Catalogue


Interests and opportunities : race, racism, and university writing instruction in the post-civil rights era /
Steve Lamos.
imprint
Pittsburgh, Pa. : University of Pittsburgh Press, c2011.
description
220 p.
ISBN
0822961733 (pbk. : alk. paper), 9780822961734 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Pittsburgh, Pa. : University of Pittsburgh Press, c2011.
isbn
0822961733 (pbk. : alk. paper)
9780822961734 (pbk. : alk. paper)
contents note
The development and evolution of high-risk writing instruction -- The late 1960s and early 1970s: Coming to terms with racial crisis -- The mid-1970s: literacy crisis meets color-blindness -- The late 1970s and early 1980s: Competence concerns in the age of Bakke -- The late 1980s and early 1990s: culture wars and the politics of identity -- The late 1990s to the present: the end of an era.
catalogue key
8176914
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 193-211) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-02-01:
Appearing in the "Pittsburgh Series in Composition, Literature, and Culture," this book is Lamos's first; he has, however, published a handful of scholarly journal articles, two of them revised for the present volume. Lamos (writing and rhetoric, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder) explores the evolution of high-risk, race-conscious basic writing programs at four-year universities in the US, providing material that is useful in foregrounding recent pressure to do away with writing programs altogether. Using CUNY and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, as model programs, the author tracks the history of the struggle between the interests of white mainstream America and at-risk minorities whose linguistic differences put them at a distinct disadvantage in college-level writing classes. Lamos blames the lack of a firm, permanent commitment to at-risk minorities on white racism. This is sure to spark ongoing discussion among those interested in rhetoric and composition, as is his implication that the unwavering preference for and expectation of standard American English is driven by racial bias. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and faculty. C. E. O'Neill New Mexico State University at Alamogordo
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Lamos reminds us that composition classrooms and writing programs have functioned increasingly as sites where competing values and interests have converged and diverged dynamically across the decades. He casts a critical eye toward what has constituted writing instruction and succeeds in making a compelling case for rethinking the stories we tell about this work as we go forward, recognizing that these converging and diverging challenges continue." -Jacqueline J. Royster, Georgia Institute of Technology
“Lamos reminds us that composition classrooms and writing programs have functioned increasingly as sites where competing values and interests have converged and diverged dynamically across the decades. He casts a critical eye toward what has constituted writing instruction and succeeds in making a compelling case for rethinking the stories we tell about this work as we go forward, recognizing that these converging and diverging challenges continue.” -Jacqueline J. Royster, Georgia Institute of Technology
"Interests and Opportunities makes an important contribution to our understanding of how discourses of race have shaped the evolution of basic writing. Lamos provides a fine-grained analysis of the politics of race in higher education and challenges us to consider the ways in which racialized discourses both stymie, and occasionally enable, institutional change."
“Interests and Opportunities makes an important contribution to our understanding of how discourses of race have shaped the evolution of basic writing. Lamos provides a fine-grained analysis of the politics of race in higher education and challenges us to consider the ways in which racialized discourses both stymie, and occasionally enable, institutional change.”
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In the late 1960s, colleges and universities became deeply embroiled in issues of racial equality. To combat this, hundreds of new programs were introduced to address the needs of “high-risk” minority and low-income students. In the years since, university policies have flip-flopped between calls to address minority needs and arguments to maintain “Standard English.” Today, anti-affirmative action and anti-access sentiments have put many of these high-risk programs at risk. In Interests and Opportunities, Steve Lamos chronicles debates over high-risk writing programs on the national level, and locally, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Using critical race theorist Derrick Bell’s concept of “interest convergence,” Lamos shows that these programs were promoted or derailed according to how and when they fit the interests of underrepresented minorities and mainstream whites (administrators and academics). He relates struggles over curriculum, pedagogy, and budget, and views their impact on policy changes and course offerings. Lamos finds that during periods of convergence, disciplinary and institutional changes do occur, albeit to suit mainstream standards. In divergent times, changes are thwarted or undone, often using the same standards. To Lamos, understanding the past dynamics of convergence and divergence is key to formulating new strategies of local action and “story-changing” that can preserve and expand race-consciousness and high-risk writing instruction, even in adverse political climates.
Main Description
In the late 1960s, colleges and universities became deeply embroiled in issues of racial equality. To combat this, hundreds of new programs were introduced to address the needs of "high-risk" minority and low-income students. In the years since, university policies have flip-flopped between calls to address minority needs and arguments to maintain "Standard English." Today, anti-affirmative action and anti-access sentiments have put many of these high-risk programs at risk. In Interests and Opportunities, Steve Lamos chronicles debates over high-risk writing programs on the national level, and locally, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Using critical race theorist Derrick Bell's concept of "interest convergence," Lamos shows that these programs were promoted or derailed according to how and when they fit the interests of underrepresented minorities and mainstream whites (administrators and academics). He relates struggles over curriculum, pedagogy, and budget, and views their impact on policy changes and course offerings. Lamos finds that during periods of convergence, disciplinary and institutional changes do occur, albeit to suit mainstream standards. In divergent times, changes are thwarted or undone, often using the same standards. To Lamos, understanding the past dynamics of convergence and divergence is key to formulating new strategies of local action and "story-changing" that can preserve and expand race-consciousness and high-risk writing instruction, even in adverse political climates.

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