline, maybe.
Interestingly, the ENglish department used my Position #2 (writing is
only authentic in the disciplines) as a reason (excuse?) to drop
cpmposition as such altogether. They now teach writing only in the
context of literature, arguing that engineering should likewise teach
writing in the context of engineering etc. They may be right. Or
not, as the case may be.
I'll try to keep you posted on developments here at U of C, if I can
make there be any.