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Campus Life: Rhetorical Education and College Writing amidst an Evolving Geography

  • Author(s): Lloyd, Jens
  • Advisor(s): Alexander, Jonathan
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

In response to speculations about the impending obsolescence of higher education's most emblematic sites, I explore how campuses thrive by fostering civically vibrant and not-strictly-curricular forms of writing and rhetoric. I draw from the spatial turn in rhetoric/composition, as well as from scholarship on the field's civic aims, to reframe rhetorical education and college writing as location-based activities tied less exclusively to formal instructional spaces and more dynamically to the campuses within which they emerge. Taking UC Irvine as a case study, I combine ethnographic research with analysis of archival materials to elucidate how three features of campus life—campus planning, campus organizations, and campus publications—encourage students and other inhabitants to participate as writers and rhetors in the ongoing development of the civic geography. After focusing on cocurricular manifestations of rhetorical education and college writing in the first three chapters, I move in the final chapter to consider formal instruction through the lens of this rejuvenated conceptualization of the institutional terrain. Ultimately, by concluding with an analysis of how and why writing and rhetoric instructors draw pedagogical inspiration from their campuses, I hope to position "Campus Life" as a timely and practical intervention into debates about the future of these multifaceted sites.

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