Notes: Will Banks, “Queering Outcomes: Hacking the Source Code of the WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition”

Banks, Will. “Queering Outcomes: Hacking the Source Code of the WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition.” WPA 36.1 (2012): 205-208.

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Summary:

Banks responds to the WPA Outcomes Statement and particularly, those conversations around the outcomes statement which seek to articulate new outcomes that should be added to the statement or articulate the existing outcomes better, stating that responding to the outcomes may be better suited responding to the theories and values that underpin the outcomes and influence their articulation.

Keywords: WPA, Composition, First Year Composition, Queer Rhetorics, Cultural Rhetorics, Hacking

Sources:

Matsuda, Paul Kei. “Embracing Linguistic Diversity in the Intellectual Work of WPAs.” WPA 31.1-2 (2009): 168-71.

Quotations:

“One of the things I have appreciated about the Outcomes Statement, and the countless hours of work that smart people have put into it, is the recognition that as a national body representing writing program administrators at a host of varied and different programs, the WPA Council really cannot create ‘standards’ or ‘precise levels of achievement’ for these outcomes, that such things should be worked out locally, where writing professionals and other stakeholders can scaffold student learning. At the same time, I cannot help but think that WPAs really do have more of an expectation than merely the awareness that there are different audiences for writers to work with” (206).

“So where does this change belong? I think it’s in the foundations, the ideological and theoretical underpinnings of the OS document, what’s hidden in the framing paragraphs, and by how what’s hidden becomes visible” (206).

“My fear is that very little of the research and theory that most informs my sense of self and other, my sense of writing and composing, my sense of how language works in the world, is actually in these outcomes, or that other WPAs concern themselves very deeply with them” (207).

“But, if we as WPAs have an interest in queering the Outcomes Statement, then I would argue that we need to reclaim and remediate the document with the goal of putting back in what is omitted or glossed over” (207).

“For me, queering the WPA Outcomes Statement is as much about disrupting the theories and practices that inform the outcomes themselves as it is about asking for different or differently articulated outcomes. Both are important, both have value, but the practice of remixing the OS is really one for all of us (and our students, perhaps), one that we should all be able to participate in and learn from. Queering the WPA OS is ultimately about hacking into the code that has built the document /* and annotating it in ways that will be useful for future coders */” (208).

 

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