ENGL 501-01: Fairness and the Assessment of Writing
Instructor: Diane Kelly-Riley
June 19 - 30, 8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Composition scholar Brian Huot argues that assessment defines what is valued by a teacher or society. What isn’t valued isn’t assessed. Consequently, many educators feel that current writing assessment practices don’t grant attention or merit to all they should. Instead, assessment has been used as a social mechanism to reinscribe power relations and class systems. Recently, assessment scholars argued that fairness must be a central concern in all assessment practices.
This seminar will explore two related questions: First, what are prevailing theories that undergird ways student writing is assessed? This will include consideration of classroom-based practices of grading and response; use of rubrics; portfolio assessment; large-scale, standardized testing (Common Core State Standards, SAT, and ACT); and large-scale, locally-developed programs that assess student writing. Second, what does the inclusion of the concept of fairness mean for writing assessment, and how does consideration of fairness change how and what is assessed? What does it mean to involve and include students in this assessment context? How do such considerations change instructional and curricular contexts?
In addition to some journal articles, we will read Brian Huot and Peggy O’Neill’s Assessing Writing: A Critical Sourcebook (2009); Stephen Tchudi’s Alternatives to Grading Student Writing (1997); and Asao Inoue and Mya Poe’s Race and Writing Assessment (2012). Students will leave the course with a working understanding of theories that undergird contemporary writing assessment within a North American K-20 educational context, and students will develop either a theoretical or pedagogical project related to the assessment of student writing.
ENGL 501-02: Women and PoetryInstructor: Alexandra Teague
June 19-30, 12-2:30 p.m.
This course will consider the work of a number of modern and contemporary women poets (with some historical antecedents)—contextualizing their poetry in terms of societal reception; overt moves against (or in relation to) patriarchal tradition; and feminist theories about gender, sexuality, and gendered writing. Framing our readings with Susan Ostriker’s Stealing the Language and theorists including Judith Butler, Helene Cixous, and Audre Lorde, we will consider individual poems and/or collections by authors including H.D., Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Natasha Tretheway, Tarfia Faizullah, and Adrienne Rich. Given the broadness of the subject—as Carolyn Kizer says, poetry that represents and reimagines the "lives of one-half of humanity"— this course is not intended as a comprehensive or chronological history of women’s poetry, but as an exploration of central issues that have been, and are, at stake for many women (or woman-identified) poets.
Some central questions will include: what does it mean to write as or like a woman? What sorts of questions or alternative ways of knowing are these writers asking us to engage? What is at stake in those questions or ways of knowing? How does poetic technique offer these writers specific tools to ask these questions, reconfigure power dynamics, or reimagine society or the body?
We will work from in-depth class discussions and briefer response papers toward scholarly essays that offer analysis of a single poet’s work or single concept, contextualized by relevant theory and a broader understanding of issues and themes at stake in women's poetry.