THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW RHETORIC SINCE THE 1960s: A History of the Linguistic Reformation of American Culture

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This study deals with the impact “The Sixties” had on writing instruction, particularly how expressivism as composition pedagogy emerged out of the reassessment of traditional schools of writing. The investigation explores the historical context that sparked contemporary expressivism and traces its trajectory through that turbulent era, including how overall educational reform initiatives also grew out of that period’s social movements, especially the Civil Rights Movement.


“I expect this book to be praised and attacked vigorously because of what is at stake in this discourse. I weigh in now with my praise and look forward to the contentions that will follow.” – Professor Ira Shor, City University of New York Graduate Center

“Borkowski is doing some of the much neglected historical work needed in the field. . . . While he acknowledges the critics who claim that expressivism is not part of the counter-culture and rather sits comfortably within it, [the author] raises issues of co-optation and is able to conclude that expressivism has left an important imprint on composition studies.” – William H. Thelin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, Director of the English Composition Program, the University of Akron

Table of Contents

1 “The Wonder Bread Decade”: The Fifties
2 America’s Schools: Business as Usual
3 “Looking Uncomfortably to the World We Inherit”: The Sixties
4 Deprogramming “Clever Robots”
5 Expressivism Comes of Age in a Rebellious Era
6 Expressivism’s Detractors and ‘Defenders’
Works Cited

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