Workshop: Joseph Harris and Rewriting

Joseph Harris will be visiting Washington College on August 23, 2012, for a day of workshops and discussions with faculty focused on the teaching of writing. Harris is a professor of English and writing at Duke University, where he founded and directed the Thompson Writing Program (their version of our first-year writing program) for ten years. He is the author of Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts and Composition: A Teaching Subject. I use his book Rewriting in my English 101 classes; unlike a writing manual or research writing guide, his book offers ways for both students and teachers to think about academic writing–or as he calls it in a phrase I love, “intellectual prose”–as a process of writers actively engaging with other writers and scholars by way of using their texts and ideas. Reading and thinking are forms of rewriting, even before one gets to the more common sense of rewriting in terms of revision. My students have found this book useful in the ways it effectively frames some key concepts of academic thinking and writing without using rhetorical or grammatical metalanguage. I have extra copies available should anyone like to browse the book before attending the workshop.

Here is the schedule of events for Dr. Harris’ visit. All faculty are invited to the opening lecture at 9 am and the first break-out session at 10.15 focused on teaching revision. We recommend that you bring to this session on revision some material from a course you are teaching in which you might develop some strategies for teaching revision: a syllabus, a writing assignment, an individual lesson. The second break-out session and the lunch will focus on faculty who teach English 101 and GRW.

8.45 – 9 am: Coffee, bagels [Goldstein 100]

9 – 10 am: Plenary Session: “Teaching the Moves of the Critical Essay,” Professor Joseph Harris, Duke University [Goldstein 100]

10 -10.15: coffee break

10.15 – 11: Break-out Session #1: Focus on Teaching Revision

  • Group 1 (John Boyd, facilitator): meet in Writing Center
  • Group 2 (Sean Meehan, facilitator): meet in Goldstein 117
  • Group 3 (Moriah Purdy, facilitator): meet in Goldstein 107
  • Come with materials (syllabus, writing assignment, lesson) and/or ideas for teaching revision in one of your courses

11.15-12: Break-out Session #2: First-Year Writing

  • English 101: Forwarding an Argument, discussion with Joseph Harris [Goldstein 117]
  • GRW: program meeting with Andrew Oros [Writing Center]

12.30 – 2: Lunch [Hynson lounge, Hodson]

Topic for discussion over lunch: First-Year Writing Program assessment


3 – 4.30: First-Year Writing Program Assessment

Joseph Harris will meet with the FYW Assessment committee to discuss program development and assessment[Writing Center]

6 – 8: Dinner with Joseph Harris, FYW program directors, and FYW Fellows


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