The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1085  Saturday, 20 April 2002

From:           Annalisa Castaldo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 20 Apr 2002 07:44:38 -0400
Subject: 13.1064 Re: Plagiarism and Update
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.1064 Re: Plagiarism and Update

"I'm puzzled. Isn't "composition" what is called, outside God's Own
Country, "remedial English"? Would somebody explain the difference?"

My email has been down for a few days, but since no one has leapt to
explain the difference, allow me to do so. Composition is a perfectly
legitimate discipline, the study of writing in all forms. There is a
theoretical component, basic and advanced classes and even graduate
programs and conferences. Perhaps you have heard of the Conference on
College Composition and Communication, which draws thousands of scholars
from around the world, dwarfing our own SAA convention?

Forgive me. I'm trying very hard to assume your question is one of
honest lack of clarity, but this kind of attitude - that composition is
nothing more than teaching underprepared (sorry, "stupid") kids where to
put their commas, and that it has nothing to do with "real" scholarship
or intelligence - bugs the hell out of me. It is a highly demanding,
theoretically exciting field that nevertheless is mocked by more
established fields and scholars.  What bugs me the most is that
Composition stands in exactly the same position to the rest of academia
that English did at beginning of the twentieth century - a supposedly
new field considered too simplistic and practical to be of interest to
actual scholars, relegated to underpaid part-timers, often women, who
work twice as hard as those in cushy tenured positions and yet are told
over and over that they aren't doing real work.

And just what are we teaching in our Shakespeare classes if not the
ability to read, think and respond to ideas with more writing?

Annalisa Castaldo

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