Setting forth an innovative new model for what it means to be a writing teacher in the era of writing across the curriculum, ""The End of Composition Studies"" urges a reconceptualization of graduate work in rhetoric and composition, systematically critiques the limitations of current pedagogical practices at the postsecondary level, and proposes a reorganization of all academic units. David W. Smit calls into question two major assumptions of the field: that writing is a universal ability and that college-level writing is foundational to advanced learning. Instead, Smit holds, writing involves a wide range of knowledge and skill that cannot be learned solely in writing classes but must be acquired by immersion in various discourse communities in and out of academic settings. ""The End of Composition Studies"" provides a compelling rhetoric and rationale for eliminating the field and reenvisioning the profession as truly interdisciplinary - a change that is necessary in order to fulfill the needs and demands of students, instructors, administrators, and our democratic society.
David W. Smit, a professor of English at Kansas State University, is the author of The Language of a Master: Theories of Style and the Late Writing of Henry James. His articles have appeared in Journal of Advanced Composition, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and other journals.