Reading Harlot between the lines . . .

I just came across this quote from Margaret Marshall’s 2004 monograph, Response to Reform: Composition and the Professionalization of Teaching:

[W]hether we aim to publish our scholarship directly to a public audience or to use our scholarly expertise to participate in public situations, we are not always well prepared to do so and the reward structures of higher education do not encourage such activity.  Composition, though, is particularly well suited for making such forays into public venues because its interests in literacy, language, and the cultural structures that support these activities have so many possible public connections.  Composition has a great deal to gain by considering how such public work could be represented appropriately within institutional and professional terms and structures.

When academics fail to engage public audiences outside our disciplines, when we ignore the implications of our scholarly work, or when we keep our teaching safely out of sight, we help turn universities into mere bureaucracies that use intellectual labor as a commodity, ceding our professional aspirations as the price for speaking only to ourselves.  But because this is the way things usually are in the current world of higher education, does not mean this is how things out to remain.  For me and many others who know the history of the teachers who came before us, too many years have been spent gaining the standing to speak to not now choose when and how we will do so.

Like this post? Check out others like it:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *