On Presidential Politics, Literacy Studies, and Updates to Academic.Writing
Mike Palmquist, Editor
Home Page: http://central.colostate.edu/people/mp/
I write this new column on Wednesday, November 8, 2000, as the ballots for president are being recounted in Florida. Regardless of the outcome, several things are clear:
The record amount of spending on this election (by some estimates over $3 billion) produced some of the most sophisticated (and perhaps some of the nastiest and underhanded, not to mention "subliminabable") campaign materials ever placed before the American public. In light of this, one other thing seems particularly clear this morning: the importance of education that addresses and prepares our students for the complex rhetorical contexts they will encounter throughout their personal, professional, and civic lives.
- The pundits who dominated coverage of the election last night (and during most of today) are convinced that most American citizens failed to pay attention to the intricacies of the Electoral College when it was discussed during their high school civics classes.
- Every vote counts, particularly if you live in Florida, Wisconsin, Oregon, or New Mexico.
- The complexities of our political system and, perhaps more important, the dynamics of our national debate demand a populace possessing highly refined literacy skills.
The collection of work provided in this update to Academic.Writing can help us provide that kind of education to our students. You'll find several important contributions, including:
Of particular interest, this issue marks our first attempts to integrate database technologies into our Web site. Please visit our new subscription page to see this in action (and remember, subscriptions are free -- and we won't sell, lend, share, or allow our subscriber info to fall into anyone else's hands). And please check out our new Programs Descriptions page, which allows you to publish a description of your WAC or CAC program on this site -- and to update it as your program develops. In our next issue, we'll expand our services by using a database to provide a list of CAC consultants to our readers.
- Our online books series, Academic.Writing's Landmark Publications in Writing Studies, which includes three key WAC publications:
I'm particularly excited about this series of books and welcome your suggestions for additions.
- Charles Bazerman's Shaping Written Knowledge
- Toby Fulwiler and Art Young's Language Connections
- Susan McLeod and Margot Soven's Writing Across the Curriculum: A Guide to Developing Programs
- A new Forum, "The Role of Technology in WAC/CAC Programs:" that brings together Michael Day, Tharon Howard, Christine Hult, Charles Moran, and Donna Reiss in a wide-ranging discussion of this increasingly important aspect of WAC and CAC program design.
- A new column by Pam Childers, "Faculty Development and WAC/CAC at Secondary Schools," that extends her discussions of the role of WAC and CAC in K-12 institutions
- A new featured article, "Assessment of the Writing Component within a University General Education Program," by Legene Quesenberry and 21 colleagues (now that's a collaborative article), that reports the results of a writing assessment at Clarion University
- Several new reviews of conferences and books, as well as a new member of our editorial staff, Jonathan Alexander, who joins Will Hochman as a Reviews Editor
- A new CAC Connections column, in which Donna Reiss calls your attention to the decision by TIME magazine and the Princeton Review to use WAC as a distinguishing factor in their decision about which institutions were featured in this year's edition of The Best Colleges for You!
- A new column by Research Editor Dickie Selfe, in which he discusses the work conducted in the Roy and Marnie Pearce Center for Professional Communication at Clemson University
You'll also find some new additions to the WAC Clearinghouse, including:
- Updates to the list of upcoming and past WAC and CAC conferences
- Updates to our list of Listservs and Mailing Lists
- Updates to our list of Dissertations and Theses, including our first full-text dissertation, contributed by Linn Bekins
Thanks and Welcome
Let me extend my thanks to Donna LeCourt, my colleague at Colorado State University, who served as our first managing editor. And let me welcome Luann Barnes, also of CSU, as our new managing editor. Luann brings a wealth of expertise in Web design and coding, as well as the knowledge that has made it possible to begin the process of integrating database technologies into Academic.Writing.
Call for Submissions
We welcome your contributions to our second volume, which we'll launch this coming spring. If you're interested in publishing your work with Academic.Writing and I certainly hope you are please view our Contribution Guidelines and Submissions Procedures for information about sending us your work.
Publication Information: Palmquist, Mike. (2000). On Presidential Politics, Literacy, and Updates to Academic.Writing. Academic.Writing. http://wac.colostate.edu/aw/observations/observations2.htm
Publication Date: November 8, 2000
Copyright © 2000 Academic.Writing.