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CCCC 2001 in Review: F.13 Ethics of Publishing: Issues in Editing

This is the second of two related sessions. See a review of the other session at E.13 Ethics in Publishing Issues in Authoring.

Brain Huot: Chair

Peggy O'Neill presented "Intersections of Ethics and Editing."

O'Neill kicked off the session by defining "what we mean by ethics" and providing a brief overview of recent definitions, from Porter's assertion that ethics are "inexorably related to rhetoric" to Faigley's view that ethics can be "procedural, case specific" and reflect the limits of human understanding, to Fontaine and Hunter's identification of process in ethics, and its usefulness not necessarily in changing behavior but in "seeing what has not been seen before."

Cindy Moore presented "Learning As We Go: Junior Faculty as Editors."

In describing the process of editing a "Best Practices in Teaching Comp" collection with O'Neill, Moore offered a fascinating cautionary tale she aptly retitled "If We Had Only Known Then What We Know Now." Specifically, she talked about how their original call for papers (CFP) changed over the course of the project due to shifting outside editorial positions and pressures. The ethical dilemma arising from this situation was that they had to reject essays that were written for, and suited well, the initial call. If she could do it all again, Moore would have made the original CFP more general. Her presentation gave an incisive look at the process of pulling together an edited collection and the ethical issues and problems this enterprise might entail.

Wendy Bishop presented "Recreating/Miscreating 'Editor' and 'Author'."

Bishop stated up front that her talk emerged from the "glass is half full" school of editing, which looks at the scholarly enterprise as something that has the potential to educate editors and authors, connect colleagues and enlarge opportunities. Her talk was refreshing but would have been perhaps more so positioned as a response to the two talks that followed which offered more of a critique of the editing process and the proliferation of scholarship in the field.

Peter Vandenberg presented "Editing Composition Studies: A Discourse Divided by Writing."

Vandenberg examined the binaries invoked in editing in that "we create by exclusion, like a sculptor chipping away at a stone," and that "to affirm is also to exclude." Here, the proliferation of scholarship and edited collections in rhet/comp and its implications entered the debate in full force, as Vandenberg discussed pressures on faculty to publish and lamented the subordination of teaching to publication.

Michael Spooner presented "Too Many Books: The 'Ethics' of Publish or Perish."

Spooner tied the whole panel together in this piece d'resistance, a classical play of sorts, complete with audience participation and Greek chorus, that used several voices, including one Native American myth, to explore the state of academic publishing in composition studies and the tenure system that "enables" it. [SV]

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