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Phillips, Donna Burns, Ruth Greenberg, and Sharon Gibson. "College Composition and Communication: Chronicling a Discipline's Genesis."

Phillips, Donna Burns, Ruth Greenberg, and Sharon Gibson. "College Composition and Communication: Chronicling a Discipline's Genesis." College Composition and Communication 44.4 (Dec 1993): 443-465. [link]


There are some similarities between this essay and the Stevens and Williams piece from Critical Inquiry, in that this article is looking to CCC and its development for a sense of how the discipline developed over that period of time.

"Examining each issue published between 1950 and May of 1993, we considered three basic areas: the physical format, the conversants (including both authors and editors), and the subject matter. Changes in its appearance, in the content of the conversations contained between its covers, and in the conventions for conducting those conversations suggest that while such growth may have been unimagined by, or even unimaginable for, the early CCC editors, by the mid-seventies, composition had become a specific area of study, and at the end of the eighties, a potential discipline still experimenting with methodology and refining its theoretical, pedagogical, political, and social vision" (443, 445).

Physical format, from bulletin to journal (paper quality, metadata, #s of advertisements, etc.)


Accounts of various editors and their influence on journal.

"By 1986, sentiment for making CCC a refereed journal was growing" (449).

450 - Most frequently published authors: 1950-1964, 1965-1979, 1980-1993
451 - Citations (Table of # of formal citations by year)
452 - Most Frequently Cited Authors

Discussion on 453-4 about interpreting citation numbers:

"Nevertheless, self-reference is a factor in determining the relation between influence and number of citations. Another consideration is the difference between numbers of citations for a particular author versus those for a particular piece. Although Flower and Hayes each have twice the total number of citations of Mina Shaughnessy, her Errors and Expectations is cited with well over twice the frequency of their most popular piece. Twenty-three different works by Andrea Lunsford appear, but the most cited is referenced only five times ("Audience Addressed/Audience Invoked," with Lisa Ede). One explanation for this circumstance may be focus: Shaughnessy, for example, generally restricted her work to a single area, while Lunsford publishes on a variety of issues" (453-4).

Money quote: "Such quantitative measures help determine what can be considered within the community as common knowledge, and common knowledge is the power base. Writers will construct their discourse around what their audiences can be assumed to know and accept. Researchers will see the investigative techniques as models. Initiates will ingest this core as part of the membership rite. CCCC members will rely on name recognition in the elections shaping the organization that molds the field. In sum, work associated with these names becomes the traditional paradigm, and all subsequent work moves toward its support, its enlargement, or its overthrow" (454).

Subject Matter of journal
458 - Disciplinary identity = "continual concern"

"With the growth of rhetoric as a theoretical foundation for scholarship and the emergence of composition specialists, through professional choice or formal graduate programs, the meaning of composition has been shifting from a course title to a conceptual paradigm for an emerging discipline" (461).


Insofar as I'm going to be using some of my work with CCCO to ground some of this project's discussion of conversation/citation networks, this article is going to be a good reference point for me. In fact, it might make for a nice intermediate project to update this piece.

(Definitely didn't mean to sound as arrogant here as I did. I meant more something along the lines of the fact that almost 15 years have passed since the data collected for this article, and that building on it would be a viable article-length somethin-or-other.)

One place that I'll need to work on is the question of editorial influence. There's a sense of almost authorial intention behind the idea of discussing editorial influence, an accounting of the editors' perceptions that may or may not correspond with how we as a discipline have actually encountered the journal. The risk of this kind of approach is that it tends towards the anecdotal, reinscribing the discipline along the lines of celebritacy (which is another version of disciplinary networks, to be sure, but one that I'm wary of).