Parks and Bailie Co-Edit Anthology
The Writing Program and the Composition and Cultural Rhetoric program are pleased to announce that Associate Professor Steve Parks and CCR PhD candidate Brian Bailie have edited The Best of the Independent Rhetoric and Composition Journals 2011. The book, co-edited with Brenda Glascott, Heather Christiansen, and Stacey Waite, is an anthology which represents the result of a nationwide conversation—beginning with journal editors, but expanding to teachers, scholars and workers across the discipline of Rhetoric and Composition—to select essays that showcase the innovative and transformative work now being published in the field’s independent journals.
According to Parks, the book, the first version of which was first published in 2010, was initiated in response to concern that small, independent journals do not have enough circulation for the work within them to become well known in the field, though the quality of work in these publications is strong. The idea of putting together an anthology like this had been discussed for years, but it wasn’t until Parks and Bailie volunteered to participate that the vision became a reality. With the support of David Blakesley at Parlor Press, Parks recruited Linda Adler-Kassner and two SU graduate students in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric—Brian Bailie and Collette Caton—to assist in developing a framework for the book and creating criteria for selecting the essays, with the goal of representing the diversity of both print and digital journals in the field. The result is a compilation of essays that “explore issues ranging from classroom practice to writing in global and digital contexts, from writing workshops to community activism.”
Caton was involved with a number of different aspects of the 2010 anthology, including corresponding with journal editors, revising the anthology’s introduction, recruiting people to rate essays, and running the essay reading group. Bailie, who edited both the 2010 and 2011 anthologies, explains that he has really enjoyed this work. Though navigating different personalities and dealing with software concerns were sometimes difficult, Bailie notes that the work with the reading group was especially interesting, as it provided him with perspectives from part-time faculty that sometimes differed from the way he had talked about scholarship during his coursework. Parks’ 2010 graduate seminar served as a reading group as well, making recommendations and proving the value of the selection model that the editors had established.
The valuable insights from Bailie and Caton have helped Parks as he imagines the anthologies’ uses in entry-level graduate courses, and Bailie and Caton’s contributions have ensured that the books serve pedagogical purposes. Parks explains, “Their commitment to having the essays reviews by grad students, part-time faculty, and tenured faculty also ensured that the project was premised on a democratic and inclusive set of values. I think embedding the selected essays within those values speaks to important concepts of whose insights should guide what counts as knowledge in our field.”
—story by Emily Dressing