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English Education
Volume 48, Number 2, December 2015

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In Memoriam: Dedication to Kent Williamson
Abstract: Some of Kent Williamson’s friends and colleagues share remembrances of Kent.

Editorial: Finding Common Ground: Reasonable Compromise, Gray Areas, and Telling It Slant
Tara Star Johnson

The Territory of Literature
George Hillocks Jr. (Peter Smagorinsky, ed.)
Abstract: George Hillocks’s final work of scholarship (edited by Peter Smagorinsky) represents Hillocks’s approach to developing a literature curriculum.

Opening George Hillocks’s Territory of Literature
Sarah Levine and Malayna Bernstein
Abstract: In this companion to George Hillocks’s final article, two of his students explore the “territory of literature” he maps out for teachers. We examine three claims George stakes in his territory:First, teachers and students should understand literature as a source of argument about moral and philosophical concepts; second, a sophisticated understanding of literature demands a set of explicit typologies that students can follow; and third, students need a systematic way of identifying and interpreting the effects of literary devices and rhetoric. Then we look beyond George’s article to consider additional sources and critical approaches to teaching through concepts, typologies, and a rhetoric of literature. As members of the next generation of “Hillocksian” English educators, we argue that George’s territory can be open land, home to many literary traditions and visions.

Recalculation in Teacher Preparation: Challenging Assumptions through Increased Community Contact
Meghan E. Barnes
Abstract: The ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds of students in PreK–12 US schools are becoming increasingly diverse. However, the teacher candidates (TCs) populating teacher education programs are, overall, not representative of this student diversity. To encourage the TCs enrolled in an undergraduate English education program to better understand the diverse communities in which they would teach, I developed and incorporated a Community Inquiry Project into their required coursework. As students completed the assignments associated with the project, they reflected on their experiences. An analysis of the reflections of three participants demonstrates how contact with the people and places of the community influenced their understandings of the community itself as well as of themselves as future teachers. This work draws from critical multiculturalism and contact theory to demonstrate how contact with community members during teacher education coursework can encourage TCs to name and question their own assumptions about others as they cultivate a more contextualized and diverse understanding of students.

Provocateur Pieces: Bishop Ampleforth Is Not a Pawn
Christopher Miller
Abstract: This piece is a satirical look at the stultifying state of the English classroom in an age of over-testing. Bishop, the eponymous new student at Henry Ford High School, attempts to make sense of his classroom, where students prepare for the next in a parade of tests that will measure their creativity. In this dystopia, writing has been completely codified, distilled to a series of formulae, mechanisms, and flow charts that purport to deliver writers to proficiency. Layered with themes of power, politics, and dehumanization, the piece endeavors to caricature the folly of over-measurement while providing catharsis to those whose real-life classrooms are all too similar to the one depicted. The piece is followed by an actual missive the author received from his union representative after this piece had been accepted that demonstrates how fact isn’t far from fiction: life indeed imitates art.