The Power of Writing

Dartmouth ’66 in the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Christiane Donahue and Kelly Blewett

The Power of Writing

Edited by Christiane Donahue and Kelly Blewett

Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

160 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $26.95 ISBN: 9781611687392 Published June 2015
At the 1966 Dartmouth Seminar, scholars gathered to debate the direction of English Studies in the academy. This debate had far-reaching effects and arguably forever changed writing instruction in the United States. To commemorate the 45th anniversary of this gathering, Dartmouth College hosted an event both celebrating the past and looking toward the future. Then as now, there is this simple truth: writing well matters, and it matters in institutions of higher education across disciplines. Yet what it means to be a good writer in the academy and in the public sphere remains a site of controversy and discussion. The Power of Writing: Dartmouth ’66 in the Twenty-First Century argues that any discussion of why writing well matters should extend beyond composition and rhetoric scholars to capture the knowledge that outstanding teachers and writers themselves put to work every day. The editors have brought together scholars and public intellectuals (including New York Times best-selling authors David McCullough and Steve Strogatz) from the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and interdisciplinary fields to engage in a dialogue about some of the controversial questions related to writing today. Readers will engage with questions about what it means to write well and how different answers affect the teaching and learning of writing in higher education. Each anchor article—representing disciplines as varied as musicology, African studies, mathematics, and history—receives responses from Dartmouth faculty and nationally renowned faculty members in writing studies programs. This timely and wide-ranging collection will have appeal far beyond writing instructors and is specifically designed for readers across disciplines.
Contents
Foreword: The Power of Writing—Michael Mastanduno • Introduction: Updating Dartmouth—Joseph Harris • PART 1. SCIENCES • Writing about Math for the Perplexed and the Traumatized—Steven Strogatz • Notes toward a Theory of Writing for the Public—Kathleen Blake Yancey • Writing in the Sciences—Daniel Rockmore • PART 2. SOCIAL SCIENCES • The Good, Hard Work of Writing Well—David McCullough • Growing Writers: A Response to David McCullough—Keith Gilyard • History as a Laboratory for the Good, Hard Work of Writing Well—Leslie Butler • PART 3. INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES • Writing and States of Emergency—Hortense J. Spillers • Her Prophetic Voice: A Response to Hortense Spillers— Patricia Bizzell • Being the Emergency: A Response to Hortense Spillers— Melanie Benson Taylor • PART 4. HUMANITIES • Listening to Write—Katherine Bergeron • Writing as a Performance of Language, Listening as an Act of Empathy—Maria Jerskey • The Power of Sound and Sense—Ioana Chitoran • Editors and Contributors • Index
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