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Composing Change: The Role of Graduate Education in Sustaining a Digital Scholarly Future

Composition Studies/Freshman English News Volume 42, Number 1, ISSN 1534-9322


In "Reading the Archives: Ten Years on Nonlinear ("Kairos") History," James Kalmbach acknowledges the significant role graduate students have played as digital innovators in the field, particularly in the formation of "Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, Pedagogy" in 1996. Graduate students in the Rhetoric and Writing doctoral program at Bowling Green State University have displayed similar innovation in the their editorial work on "Computers and Composition Online," a publication this author has edited since 2002. As a graduate educator and online journal editor, she worries that the larger scholarly dialogues too narrowly focus on the limited number of nationally recognized digital writing programs with access to a wider range of institutional resources. Rather than reinscribe a divide between "the haves" and the "have-nots," she states that more graduate programs in the field should view the digital literacy acquisition of graduate students as a shared responsibility among colleagues that includes the students themselves in a reciprocal, recursive mentoring model that will shape their future faculty identities, online and off. It is this model that has led to the success of "Computers and Composition Online," with graduate students serving as section editors, working with prospective web authors on both content and design issues, and gaining experience in all aspects of the digital editorial workflow. While such activities sustain both a future for digital scholarly publishing and an inevitable relevance as a discipline devoted to literacy education, they also enable a technological and ideological identity shift among the students as they remind others to "pay attention" to change in the 21st century.


Blair, K.L. (2014). Composing Change: The Role of Graduate Education in Sustaining a Digital Scholarly Future. Composition Studies/Freshman English News, 42(1), 103-106. Retrieved December 13, 2019 from .

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