CFP: Ecocomposition at the Community College

Contributions are invited to a proposed volume of essays on teaching ecocomposition at the community college level.  

The focus of this volume is the powerful connection between the pedagogical aims of ecocomposition and the pedagogical philosophy of community colleges. Today, all higher education faces a greater push for accountability and relevance, but community colleges in particular are disciplined for degree completion agendas, job readiness, and student engagement/retention. Ecocomposition is ideally suited for high engagement teaching practices like active learning, multimodal learning, service learning, interdisciplinarity, and community outreach. Community college students are in general less wealthy, less privileged, and less prepared than their university counterparts. They are often parents and full-time workers; many speak English as a second or third language. They are the people working “green” jobs in construction industries, sanitation, and landscaping. Their communities are most affected by pollution and smog and traffic.

Most of the previous scholarship on ecocomposition addresses the classic first-year composition course at a university level. This volume seeks the insights of community college teacher-scholars who bring ecology, the environment, extreme weather, geology, the Anthropocene, animal studies, ocean studies, gardening, farming, fishing, birdwatching, wilderness, parks, backyards, recycling, sanitation, pollution, toxins, infestations, and/or nature writing into their community college first year composition courses.  

Diverse topics and approaches are welcome. Lexington Books has expressed interest in this proposed volume as part of their Ecocritical Theory and Practice series. They require that all contributors have a Ph.D. (If there are multiple authors, at least one must have a Ph.D.) 

Please submit abstracts and a short CV to Emily Hegarty at by February 15, 2018. (Complete papers due June 15, 2018.) 

Maybe I work for Voldemort

I changed my “about” blurb to eliminate the name of my employer. There is a new Board of Trustees policy (still technically in draft form) that proclaims that faculty members will be disciplined if they do not get prior approval for “[a]ny website of or pertaining to the College, including without limitation, any websites concerning a College research program, academic program, social program, or community program.” Furthermore, all websites mentioning the college must reside on college servers. Any website not in compliance will be TAKEN DOWN! (By their authority over all servers, or their endless resources for lawsuits, presumably.) This is supposed to be a policy about marketing materials, but in the definitions section they say:

This encompasses all written, printed, electronic, or graphic representations utilizing the College’s name, logos, trademarks, service marks, or URLs referring to any program, project, service, or operation of the College. For avoidance of doubt, the term “marketing materials”, as used in this policy, also includes any letterhead or print publication, as well as materials uploaded to internet and social media sites that publicize and/or promote the College in any way.

So, for the record, I am not promoting or marketing the college where I work and that shall not be named. Any academic discussions herein reflect my own personal intellectual products and are no reflection whatsoever on my employer.

I could link you to the website with these policies so you could see for yourself but I’m afraid that would involve a URL belonging to the college that shall not be named, and I don’t wish to be disciplined, so you’ll just have to believe me that I’ve quoted accurately.

Getting ready for #MLA2017

The Modern Language Association convention is in a few days, and I’m still finishing my paper. I posted the abstracts for the panel I organized on my MLA Commons blog. You can read them here, if you want. The panel title is “Teaching Eco-Composition at the Community College.” My paper is about teaching with the Hempstead Plains.

My Goodreads review of the new MLA Handbook

MLA HandbookMLA Handbook by The Modern Language Association of America

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked the older edition better when it had more about the research process. This focuses strictly on sourcing and citation, though it does a good job handling that especially for thinking through online and digital sources. Nicely demystifying but not as deep. Docked a star for making me learn a new system when I had the old system memorized. Also, I think the last edition was mailed out free to MLA members but I had to pay for this one. Will likely assign it to classes anyway, though I’m keeping my expectations low.

Wow, this is really a kind of a “get off my lawn kids!” review.

View all my reviews