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  • ISBN/ISSN(s):
    0010-0994

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From the New Editor
Melissa Ianetta

A Pedagogy of Rhetorical Looking: Atrocity Images at the Intersection of Vision and Violence
Kristie S. Fleckenstein, Scott Gage, and Katherine Bridgman
Abstract: At a historical moment when both violence and its mass mediation proliferate, this essay takes as its exigence the reinforcing and troubling relationships uniting violence, image, and vision. It offers rhetorical looking as a pedagogical strategy designed to undermine violence through visual engagement, and it focuses on the atrocity image—a photographic depiction of human-on-human violence—as both a site of violence and a site for intervening in violence. Comprising four interlocking and reciprocal tactics that operate nonlinearly, rhetorical looking performs slow looking, a mode of perception that moves beyond reception and critique to attend to a photograph’s image content and to the perceptual habits by which that content is evoked. By reflecting on its own processes—revealing agency and answerability in looking—rhetorically looking potentially fosters actions that respond to rather than dismiss violence.

“Raising Hell”: Literacy Instruction in Jim Crow America
Sue Mendelsohn
Abstract: Disciplinary histories of composition studies argue that the mission of communication programs shifted during World War II: from striving to democratize higher education to promoting uncritical patriotism. Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) rarely figure into these histories, in part because they seldom appeared in the era’s scholarly publications. Recently digitized African American newspaper archives invite a counter narrative of wartime democratizing pedagogy. Press coverage highlights the Hampton Institute Communications Center, the most widely publicized and politicized site of literacy instruction during the war. The controversy it engendered shows Hampton and other HBCU curricula forwarding wartime literacies that constituted patriotic resistance to Jim Crow segregation.

Freshman Composition as a Precariat Enterprise
James Rushing Daniel
Abstract: Drawing from recent work in the areas of economics and sociology, this article applies theories of precarity and the precariat, terms that denote the marginalized status of contingent workers, to the composition classroom. Reviewing the economic and social conditions precipitating workforce casualization, the article argues that theories of precarity support the efforts of scholars in composition studies thinking beyond the concept of social class and toward models of solidarity. Building upon the work of these scholars, the article advocates attention to the shared precarity of students and proposes methods of enhancing solidarity at the university.

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