This section will include a discussion of the role of literature faculty in the composition classroom.
She presents readers with opinions from various scholars on the issue of literature faculty using the composition classroom to teach only literature.
- Isaacs quotes Christine Farris and Judith Anderson, "There are those for whom the inclusion of literature in composition courses or programs would signify the loss of political ground...the intellectual place of composition" (104-105). While this comment may be true, depending on the instructor, of course, I feel that not all literature faculty would completely replace the composition curriculum with the literary works they want their students to read and write about.
- The majority of Isaacs composition colleagues feel the same as Farris and Anderson about literature faculty teaching composition. Isaacs, however, feels sympathy for these cynical comments and poses two questions that echo my opinion above: "Is it accurate to assume that most literature faculty are both hostile and ignorant about the teaching of writing? Just as important, do composition faculty suspect that their colleagues will simply disregard course intent in favor of thier own desires?" (105).
- Here, Isaacs is not favoring one side over the other, rather she is presenting both sides of the argument. I agree with her in that "it is unfair to assume that the literature specialist - particularly the one who has had training and experience with teaching writing, as I've argued is the case for most of those who have graduated in the last fifteen years - is going to abandon the business of teaching writing simply because the course is designated writng and literature" (105).
- I must say that I am partial to this statement for the sole reason that I am a graduate student on the literary studies track that will be teaching freshman composition next spring semester. I see this task as my responsibilty to prepare freshman to be successful writers for the rest of the college career, as well as for the rest of their lives, and not as a place to teach what I want when I want. Of course, as I just mentioned I am a gradaute student and not tenure track faculty with years of experience in my field, I am simply going by what I feel is right.
- As I mentioned in the Is there a place for literature? section, Isaacs pushed for a first year writing course with literature at Montclair State University. So how did this pan out? According to her, "...By treading carefully, and by honoring and celebrating craetive and origianl ways to meet course objectives...our course in writing about literature is generally a popular choice for faculty - both those who see themselves as 'literature people' and those whose first identification is with composition, creative writing, education or another field" (106).