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The Composition Commons

Writing a New Idea of the University

by Jessica Yood

Hardcover Price $85.00
Paperback Price $22.95
Ebook Price $18.95
30-day ebook rental price $9.50

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A well-written and inclusive study of the enduring power of student writing. Writing teachers can find a way to reorient themselves and their students to the deep benefit of a persuasive and historically situated argument that centers student writing in general education curricula.”
—Julie Jung, Illinois State University
“Making a radical proposal for how we should think about composition’s place in the academy, this book weaves together a lovely blend of historical archives, case study, autoethnography, theory, pragmatic suggestions, and personal narrative.”
—Jennifer Marlow, The College of Saint Rose

The Composition Commons delivers a timely take on invigorating higher education, illustrating how college composition courses can be dynamic sites for producing a democratic, just, and generally educated public.

Jessica Yood traces the century-long origins of a writing-centered idea of the American university and tracks the resurgence of this idea today. Drawing on archival and classroom evidence from public colleges and universities and written in a lively autoethnographic voice, Yood names “genres of the commons”: intimate, informal writing activities that create peer-to-peer knowledge networks. She shows how these unique genres create collectivity—an academic commons—and calls on scholars to invest in composition as a course cultivating reflective, emergent, shared knowledge. Yood departs from movements that divest from the first-year composition classroom and details how an increasingly diverse student population composes complex, evolving cultural literacies that forge social bonds and forward innovation and intellectual and civic engagement.

The Composition Commons reclaims the commons as critical idea and writing classroom activities as essential practices for remaking higher education in the United States.


Jessica Yood is associate professor of English at the City University of New York’s Lehman College and Graduate Center. A former coordinator of Writing Across the Curriculum and recent faculty fellow in the Mellon Foundation’s Transformative Learning in the Humanities program, she is active in literacy advocacy and public humanities projects. Her work can be found in Inside Higher Education and the MLA Sourcebook Lost Texts in Rhetoric and Composition, as well as several scholarly journals.

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  • Hardcover Price: $85.00
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-64642-541-9
  • Paperback Price: $22.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-64642-542-6
  • Ebook Price: $18.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $9.50
  • EISBN: 978-1-64642-543-3
  • Publication Month: April
  • Publication Year: 2024
  • Pages: 168
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: by Jessica Yood
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-64642-542-6
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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