City Comp: Identities, Spaces, Practices
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Teaching writing in unique urban settings.
of the story. As we got into the first quarter of teaching, our interactions with UAB’s students began to turn our attitudes around. These students were (and are, switching now to present tense) keenly aware of these damaging class divisions, and they understand the lasting effects of Birmingham’s vexed history. Students in Birmingham are not only aware of these problems, but also openly willing to discuss and try to solve them. Our composition students write often about issues of race,
practicing verbal and written argument by turning to difficult political disputes and social disagreements of the era—were typically unavailable in traditional state schools. HullHouse’s contribution to defining an American form of city instruction in writing and deliberation may be found, then, in the many connections it invited its clients to form between language use and informed political and social behavior, a tendency still prevalent in urban literacy education. Its uniqueness, however, is
substantial body of urban planning literature, there were (and are) problems both with the idea of democratizing data and with the use of the Web and other advanced information technologies for doing so. Michael Barndt, for example, doubts that data intermediaries will ever see a diminished role and, in fact, believes that the elimination of data intermediaries would harm the communities that most need them (a position for which I have considerable sympathy). But connections between the ability
abandoned houses and vacant lots? Why does the interest of visitors in preserving the aesthetic value of the Heidelberg Project outweigh residents’ interest in realizing some kind of normalcy? Why should they be forced to live with bicycles piled around trees and car hoods propped up in yards? Guyton raises related questions. Why should he be forced to live with abandoned houses? Why is his city a dumping ground for the refuse of mass consumption? These questions ask for different answers than
composition course essentially can have five elements: it can 1) provide examples of writing, 2) offer students the opportunity to analyze these examples, 3) explain principles of various types— rhetorical, linguistic, literary, and so on—underlying writing, 4) provide students with an environment that fosters writing and stimulates response, and 5) sponsor a process, sketched out (perhaps too simply and sequentially) as “Think-Write-Edit-Rewrite” (73). Kinneavy explains that not all composition