2019 November College English, v82.2
Embracing Wildcard Sources: Information Literacy in the Age of Internet Health
Sarah Ann Singer
When nonacademically validated sources such as blogs, social media posts, and company websites are leveraged as evidence in the college English classroom, teachers must be equipped to help students question, engage, and contextualize them. In this essay, the author offers the term wildcard sources to describe nonacademically validated yet rhetorically compelling sources that attract broad audiences and considers why these sources are integral to academic research. They also examine a case study of online sources related to Lyme Disease, a chronic and contested health condition, to show what wildcard sources can offer in practice and propose that instructors integrate wildcard sources into class assignments.
Making Space for the Misfit: Disability and Access in Graduate Education in English
Lauren E. Obermark
This article uses a disability studies methodology to discuss insights from graduate students that emerge from a survey about approaches, activities, and assignments in their courses, as well as how their experiences in graduate school shape their own teaching. Themes emerged that questioned two common pedagogies in English graduate courses: discussion and essays. Moreover, a troubling theme of graduate students insisting they need to adapt and adjust, what I call the reverse accommodation, underlies much of this survey data. These themes open up a space to wonder about norms that shape graduate school in English. I argue that we must attend to the voices of graduate students, listening to and trusting their experiences and expertise about how they learn, especially when their experiences do not align with what is assumed or expected of them.
Transnational Networks of Literacy and Materiality: Coltan, Sexual Violence, and Digital
Working from a transnational feminist analytic, this article traces the social, economic, and bodily impact of coltan mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with particular attention to its impact for women. In connecting the benefits of literacy work in higher education to coltan mining and sexual assault in the DRC, the author traces a transnational network of literacy and materiality to argue that the materials that enable literacy can reveal the social and environmental impact of our literate agency on a global scale and concludes with consideration for how we might take up an ethics of literacy work in our research, teaching, and service.
REVIEW Disability in Higher Education: How Ableism Affects Disclosure, Accommodation, and Inclusion
Patricia A. Dunn
This essay reviews three books that critique ableism (discrimination against people with disabilities) in American universities: Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education; Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness; and Negotiating Disability: Disclosure and Higher Education. Using a combination of history, theory, and personal narrative, all three books document injustices regarding disability in institutions of higher education, showing how colleges and universities have a long way to go in order to provide equal access for students and faculty with disabilities, even thirty years after federal legislation mandated such access.
Comment and Response
Diane Kelly-Ripley, Carl Whithaus, and Doug Hesse
Kelly-Ripley and Whithaus respond to Doug Hesse's retrospective of the major journals in composition from the March 2019 special issue on scholarly editing.
Announcements and Calls for Papers