City Comp

Identities, Spaces, Practices

Edited by Bruce McComiskey & Cynthia Ryan
Foreword by Linda Flower

Subjects: Composition And Rhetoric Studies
Paperback : 9780791455500, 248 pages, January 2003
Hardcover : 9780791455494, 248 pages, January 2003

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Table of contents

Linda Flower

Bruce McComiskey and Cynthia Ryan

PART I: Negotiating Identities

1. Myth, Identity, and Composition: Teaching Writing in Birmingham, Alabama
Tracey Baker, Peggy Jolly, Bruce McComiskey, and Cynthia Ryan

2 Writing Against Time: Students Composing "Legacies" in a History Conscious City
Elizabeth Ervin and Dan Collins

3. A Paragraph Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich: The Effects of the GED on Four Urban Writers and Their Writing
Krista Hiser

4. "Not Your Mama's Bus Tour": A Case for "Radically Insufficient" Writing
Paula Mathieu

5. From Urban Classroom to Urban Community
Susan Swan

PART II: Composing Spaces

6. Simulated Destinations in the Desert: The Southern Nevada Writing Project
Ed Nagelhout and Marilyn McKinney

7. A Place in the City: Hull-House and the Architecture of Civility
Van E. Hillard

8. The Written City: Urban Planning, Computer Networks, and Civic Literacies
Jeffrey T. Grabill

9. Speaking of the City and Literacies of Place Making in Composition Studies
Richard Marback

PART III: Redefining Practices

10. Composition by Immersion: Writing Your Way into a Mission-Driven University
David A. Jolliffe

11. Writing Program Administration in a "Metropolitan University"
Lynee Lewis Gaillet

12. Urban Literacies and the Ethnographic Process: Composing Communities at the Center for Worker Education
Barbara Gleason

13. Teaching Writing in a Context of Partnership
Ann M. Feldman

14. Moving to the City: Redefining Literacy in the Post–Civil Rights Era
Patrick Bruch

List of Contributors


An exploration of the diverse ways that writing is taught in some unique urban settings.


This is the first full-length collection in composition studies to tell the story of teaching and writing in urban universities in cities such as Birmingham, Pittsburgh, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Detroit. Bruce McComiskey and Cynthia Ryan visit the fascinating history of various urban universities to illustrate how specific writing programs and instructors have engaged in the changing missions and priorities of their institutions.

The authors address the complex interwoven components of city comp: the identities of individuals and institutions that contribute to the writing of verbal, visual, and spatial texts; the spaces that serve as resources for student writing, analysis, and critique; and the curriculum practices implemented in programs that attempt to help students recognize, and in some cases, transform their understandings of the cities in which they live, learn, and compose.

At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Bruce McComiskey is Associate Professor and Cynthia Ryan is Assistant Professor of English. McComiskey is the author of Teaching Composition as a Social Process and Gorgias and the New Sophistic Rhetoric. Cynthia Ryan's published work focuses on professional writing and medical rhetoric.