Framed by historic developments—from the Open Admissions movement of the 1960s and 1970s to the attacks on remediation that intensified in the 1990s and beyond, Basic Writing traces the arc of these large social and cultural forces as they have shaped and reshaped the field. George Otte and Rebecca Williams Mlynarczyk balance fidelity to the past with present relevance, local concerns with (presumptively) global knowledge, personal judgment with (apparent) objectivity. Basic Writing circles back on the same general story, looking for different themes or seeing the same themes from different perspectives. What emerges is a gestalt of basic writing that will give readers interested in its history, self definition, pedagogy, or research a sense of the important trends and patterns. Otte and Mlynarczyk make research trajectories clear without oversimplifying them or denying the undeniable blurring, dissensus, and differential development that characterizes the field.
About the Authors
George Otte is a member of the doctoral faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center in the PhD Programs in English, Urban Education, and Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. He served as coeditor of the Journal of Basic Writing from 1996 to 2002. He is the coauthor with Nondita Mason of Writers' Roles: Enactments of the Process (Harcourt, 1994) and, with Linda Palumbo, of Casts of Thought: Writing In and Against Tradition (Macmillan, 1990). Rebecca Williams Mlynarczyk has taught basic writing at the City University of New York since 1974. She is currently Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center and Kingsborough Community College, where she codirects the ESL program. She is the author of Conversations of the Mind: The Uses of Journal Writing for Second-Language Learners (Erlbaum) and the coauthor, with Steven Haber, of In Our Own Words: Student Writers at Work (Cambridge). She has served as coeditor of the Journal of Basic Writing since 2003.