Let’s play a game. This is kind of an extension of my question about who would be composition’s Hank Williams a while back, and I hope you’ll help me out: it’s related to a nascent project I’m thinking about working on, but I’m also just curious to see what folks say.
Imagine you’re teaching a section of composition, but you’ve got no grounding whatsoever in composition theory or pedagogy. You’ve got very limited time — classes start in, say, three days — but you want to be the best teacher you can. So you go to your three wise, well-read composition colleagues, and you ask: “What’s the single most important issue I need to think about in my teaching, and what three article-length pieces of composition scholarship are most helpfully representative of the range of current thought on that issue?”
What do your wise, well-read composition colleagues — one of them, or all three — say?
[Naturally, there’ll be conflict and argument among the three, and that’s kinda the point. In effect, this is a poll asking for a hyper-condensed and updated version of a bibliographic collection like Tate et al.’s recent Guide, or — well, OK — of Bedford. For example, one colleague might say, “Error — and you need to read Joseph Williams’s ‘Phenomenology,’ David Bartholomae’s ‘The Study of Error,’ and Andrea Lunsford’s ‘Cognitive Development.'” To which another colleague might groan and roll her eyes and say, “No, it’s plagiarism — and you need to read Rebecca Moore Howard’s ‘Sexuality, Textuality,’ Margaret Price’s ‘Beyond Gotcha!,’ and Kelly Ritter’s ‘Buying In, Selling Short.'” You get the idea.]