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The Activist WPA

Changing Stories about Writing and Writers

by Linda Adler-Kassner

Paperback Price $28.95
Ebook Price $22.95
30-day ebook rental price $5.99

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Winner of the 2010 Best Book Award, Council of Writing Program Administrators

"In a time when writing teachers and administrators have been beset by powerful forces poised to change writing instruction and assessment in ways that reduce the scope and richness of the writing classroom, this book offers us much. It inspires WPAs to look in novel ways at their own situations; it provides practical solutions and applications for WPAs that can readily be adapted to local circumstances; AND it is well written, engaging to read. We emerge from it with what feels like a radical 'rethinking' of WPA work, yet at the same time we feel we should have known this all along."
—The WPA 2010 Book Award Committee

"What I most like and admire about this book is how Linda Adler-Kassner brings everything she is as a person—activist, scholar, teacher, pragmatist—to bear upon the work she does as a WPA. In doing so, she shows us how our programs can become places to enact the call of tikkun olam—to help mend the world through reframing the ways we talk about students, teachers, and writing."
—Joseph Harris, Duke University


One wonders if there is any academic field that doesn't suffer from the way it is portrayed by the media, by politicians, by pundits and other publics. How well scholars in a discipline articulate their own definition can influence not only issues of image but the very success of the discipline in serving students and its other constituencies. The Activist WPA is an effort to address this range of issues for the field of English composition in the aftermath of No Child Left Behind and the Spellings Commission.

Drawing on recent developments in framing theory and the resurgent traditions of progressive organizers, Linda Adler-Kassner calls upon composition teachers and administrators to develop strategic programs of collective action that do justice to composition's best principles. Adler-Kassner argues that the "story" of college composition can be changed only when writing scholars bring the wonders down, to articulate a theory framework that is pragmatic and intelligible to those outside the field—and then create messages that reference that framework. In The Activist WPA, she makes a case for developing a more integrated vision of outreach, English education, and writing program administration.


Linda Adler-Kassner is professor of writing studies, associate dean of undergraduate education, and faculty director of the Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research and teaching focus broadly on how literate agents and activities—such as writers, writing, and writing studies—are defined in contexts inside the academy and in public discourse. She also examines the implications and consequences of those definitions and how writing faculty can participate in shaping them. She is author, coauthor, or coeditor of nine books, including Reframing Writing Assessment, Naming What We Know, and The Activist WPA.

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  • Paperback Price: $28.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-87421-699-8
  • Ebook Price: $22.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $5.99
  • EISBN: 978-0-87421-700-1
  • Publication Year: 2008
  • Pages: 218
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: by Linda Adler-Kassner
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87421-699-8
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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