Phyllis' message reminds me that I've been meaning to pass along the reading
list we've adopted at SFU for doctoral students who want to use Composition
as one of their two secondary fields, i.e., not the area of their
dissertation, but an area in which they will be prepared (and certified
prepared) to teach. (On the basis of this reading, they do a 3-day
Underlying the list is the assumption that we want them to know Composition
as a discipline, to have some sense of its history, to be familiar with
major trends and factions (not just those we like), to be able to recognize
pedagogies or textbooks as affiliated with particular approaches, etc. In
short, we would not be satisfied if they knew ONLY how to teach writing in
the ways we think best. Similarly, we have not included important writers
outside the field (Bakhtin, Foucault, Burke, Bourdieu, et al.)--because if
these thinkers have influenced the field, there should be articles in comp
journals explaining the implications (and those articles are what we would
We are also assuming that Composition is an unusual field in which textbooks
are sometimes the medium through which innovations are introduced.
This reading list is under permanent revision. We would be grateful for any
suggestions about important writings we have overlooked (and for any
suggestions about what we should delete to make room for them).
Whether this will help Phyllis is doubtful. But . . . .
Thanks for your responses.